Chew, chew, and chew some more – that’s what ruminant animals do. And if you’ve ever wondered why they chew this much on the same food, here’s why. Ruminant animals eat grass and/or leaves and are called herbivores. Their digestive systems aren’t as simple as ours. The journey of food from their mouths to their stomachs is much more complicated.
First, they eat their food and swallow it. The food then goes down to the stomach, which consists of four chambers, where it gets fermented. The food is then regurgitated back into the mouth and the animal chews it again. This helps them to get more nutrition from their food. The food is swallowed again and will eventually go through all the chambers in the stomach and digestive system. An average cow can spend between seven and eight hours a day ruminating.
Examples of ruminant animals include cattle, sheep, goats and antelopes.