Posted by: wendyquest | May 19, 2011

Cattle Ranching – Book – The Complete Cow


The Complete Cow by Sara Rath is an excellent, light-hearted easy read about cows including sections on history, breeds, old sayings, cows in other countries around the world. I’ll just include a few tidbits that I found interesting. You’ll have to read the book to enjoy more!

  • Brown Swiss is on the oldest daily breeds in the world, descended from Switzerland from the Bronze Age.
  • In 1900, Western Europe had 230 native breeds. By 1988, only 30 of them were stable, 70 were extinct and 53 were endangered.
  • Cows have 4 stomachs with a capacity of 35 gallons. The first is called the Rumen or paunch. The second is Reticulum. The third is the Omasum or “many plies”. The fourth is the “Abomasum”. The Rumen is where food goes when the cow swallows. Cows don’t chew much when they first swallow, so the first stomach softens it up, then the wad is regurgitated to be chewed as cud and swallowed a second time.
  • It takes 340 squirts of milk to fill a milk pail.
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