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A new study has found that slow music can help ease stress in cows and raise milk production
"Happy cheese comes from happy cows" is a slogan made famous by the Real California Milk company, but studies are showing that the slogan has more merit than you might think.
Modern Farmer reports that scientists at the University of Leicester have found that slow music can help relieve stress in cows and increase the amount of milk they produce by 3 percent. Dairy farms are noisy, hectic and cramped places, which can easily stress out a cow.
Dairy farmers enlist many high tech techniques, such as climate control, to help keep the cows calm, but more and more farmers are saying that slow music is the best helper of all. Juan Velez, executive vice president of Aurora Organic Farms, spoke about the effect of music on cows: “In terms of music, in my 30 years working with dairy cows, I have found that music can be beneficial to the well-being of the cows, but it must be consistent and calming."
However, not just any slow music will do. Though music piped over loudspeakers has primarily been used to entertain dairy farm workers on the job, some farmers have found that certain artists really irritate the cows. One Texan dairy farmer said she plays Spanish-language tunes for her Latino employees, but has to be careful with what she plays. “Our cows will tolerate some country and western, but they do not like Willie Nelson," she said.
The Independent reports that the music is less about the content of the lyrics and more related to its ability to drown out the mechanical sounds of the farm.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons