One of my fondest memories from my childhood is living on the farm with my grandparents. My granny used to wake me up early to go milk the cows to make my favorite kheer. She had names for every cow, know the age of the calves, what they liked, how naughty one was and stories about each one. While she caressed the cows, spoke to them, while the milkmen started their work. I was always dazed to see this relationship as the cows greeted her like puppies. Though cows are bred for milk, a cow is more than a family member in most Indian households. Scientists are of the opinion that there is a proven logic behind this.
Dairy cows experience a lot of pressure every day. Under the expectant eyes of the farmers, a lactating cow must let down her milk. Researchers believe that a suitable way of getting milk out of a mother cow is by stroking her and asking her about her day. Also, you should call her by names like Lady Moo, Lakshmi, Gayathri, etc., as the cows with names tend to produce more milk.
What experts have to say?
Experts say that cows with names make more milk than without names. Dairy farmers addressing their cows by names collected around five percent more milk. British researchers once compared the production of the country’s National Milk Record by collecting responses from 516 dairy farmers. Dairy farmers who call the cows by their names got 258 liters of milk more during a 10-month lactation cycle, which is almost a litre extra per day. Also, Catherine Douglas, a cattle behaviorist, revealed that it is not just the name that makes a dairy cow more productive. A cow with a name is more relaxed instead of simply treating her with a number.
Call me Gayathri!
A study reveals that elevated stress hormones can interfere with the milk boosting process. In anxious cows, making milk can be more difficult as they are more likely to kick and stomp. According to an expert, when you call a cow by a name, it makes her feel that you consider her as an individual and you have more of a one-to-one relationship. It is quite interesting to hear that cows with names give more milk. According to the co-authors, Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson, of Newcastle University, the reason behind this is not clear, but she believes that it can have a calm effect while might; otherwise, cows fear people while stepping in the milking parlor.
Cow: Your family member
Being a human being, you must have experienced that your response is better to a personal touch. The same thing applies to cows as well, and it means by communicating with the animals, you can change their perception about humans. Not only that, but it also helps in producing more milk. Many people who own a cow believe that treating every cow as one of your family members is essential. You should love your cows just like you love any other family member. The more you make them feel better, the milk production will increase.
Love begets love, even in cows!
It is important to give the same love and care to animals that you offer to your other family members. Cows are intelligent and can understand human behaviours. Dairy cows cannot start producing milk before they are two years old. In most cases, farmers often ignore them till the time they start producing milk. But it is one of the common mistakes made by farmers. It is said that the more attention you give to your cows, between the ages of six to fifteen months, you can get more milk from them. While science is catching up to this, Indian farmers have treated cows as family members from ages. In most Indian villages, cows are worshipped and revered. Next time you see a cow on the street and someone caressing it or feeding it, remember that love begets love, even in cows.
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