Singing in the Parlor

When we first started milking goats, we had one particular gal who just didn’t want to keep her feet still when in the stanchion.  One day, simply out of frustration, I started singing the Happy Birthday song, and amazingly the stamping and kicking stopped.  Little did I know that with those few musical notes I had not only started something that worked, but there have been studies done on the effect of music on dairy animals!  

I recently found this article and thought it was just too good not to share.  We have learned that a few choice notes can do the trick, so feel free to use this advice to make your milking parlor downright joyful!

The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows’ milk production.
Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society

When it’s time to buckle down and focus, plenty of office workers will put on headphones to help them drown out distractions and be more productive. But can music also help dairy cows get down to business?
Some dairy farmers have long suspected that’s the case. It’s not unheard of for farmers to play relaxing jams for their herds to boost milk production, as the folks at Modern Farmer recently .
A tantalizing article out of the University of Leicester in the U.K. appeared to lend credence to those claims. It found that milk production went up by as much as 3 percent when cows listened to slow tunes like R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water,” rather than faster songs.
Apparently, slow songs with less than 100 beats per minute hit the milking sweet spot, the researchers found.

“It seems that slow music had the effect of alleviating stress and relaxing the animals, which resulted in greater milk yields,” Adrian North, a music researcher and one of two psychologists who conducted the study, at the time the findings were released. 

“We don’t really know what the relationship is between cows’ musical preferences and milk production”, she tells us. “It may be more that the music blocks out unpleasant or unexpected noises” — such as from milking machinery.

We love the idea of Bessie and friends as music aficionados.

excerpts from :  Moo-d Music: Do Cows Really Prefer Slow Jams?  by Maria Godoy

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