As a kid I always heard “A cow chews its’ cud,” but I never really knew how a cow’s stomach works Thankfully, after becoming a homeschool Mom and teaching homeschool science lessons I can finally answer this pressing question as part of our land animals science unit (if you’re doing a multi-age farm unit this would be great to add in).
I’m sure YOU’VE been sitting there on the edge of your seat for years wondering about.
As with most lessons, we started with a book.
This is the chapter Superman’s been waiting for all year long: the COW chapter. Okay, the entire chapter isn’t about cows, but enough of it was to make him happy.
After reading the Apologia Land Animals book*, I don’t think the kids quite understood how does a cow’s stomach work, obviously this needed to be solved.
So, I set up the card table downstairs, dug out the glitter glue, and proceeded to answer the question: how does a cow’s stomach work?
First I drew up four cows with their digestive system, if I’d planned further ahead than say 2 minutes, I would have drawn one and then scanned it to share with y’all, it’s awesome quality…… That didn’t happen. Then the kids happily colored the non-digestive system parts.
Then we colored and labeled the different chambers of the cow’s stomach. I had to restrain the kids from coloring more than I did. You’ll see why it was necessary in a moment.
Then we got to glitter-gluing* the steps involved. We ran out of room in the esophagus as the glitter glue was a bit wider than we planned, and we couldn’t fit all the times the food went up and down.
And here’s the end result. The cow chews the food and swallows it. There it passes through the first and second chambers before heading back up to be chewed on some more.
Then the cow swallows the grass again (called cud once it’s been chewed and swallowed). The cud passes through the third and fourth chambers to finish digesting. It’s hard to tell, but there are actually 3 separate lines going through the esophagus as the food would pass back and forth.
Finally the fully digested food heads down into the intestines where the food is absorbed. The kids were quite fascinated to learn that the food travels through the intestines and whatever is left becomes poop. Yeah, so that little bit you see at the bottom there is Superman adding poop from his cow…….
Fell free to say “ewwwwww” I certainly did.
And that is our lesson on: how does a cow’s stomach work.
But, I was also amused because all of the lines on his cow are blood vessels. I guess I better start organizing my anatomy board……..
Let’s see what others did this week:
Hi! Future Ticia 2023 here, I used to host a linkie called Science Sunday, and I would highlight posts from blogs that linked up. I’m leaving the posts that were a thing, but deleting the posts from blogs that no longer exist.
Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously. Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve, so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.
Life with Moore Babies shared a fun pumpkin growing experiment. I am SOOOOO doing this when we hit botany, or maybe sooner.
Hmmm, only one of them still existed. Sadly so many blogs have gone away.