"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

April 5, 2011

Chewing the cud

First of all, Grandpa is a fountain of knowledge.  I was out taking pictures of the cows one day and noticed that they were not all chewing in the same way.  Their jaws were going different directions as they chewed.  I went and shared this information with Grandpa and he told me a cool fact about cows chewing their cud.

He said that a cow should chew it between 60-80 times before swallowing it again.  If she chews it more than 80 times, she is getting too much fiber in her diet.  If it is less than 60 times, she is not getting enough fiber in her diet.  I guess this is a really easy way to tell if their feed ration is correct.

So I decided to test this out and count how many times one of the cows chewed her cud.  The cow that I picked chewed 66 times before swallowing.  And then they bring up another cud and start chewing all over again.  It is pretty gross to think about.

Then I counted a few other cows, including Jamster.  Out of 5 times that I counted, Jamster chewed her cud an average of 53 times.  That means that Jamster is not getting enough fiber. 

She thought I wanted a close-up

Another cow that I counted (I don't remember her name, but this is a picture of her) chewed an average of 91 times, so that means that she is getting too much fiber in her diet.

Then Grandpa said that it give a whole new meaning to Psalm 23:

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

When a cow is laying down, she is resting.  But even when she is resting, she can still be doing the work of chewing her cud to nourish her body. 

So when we are at rest in a place of nourishment, we don't need to just sit around doing nothing.  We have the opportunity to do work that helps other people. 

Resting is not necessarily a place of idleness.  When we enjoy what we are doing we can be at rest, and that is when God can use us the best.  But even if we don't enjoy what we are doing, we can still find a place of rest in that circumstance and still focus on God.

Grandpa is a great example of this.  He is retired, yet still likes to work out in the barn, getting his exercise.  It is not something that he is required to do, but he likes to spend time among the cows and see the farm continuing on to the next generation.  Along the way, he has the opportunity to pass along his knowlegde and experiences.

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