I am a city girl (with a country heart)…but a city girl none-the-less. Therefore, cows (from my perspective) have always been far enough away to simply just be admired out my window on long road trips. I’ve always thought they were pretty cute – but now that I’m learning about them, they are pretty fascinating up close. Here are a few fun facts about cows that I bet you didn’t know:
- Cows are herbivores. This means they were created to eat grass and other roughage.
- Cows have a four compartment stomach. The largest part is called the rumen and contains billions of good bacteria, protozoa, molds and yeasts which break down the large amounts of grass/roughage that cows eat
- Cows are known to “chew the cud”. The actual term for this is to ruminate. This means that cows are designed to chew…regurgitate…chew….regurgitate….chew…and so on until the grass/roughage is broken down sufficiently so that the microbes in the rumen can efficiently do their job.
- Cows have split hooves, which are designed to naturally till the soil
- Cows stomp down grass/forage which creates ground cover. This helps the soil maintain more moisture and makes it more drought-resistant.
I could go on with fun facts about the way God designed these fascinating creatures, but I’ll leave you with just a snapshot. When all of these wonderful, God-given characteristics of the cow are managed properly – the grass rejoices! Let me tell you what I mean.
Being that city girl that I am, another misconception I had was that cows are simply placed on a big tract of land and allowed to just roam around and eat wherever they’d like until it’s time to sell them. Proper management, I am learning is a little more deliberate. It requires that the tract of land where your cows are grazing be divided into even smaller tracts of land with inside fencing. This breaks the acreage down into what are called paddocks. In order to keep the soil and the cows healthy, it is important to rotate the cows onto different paddocks daily or multiple times/day. This way, feces is allowed to break down and the land has an opportunity to rest & rebuild. There are several ways to structure this managed grazing but the way that we will be managing our cows is called Mob Grazing.
In conclusion, cows are designed with many specific characteristics that actually improve the land when managed properly. And when the fertility of the land is improved, you have nutrient dense food for the cows which then provide nutrient dense food for us. It’s a beautiful cycle God created. And if He created a cow with that much care and design, how much more so does He care for you and I. Moooooooooooooooore to come!