The Farm Store News

Ask the Cats

Aspen Johnson

Ask the Cats

Here at the Farm Store, we have two store cats. One of them has been with us for quite a while, and that's Ninja. (He's the large grey cat that people often mistake for a statue when he sits on the Capital Press newspapers.) The other cat, Jynx, has not been with us as long as Ninja has (and no, he's not pregnant, it's just "fluff.") Jynx is the smaller black cat that I sometimes call "Jynx the Speed bump" because he likes to lay in the middle of the floor for people to trip over him.   Ninja (left) and Jynx...

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Digestive System, Part 4: Monogastric

Aspen Johnson

Digestive System, Part 4: Monogastric

Compared to the other digestive systems I've talked about, the monogastric is pretty simple. Hogs, humans, cats and dogs do all of their digestion this way. Although the nutrient requirements vary from species to species, cats must have meat for the taruine, while dogs are considered "optimistic carnivores," they all gain nutrients the same way. While three of the four digestive systems have the same basics; teeth, stomach, cecum, rectum, esophagus... The way they digest are different. Monogastrics are considered to be the simplest digestive system, just in the way that food is processed. The feed starts at the mouth where...

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Digestive System, Part 3: Avian

Aspen Johnson

Digestive System, Part 3: Avian

The avian digestive system is way different from the systems we talked about in the previous two posts, it's different than monogastric systems as well. As some of you may know, birds do not have a stomach, or teeth for that matter. This means that they must have some other way of breaking down food for it to be absorbed into their body. This system includes three different parts before the small intestine. These parts are the crop, proventriculus and gizzard (ventriculus.) These parts help aid in breaking down food particles by mechanical and chemical means. Let's start at the crop....

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Digestive System, Part 2: Hind-Gut Fermenters

Aspen Johnson

Digestive System, Part 2: Hind-Gut Fermenters

Last week's blog post talked about ruminants, this week's will talk about hind-gut fermenters. Horses, rabbits, rats, zebras and guinea pigs are all considered hind-gut fermenters, due to the fact they do most of their digestion after the stomach. There are two different types of hind-gut fermenters; cecal and colon fermenters. Rodents are considered to be cecal fermenters while equines are considered to be colon fermenters. Although the digestive system is similar, there are a few minor differences. Cecal fermenters have two different types of feces, hard and soft. The hard pellets that are seen are indigestible fiber while the soft...

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Digestive System, Part 1: Ruminants

Aspen Johnson

Digestive System, Part 1: Ruminants

Two weeks ago I posted a blog about rabbits and guinea pigs and made a couple of recommendations on what to feed them. This week, I will dive into the topic of the ruminant digestive system. Okay, maybe not dive completely into the topic, but I will scratch the surface. Ruminants are pretty cool, I mean, without them we wouldn't have steak or the popular outdoor activity of hunting. Cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, elk and deer are all ruminants. Simply put, a ruminant has a four compartment stomach and are able to "ruminate" (chew cud.) These four compartments are the rumen, reticulum, omasum...

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