Before talking about animals that chew the cud, here are some points you must know. What is cud, why do animals chew the cud, and why are some herbivores cud-chewing animals and some not? These are some points about them you need to know.
Cud is the undigested form of food in the stomachs of some herbivores. These herbivores contain a stomach with four compartments. Some also said they have four stomachs, but it’s not true. These herbivores are called ruminants.
Having a stomach with four compartments benefits them in many ways. When they graze, they eat grass in the shape of small bites with the help of their front teeth. This process of eating grass in such a way is called nibbling. These small bites of grass direct go to the rumen (the wider part of the ruminant’s stomach).
After some processing in the rumen, cud returns to the mouth of these cud-chewing animals to re-chew it. Here, they use their wider jaw teeth which enable them to attain high-value nutrients of the food.
Below, we will share a list of cud-chewing animals with you. So, let’s explore.
Table of Contents
Animals That Chew Cud
A cow is the main ruminant herbivore that comes into our minds when we are discussing the topic with one another. It is because cows are domesticated animals from ancient times. Due to this, most people are well-known for their behaviors.
Cows serve humans in a variety of ways. Primarily, people nourished them with their meat and milk. On a commercial basis, cows are also raised to get leather from them or for dairy products.
In Hinduism, cows possess a sacred place, and Hindus worship them as their mother due to their relationship with Aditi (mother of all Gods).
This specie of herbivores is known by many names based on their functionality. Before giving birth, a female cow is simply known as a heifer, but after the birth of a child, its name converts to cow from the heifer, and people nourish it for milk.
Despite this, the bull is the chosen name for a male cow. Steers are the other male cows raised to get meat from them. People castrate these cows, which directly increases meat production in them.
Oxens (ox) are cows that are primarily raised to use them for hard work. Mostly, people raise male cows for this purpose, but female cows are also suitable.
Against it, calves start grazing at 5 to 7 months. Before it, they mostly relied on their mother’s milk but also tried to eat small bites of grass time by time. It is because, during the weaning process (milk-drinking time), the calves’ rumen chamber develops to break down harsh food nutrients.
Goats are also ancient domesticated animals and are ruminant animals. They also follow the same process to consume food. First, they eat grass or other plant material and collect it in the first chamber of the stomach. It is the place where the digestion process takes place initially.
Further, when these creatures take a rest, goats chew the cud. They re-chew it and then send the chewed cud to the second part of the stomach, known as the reticulum.
This part of the stomach plays an important role with the help of its honeycomb lining. It works as a filter and does not allow waste material into the digestive tract.
This is important to note that sometimes goats do not chew their cud. They do such things in some critical conditions.
For example, goats will not chew their cud when gas occurs in their stomach. Such conditions may get fatal if not treated at the right time. Their rumen can hold the food material between 13 to 27 liters simultaneously.
Goats are also raised as pet animals. Many people nourished them at high levels to get meat and milk from them. Some species of goats are also nourished to get fur from them. Cashmere breeds and Angora are from these goat species.
These unique creatures are primarily known for their taller size and long necks. Primarily native to Africa, giraffes are the largest cud-chewing animals (ruminant) and amuse people in many ways.
Such as, humans do not possess the same fingerprints, and giraffes also do not possess the same spot design on their bodies. Every giraffe contains a unique spot pattern.
They also possess strong and long tongues. They use it to grab those branches, leaves, or other plant material they eat. The size of a giraffe’s tongue may reach 18 inches.
As the largest ruminant on Earth, these creatures also possess four stomach chambers. They are also famous as slow eaters. After swallowing food, the food pass from initial fermentation in the rumen. Then, their food came back to their mouth to re-chew it.
Ammonia and fatty acids occur with the food while passing away from the rumen and reticulum. These fatty acids and ammonia are absorbed when food passes from osamus.
