Friday, March 19, 2021

Skinny animals



Full disclosure. This image is of Racing Oxen. How can you tell? Easy, look at their chips. No, actually, that is what the caption of the photo said.

I don't believe I have ever seen cattle with so little gut-fill and so many ribs.

For the non-farmers, cattle have four stomachs. The first stomach is enormous and is called the rumen. The rumen functions as a fermentation vat where microbes break down cellulose and other indigestible carbs and proteins into short-fatty acids and digestible proteins.

The fermentation process is slow, especially for low quality, over-ripe forage. Cattle on a high roughage diet usually have a rounded, beach-ball on legs look to them. For example, a thousand pound steer might have a rumen volume between 10-and-30 gallons.

It is hard to imagine these animals having more than five gallons of rumen fill and I doubt they are getting grain supplements.

1 comment:

  1. In the pictures there is lots of green forage in the background. Clearly severe animal abuse. ---ken


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