Beef cattle are ruminants and ruminants have one large stomach with four compartments. Those compartments are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum.
- The rumen is the largest of the three compartments and contains microorganisms that help digest what the animal eats.
- The reticulum is lined with cells that look like a honeycomb and if a cow happens to pick up a small nail or hardware in their feed the material ends up in the reticulum.
- The omasum has cells that shape into a leaf and the omasum empties into the abomasum.
- The abomasum functions very much like our stomach.