Watch a naturalist from the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Drumlin Farm explain sheep digestion in this free online video. Expert: Tia Pinney Bio: Tia Pinney …
Okay, ruminants. Sheep are a common ruminant.
A ruminant is an important thing to know because
they are most of our domestic livestock, our
ruminants. The major way to tell a ruminant
is exactly what all of these sheep are doing
right now. They have all ready eaten this
morning, they've consumed large quantities
of hay large for their body size but if you
look at all of them, are still chewing. They
are not actively eating now but they are still
chewing. Because what they did was they ate
a lot of hay earlier today and that hay went
into their ruminant or their first segment
of their stomach and now they cough it back
up and they chew it again. Then it goes into
the next three segments of the stomach. A
ruminant is defined as having four stomachs
or four segments to their stomach. And the
most important thing about being a ruminant
is that they can survive on grass. As humans,
we would not be able to survive if we ate
nothing but grass but ruminants because of
that digestive system in which they essentially
ferment their food, they are able to survive
by consuming a quality of feed that would
not maintain the rest of us. And by chewing
their cud, they are able to do magic things
with basic cellulose.

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