Better Quality Milk Comes from Comfortable Cows
Comfortable cows produce better quality milk, according to one dairy farmer in England, who provides waterbeds for his herd. Although this may seem like an extravagant and unusual effort to make, some other dairy farmers are also making their bovines more comfortable in an attempt to get better milk and higher yields at a lower cost.
Making Cows Comfortable for Better Quality Milk
Specially designed rubber waterbeds are not the only comforts provided to cows at Brue Valley Farms in Glastonbury, Somerset, in the United Kingdom. The bovines also are serenaded by classical music in the milking shed. Bosses at Brue say their happy cows allow them to produce a better product.
According to Director of Herds Robert Clapp, “Our herds enjoy top quality treatment and in return they create delicious, creamy milk that goes into producing the best quality Farmhouse Cheddar.”
Cows in the United Kingdom are not the only ones getting comfortable. Dairy farmers in the United States have been known to invest in waterbeds for their cows as well. An Ohio dairy farmer, Bill Timmons, reported in 2008 that his milk production had risen 20 percent in two weeks after he installed waterbeds for his cows.
Cows in Spain are treated to Mozart, and they reward their owner, Hans Pieter Sieber, not only with more milk, but a product that is higher in healthy fats and protein than milk from cows that don’t listen to classical music. Sieber also claims that his milk has a sweeter taste as well.
In January 2009, a study released by Newcastle University and published in the journal Anthrozoos reported that farmers who named their cows could expect an improved milk yield. According to Catherine Douglas of the university’s School of Agriculture, cows “feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention.”
Douglas and her colleagues surveyed 516 dairy farmers in the United Kingdom, and nearly half said they called their cows by name, while also reporting higher milk production.
Although it may seem unconventional, keeping cows comfortable and relaxed by giving them waterbeds, music, and one-on-one attention seems to improve milk quality and production yields.
New York Daily News, January 29, 2009
Telegraph, August 26, 2010
UPI.com, March 18, 2008