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Cows with names produce more milk

entertainment Updated: Jan 28, 2009 18:58 IST

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Cows with names make 3.4 per cent more milk in a year than those animals who’re not named, say UK scientists.

The research, which involved 516 dairy farmers, was conducted by Dr Catherine Douglas and Dr Peter Rowlinson at Newcastle University.

The study found that treating the animals as individuals also increased production.

The average amount of milk produced by a cow over its annual 10 month lactation period is 13,198 pints (7,500 litres). Those cows with names had an average higher milk yield of 454 pints (258 litres), reports the Telegraph.

Dr Douglas, from the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University, said: "Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention.

"Many farmers dote on their cows and have long thought that such interaction helps, but it has never really been tested.

"The statistics were significantly different for those cows with name - there was nothing else which could explain it."

The study, which looks at interaction between people and animals, found milk yield to be lower on farms where cattle were herded as a group.

The study has been published in the academic journal Anthrozoos.