The grass is not always greener for cows as apparently, they can experience MOOd swings just like the rest of us. According to veterinary experts in Russia, the country’s 20 million-strong bovine population can suffer the winter blues when the summer sunshine gives way to snow and cold snaps.
So, in a bid to reduce their anxiety, one Russian farm has given its dairy cows virtual reality headsets.
The systems were adjusted for the distinctive anatomical features of cow heads and showed a simulation program of a summer field for the animals to enjoy.
Emotions and Milk Yield
Moscow's Ministry of Agriculture and Food cited research that points to a link between a cow's emotional experience and its milk yield. A statement from the ministry said: "Examples of dairy farms from different countries show that in a calm atmosphere, the quantity, and sometimes the quality, of milk increases markedly." Basically, happier cows = more milk.
The VR experiment was conducted on a farm in northwest Moscow, and initial results showed a boost in the overall emotional mood of the herd. Researchers say they will continue to monitor the effects of mood on milk production.as well as lookat the results over a longer term. If positive effects continue to be seen, the plan is to expand the experimental program.
The ministry also noted that some farms are also installing audio equipment to play soothing classical music.
For more information about the research, read the official press release here.