There is just something about watching a dairy cow kick up her heels and enjoy herself. After all the hard work that a dairy cow does on a daily basis, it sure puts a smile on my face. It’s also a great indicator of her overall health and well-being. Although she may spend 12 hours of the day resting and ruminating. She uses 10 more for walking ‘n’ romping around with her fellow herd mates, gulping down her favorite beverage, water (bet you thought I’d say milk ;)) and eating. She turns feed that can’t be processed by us, into a delicious whole product, milk! The other two hours of the day are used for her to be milked, which generally happens 2 to 3 times a day.
Ruminating: In this case, I’m referring to a cow who chews feed over and over again to extract as many of the nutrients as possible for digestion. Eventually the nutrients can be used as body energy as well as energy to make milk.
Feed: For example I am referring to forages such as alfalfa hay, grass hay, or corn silage. These all contain cellulose which requires a lot of chewing, referred to as “cud chewing’ and microbial flora in the gut of a ruminant to be digested and efficiently used.