Nakuru farmer increases milk production by letting cows watch TV

A farmer in Nakuru has confirmed that the milk output in dairy cows increases with the introduction of entertainment in the sheds.

Mr. Peter Mathenge, who was challenged to try out the strategy by a Dutch farmer, has installed a television set in his cow shed, which normally plays music videos all day long, and he confesses that he has seen a tremendous improvement in production.

“They (cows) used to produce between 27 and 30 litres (per cow) a day, but after introducing the music system, the yields went up,” said Mathenge in an interview with KBC.

“The music and activities like TV watching relieve the animals, such that they are not stressed and are comfortable.”

But Mr. Mathenge’s test was not just based on an old-farmer’s experience. The effect of entertainment on cow milk yield has been a subject of scientific studies.

Earlier study

Researchers at the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology spent time playing lots of different tunes to cows to find out if it had any effect on milk production.

The study was carried out at LCAH Dairies in Lincolnshire and the Bishop Burton Agricultural College in Humberside, both in the UK.

One thousand Friesian cows were exposed to fast, slow and no music for 12 hours a day, from 5am to 5pm, over the course of nine weeks.

Genre of music

The researchers found out that cows exposed to slow, relaxing music produced 3 per cent more milk (0.73l) than those which were either exposed to fast music or none at all.

"We found that slow music improved milk yields perhaps because it relaxes the cows in much the same way as it relaxes humans,"  Dr Adrian North, who carried out the study with colleague Liam MacKenzie said in an interview with BBC.

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