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-FARM-FACT-FRIDAY- How Cattle Turn Grass into Meat

Have you ever wondered how cattle turn grass into delicious, nutrient-packed meat?


The answer: they utilize a unique digestive tract that is shared by other grazing land animals including camels, goats, and sheep to digest their food.


These animals are all classified as ruminants, based on the structure of their stomach. With 4 compartments, each serving a specialized step in the digestive process, this allows cattle to break down the cell walls of plants with the aid of specialized bacteria living in their gut.


This specialized digestive system allows nutrients that wouldn't be as readily available to herbivores with single-chambered stomachs, such as horses and rabbits, to be extracted.


Although all herbivores (animals that feed on plants) digest their food by way of symbiotic gut bacteria, ruminant's ability to extract energy from cellulose (the fibrous structure of the plant cell wall) is more efficient than in monogastric (single-chambered stomach) herbivores.


This is why what an animal eats during their life is so important in the taste and nutrient content of the meat they produce.


Like we always say, you are what you eat eats!


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