“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. Inspires Dairy Cows to Produce More Milk

A University of Leicester study proves that slow tunes make cows produce up to 3% more milk.

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Photo: Gobblin

Isn’t it strange when pet owners say their cats and dogs love listening to Norah Jones and Simon & Garfunkel? As it turns out, their claims might not be that ludicrous.

A recent study by two psychologists revealed that dairy cows produce more milk when they listen to slow, rhythmic music. How is this possible? A stressed cow releases less oxytocin, the hormone behind milk production.

Modern Farmer reports:

“The 2001 University of Leicester study reported that songs like ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘ soothed cows enough to produce the most milk, while such Y2K Euro club classics like Mousse T vs. Hot N Juicy’s ‘Horny’ failed to produce such positive lactational results.”

Listen to R.E.M.’s classic early ’90s hit and see if you, too, slip into a state of oxytocin-stimulating serenity…

Kristine Spadgenske, who milks about 250 cows on her dairy farm in Minnesota, tells Modern Farmer, ”At our farm you can always tell when the radio is not on because the cows are way more jumpy and less likely to come into the parlor.

In 2012, the British Columbia Dairy Association created a “Music Makes More Milk” contest, asking the public to create and submit songs that cows would “vote” on based on milk production.

The winner was “A Moo Down Dairy Lane,” a soft-core melody reminiscent of elevator music, which you can listen to below.

“[In studies] animals seemed, in general, to find slow, rhythmic music most relaxing,” Leanne Alworth, assistant director of University Research Animal Resources at the University of Georgia’s School of Veterinary Medicine, told Modern Farmer. “Perhaps easy listening or new age would be best.”

Here are two recommended “playlists to milk by,” courtesy of Modern Farmer.
lou Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. Inspires Dairy Cows to Produce More Milk

[via Modern Farmer]

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