Ruminant: What You Should Know

Ruminants are a specific group of mammals. Your stomach has several compartments called the forestomach. The food gets in there after a short chewing. Later, these animals lie down comfortably and regurgitate the food back up into their mouths. They chew the food extensively and swallow it down into the correct stomach. This looks strange because they always chew but never put anything in their mouths.

All ruminants are vegetarians. So they feed only on plants, mainly grass. Thanks to chewing the cud, they can digest and utilize this well. We often see them on farms. There are cattle, so also the cows, plus goats and sheep.

In our forests, red deer and roe deer are part of it, and in the Alps chamois and ibexes. In the north, it is the moose and the reindeer. In Africa, there are gazelles, giraffes, and antelopes, and in the Himalayas the musk deer.

Kangaroos, horses, rabbits, and their relatives can also digest grass and other greens well. But they are not ruminants. In their stomachs, bacteria and other tiny animals break down the cells and prepare them for digestion.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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