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  • Catherine Wedemeier

Animal Teeth 101

My six year old son was asking why baby calves only have bottom teeth, not top this morning. I didn’t have a good answer, so Farmer Scott gave me the 101 on animal teeth today. Cows tear their food not bite, so they don’t need top front teeth. Lack of these teeth make them naturally eat the soft parts of the plants which provides great nutrition. After cows eat the tops of plants, horses and goats can be brought in to eat the woody stems-they were blessed with a strong row of top and bottom chompers. Next sheep can nibble a plant down to a nubbin due to the split in their top lip, and finally pigs can use their snouts to root out the ground roots. Mimicking nature promotes the natural balance we strive for on our farm, which maximizes whole farm production.

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