Demos & Exhibits
Cows--like sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes--are "ruminants." They all have special stomachs to digest their food.
A cow's stomach is made up of four compartments: the omasum, abomasum, reticulum, and rumen.
The rumen is the largest compartment and the main place where the cow's food is digested so the nutrients can be taken into the body
To study how cows digest their food, scientists sometimes make an opening into the rumen
"Fistula" is the word for a surgical opening made into the body
By studying fistulated cows, researchers have learned what and how to feed animals so they get all the nutrients they need.