A cow’s stomach has four parts.  It must chew its food twice before the food can be thoroughly digested.  You eat your food only once, but a cow eats the same food two times.

That is because the cow has an odd way of digesting its food – it has what amounts to four stomachs!

While the cow is grazing it swallows its food whole.  The first stomach just collects the quickly swallowed food.  The second part of the cow’s stomach softens the food and forms it into a ball called a cud.

Later, while the cow is resting, the cud moves back up into the cow’s mouth where it is chewed thoroughly.

This time, when the food is swallowed, it goes into the third and fourth parts of the stomach, where real digestion takes place.  Chewing a cud is called ruminating, and cud-chewer are called ruminants.  Sheep, deer and giraffe are ruminants.

In the wild, many of the ruminants must be prepared to eat quickly and run for safety.  When the animal reaches safe place, it can chew its food in peace. – Dick Rogers