Cow intestines, (photo credit,www2.ca.uky.edu/)
I’m back! And none the worse for wear. Today I’m here to talk about a very interesting subject, cow intestines. A cow’s intestines are made up of three different organs. The small intestine, the cecum, and the Large intestine. The small intestine measures about 20 times the length of the animal. It is composed of three sections: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The small intestine also receives the secretions of the pancreas and the gallbladder, which aids digestion. Most of the digestive process is completed here, and many nutrients are absorbed through the villi (small finger-like projections) and into the blood and lymphatic systems. The cecum is a large area located at the junction of the small and large intestine where some previously undigested fiber may be broken down. Although the complete function of the cecum has not been established. And the large intestine is the last segment of the tract through which undigested feed passes. Some bacterial digestion of undigested feed occurs, but absorption of water is the primary digestive activity occurring in the large intestine. Isn’t it interesting how long the intestines are? Though I imagine that it takes a lot of work to break down and get nutrients from what a cow eats.
To see more cow intestine, click here to watch my video.
Horse intestine (photo credit, VETERINARY ONLINE)
Now that I’m done with mouths, let’s move on to a “more interesting” subject, Intestines! Namely, the horse intestines. True digestion begins in the small intestine when it receives liquefied feed material from the stomach. With assistance from the enzymes secreted by the pancreas, the small intestine is the primary site for digestion and absorption of sugar and starch (a complex sugar in plants), protein (that has been initially digested in the stomach), and fat. The small intestine is also the site for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), calcium, and phosphorous. The large intestine in the horse works like a large fermentation vat in which tremendous numbers of bacteria and protozoa live to facilitate further digestion of plant fiber by their production of enzymes that are capable of breaking down this component of the equine diet (the horse itself does not have these enzymes). This fiber breakdown produces substances called “volatile fatty acids” that can then be absorbed and used by the horse for energy. A second important function of the large intestine is water absorption. This function occurs very efficiently such that by the final step in the small colon, the waste material not used by the horse is formed into fecal balls. These are subsequently passed into the rectum for evacuation through the anus. There, wasn’t that fun? I sure had fun writing it. 😉
To see some horse intestines, click here to watch my video.