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A cannulated cow can be referred to a cow that has been surgically fitted with a cannula. A cannula acts as a porthole-like device that allows access to the rumen of a cow. This allows extensive research and analysis of the digestive system of a cow that otherwise could not have taken place. The practice can be traced back to as early as the 1920s.
A forage analysis can take place due to the access of the rumen through a cannula. Once the cannula is surgically placed in the cow, a cow is then allowed to graze for a certain period of time. Once the allotted time is up, the material that is located in the cannula is collected and tested. This analysis shows producers which forages are optimal for the use of their individual operation.