It is also important to know that grazing is not the term that we use when giraffes eat grass. We use browsing instead of grazing. It is because grazing leads to eating grass, while browsing leads to eating leaves and branches on the top of trees.
As giraffes are slow eaters, they eat for almost 16 to 20 years daily. In the remaining hours, they prefer sleeping. Giraffes sleep almost 4 to 5:30 hours a day.
Camels are another ruminant animal that chews the cud. As giraffes are recognized for their height, camels are also famous for having a hump on their backs. These unique creatures are also popular due to many other capabilities, such as they are also known as the Aeroplane of the deserts. It is because they can cover long distances in that harsh climate.
They can live without eating and drinking for a long period. For example, they can live without drinking water for 10 months. You must know that they can drink almost 100 liters simultaneously.
After drinking that water, they are well known about how to use this water in their body. They use their wool coat to minimize sweat production. The nostrils of camel also reabsorb the water moisture. They also minimize urine production, even they do dry feces. They do all these phenomenons to reduce water usage.
Now, coming back to the point, we want to say that camels are ruminants, but they contain 3 chambers in their stomach instead of four. This also provides them with extra help. Due to their smaller digestive system, water consumption is also reduced, which is an additional benefit for them.
Rather than all, camels are also kept as pet animals from older times. They serve their owners their delicious and healthiest milk. Sometimes, their owners slaughter them to attain meat from them. They live with them as an essential part of their family.
Some other important things about camels are that their upper lip is cut in two pieces. Their nostrils can squeeze. This way, camels can get rid of the sand, which may cause blockage of their nostrils.
Deers also own a significant place in the list of animals that chew the cud. Deer are popular among people for their speed, agile look, and stylish antlers. Deers are also herbivores which means they also rely on plant material.
So, like most herbivores, deers are also ruminants. They contain a stomach with four chambers. While they graze, they collect food material in the rumen; then they take rest. During this period, they start re-chewing the cud. After chewing again, food is filtered into a second chamber to eliminate unnecessary material.
A single deer can eat upto 6% of food against its body weight. Trees leave, roots, branches, mushrooms, and grass are some favorite diets of this creature.
Like camels, goats, and cows, sheep are also important in older times. People were raised to fulfill their food requirements. They drink its milk and also get wool from it. Sometimes, they slaughter it for meat when huge gatherings happen. These animals also were a source of peace for them.
Sheep are also the animals that chew their cud. The process of nibbling, partially digesting the food, and re-chewing it is the same as other ruminants. Sometimes, they face the issue of burping. (Burping is the process of excreting the gas through the mouth, which occurs in the upper digestive tract). During the initial stage of food digestion, many gases like methane are produced in the body. Due o them, these creatures face such situations (burping).
A list of animals that chew cud will go ahead. It is because there are uncountable ruminants living in nature, such as we don’t talk about buffalo, chamois, alpine ibex, and elk. These are all cud-chewing animals.
So, we decided to end this post by relying on this list of animals. I hope you will never mind it, and if you want this list to go ahead, reply in the given box. Also, share your precious opinions to improve the content; we will appreciate your opinion and try to make possible changes.
How does chewing cud help ruminants?
When animals graze, their head remains down. In this situation, they become unaware of their surroundings which is never beneficial for an animal in a wild full of beasts. So, they nibble the grass and chew the cud while resting.
What does cud look like?
Sharing about the color of the cud is very difficult. It depends on the food which the animal eats. Humans feel bad when we talk to re-chew the food that comes back from our stomachs. Rather than color, the taste of cud must be poor.
For how much time does a cow chew its cud?
All ruminants spend a prominent amount of time chewing. So, cows also spend almost 8 hours daily chewing.
Does rabbit chew their cud?
No, rabbits do not chew their cud. They are not ruminants and have a different monogastric digestive system. Rather than re-chewing, rabbits re-ingest their food.
Do pigs chew their cud?
No, pigs also do not chew their cud. They also possess a different digestive system based on the stomach with a single chamber.