The physiology and anatomy of a cow allow you to know the needs of the body of the animal, its structure. Understanding the processes occurring inside the cow's body, allows you to make an optimal diet, improve the conditions of the maintenance of cattle. Taking into account the structure of the heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, intestines, joints, it is possible to determine the permissible loads for them, in time to take measures to help prevent their diseases. Since cattle breeding is a common occupation, this information is of great value.
Exterior bulls and cows
The bull and the cow are large agricultural animals, whose height at the withers reaches 150 cm and their weight is 1300 kg. They have a massive skull with hollow horns that do not shed during life. A distinctive feature of all individuals of this type of cattle are expressive eyes. The head has ears in the form of a horn and is located on a thick massive neck.
Despite the powerful constitution and large size, these animals are herbivores due to the structure of the tongue and lips. Features of the structure of cows are adapted for frequent gestation of the fetus and the birth of a healthy calf. The back of the animal has a curved line with a small hump in the thoracic region. Hips massive, ass protrudes.
In the groin area is located the udder with four nipples, which are not connected to each other. This anatomical detail limits cows' disease of the udder, preventing them from spreading to all quarters at once.
An adult animal weighs on average about a ton, so the skeletal bones of a cow are large and durable. They form a robust frame that can withstand a significant load.
The spine is the axis to which the skull, ribs, shoulder blades, pelvic bones, and the tail of the cow are attached. The limbs are attached to the shoulder blades and pelvis. It forms the constitution of animals. The sections of the spine of the cow are divided according to their anatomical and physiological destination.
Seven strong movable vertebrae that make up the cervical region, securely hold the head in any position. The next thirteen elements with attached ribs form the chest with shoulder blades, inside which are the lungs. This is the chest of the cow. The rear ribs are mobile, which facilitates the functioning of the lungs.
The pelvic bones are attached to the back of the spine. The length and mobility of the tail of the cow are quite large, since it consists of 18-20 elements and ends with a brush. The spine forms a line that mechanically connects the head and legs, and the arcs of the vertebral bodies form a channel. Inside it is a path that conducts impulses of neurons, connecting the brain with peripheral parts of the animal's nervous system.
The forelegs of the cow are attached to the shoulder blades. They consist of a shoulder, forearm, hand in the form of a hoof with two fingers and two rudimentary processes behind. The hind legs attach to the pelvis and consist of the thigh, lower leg and foot in the form of a hoof. The thigh of a cow has the largest size among all the bones.
Anatomical system of animal movement
Active movement in the space of cattle is provided by a strong skeleton, ligaments and muscles. It is these anatomical structures that form his large external physique. In each calf of its weight at birth, the musculoskeletal system is up to 78%. In adult large cows and bulls, this ratio is 60-68%.
The skeleton of cows is completely formed late, so the saying "movement - life" for these animals has a special meaning. Restrictions on the mobility of pregnant females can lead to impaired fetal development. In the process of its prenatal development, an intensive formation of the peripheral skeleton takes place, so immediately after birth the calves can move independently. In the future, body size increases rapidly, bones grow, internal organs of a cow are formed. Animal growth ceases at the age of 5-6 years. Then comes the final formation of their constitution.
From this moment on, the body is aging. The process begins with the tail of the cow and has the effect of bone mineralization. Such features should be considered in the preparation of the diet.
Bone joints, muscular system
The elasticity and strength of the skeleton, the smoothness of the movements of the cow is formed through high-quality "inserts" between the bones. This function is performed by collagen fibers forming the ligaments. They withstand heavy loads, forming continuous strong joints of limited mobility and joints.
The joints have a special two-layer capsule. Inside it, the bones are smeared with synovial fluid and do not rub against each other. This increases the amplitude of the movement of the limbs, the head of the cow. Such formations strengthen the internal ligaments. Outside the joints are partially supported by the muscles.
Among diseases of the skeletal organs of cattle, diseases of the joints are widespread, which lead to restriction of movements and severe pain.
