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article imageHappy cows produce more milk

By Naved Akhtar     Jan 29, 2009 in Food
A team at Newcastle University’s School of Agriculture has found that if cattle are named and treated with a “more personal touch” can increase milk production by up to 500 pints a year.
The study published in the journal Anthrozoos, involved 516 farmers across the UK and found that farmers who named their cows gained a higher yield than the 54% who did not name their cattle.
Dairy farmer, Dennis Gibb, who co-owns Eachwick Red House farm outside Newcastle agreed with the finding. He told the BBC: “They aren’t just our livelihood, they’re part of the family. We love our cows here at Eachwick and everyone has a name.
“Collectively we refer to them as ‘our ladies’ but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality.”
Dr Catherine Douglas led the research and told the BBC: “Our data suggests that, on the whole, UK dairy farmers regard their cows as intelligent beings capable of experiencing a range of emotions.” She went on to say: “Placing more importance on knowing the individual animals and calling them by name can, at no extra cost to the farmer, also significantly increase milk production.”
Some UK farmers have believed in this philosophy for some time – In 2007, the Observer Food monthly reported that contented cows make great steaks.
More about Cows, Milk, Happy cows, Newcastle university
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