Muscle tone characterizes a healthy animal. It is created by skeletal muscles outside and smooth muscles inside the body, ensuring intestinal motility, effective work of internal organs, blood vessels of the circulatory system. The musculature of the skeleton performs antagonistic functions: abductor and adductor, flexor and extensor. In the body of large bulls about 250 of these muscles, and the constitution of an adult individual is characterized by 47% of the muscle mass relative to the total weight.
The structure of the stomach, the determination of the state of the cow by "starvation pit"
The teeth of a cow have such a structure that they cannot chew grass and hay thoroughly. The problem of digesting food is solved by a complex stomach consisting of 4 parts:
The first three are additional stomachs, and the main thing is the abomasum.
The scar capacity of an adult cow is 200 liters. Initially, after ingestion, food enters the rumen, which is rich in beneficial microorganisms that break down fiber. Portions of the processed feed burp, re-chew and return to the rumen. The process of chewing gum is of great importance for the digestion of cattle and is used by calves from the third week of life. Its absence in adults can speak of pathology. Read more about this in the article "What to do if a cow does not have a chewing gum."
The grid has a honeycomb structure and capacity of 4-10 liters. Food here can be up to two days. After its processing by microorganisms, gases are released, which are displayed by belching.
The third stomach is called a book because of thin, sheet-like films of films intended for the absorption of liquid. Here, the food mass is delayed by 5 hours.
Rennet is the end point of digestion using gastric juice. Its volume is from 5 to 15 liters.
By the way a cow looks, you can determine its health, nutrition and effectiveness. Evaluated hungry fossa. This formation in the form of a triangular hollow is limited from above by the transverse processes of the vertebrae, behind by the macklock, and in front by the costal arch. Especially clearly visible from the left side. This external recess is estimated on a five-point scale. The higher the score - the better the situation with digestion.
Intestine, excretory system
The constitution of a cow requires a large amount of feed. The digestive system recycles absorbed food in 2-3 days. Normally, every animal every day allocates 15-45 kg of feces of liquid consistency. And the kidneys produce 20 liters of urine per day. The cattle intestine is 39-63 meters and exceeds the length of the body without taking into account the tail of the cow by 20 times. It consists of guts that do not require a detailed anatomical description.
Thin, duodenal, jejunum, ileum go from the stomach and are localized in the right hypochondrium at level 4 of the lumbar vertebra along with the pancreas and the liver of the cow. Hepatic tissue is quite dense, and its weight is 1.4% by weight of the animal.
Fiber is broken down and absorbed in the large intestine, and the remnants of feces that have not been digested are brought out to the outside through the rectum and the anus of the cow.
The excretory system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
The kidneys are filtered, they clean the blood, resulting in urine, which through the ureter enters the bladder. Therefore, the sectional renal tissues have a spongy structure resembling a filter. This is an important work that determines the general well-being and condition of animals. In a healthy cow, the weight of these organs is 1-1.3 kg.
Features of the structure and functioning of the nervous system
The organs of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing directly perceive information from the environment. After that, the data obtained through the pathways are delivered to the brain for processing. There they are analyzed, after which the necessary impulses are sent back, determining the specific reactions of the body. This characterizes the work of the nervous system, which provides orientation in the surrounding space, coordination and balance, coordinated work of all organs of the cow. This system is divided into central, peripheral, vegetative parts.
The brain and spinal cord are the central nervous system of the cow. Inside the skull are the cerebellum, the large, oblong, middle, intermediate, end brain. Each of these departments is responsible for certain functions that are controlled through the afferent and efferent fibers of the tract inside the spine.
In addition, throughout the body there are special nodes (ganglia) of the autonomic nervous system, which innervates the internal organs of individual systems.
Thus, healthy kidneys, liver, heart, blood vessels, stomach, intestinal tract, urinary system characterize a productive animal. And their normal functioning is provided by the nervous system.
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