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Sunday, 1 December 2019

Equipping the cows with a virtual reality headset could make them produce better milk



Apparently, the virtual reality is not just for humans ... According to a new Russian experience to say the least unusual, cows wearing a VR helmet displaying virtual environments and stimulants would be in a better mood, and thus would produce a better milk quality.

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Farmers in the Moscow region have placed modified VR (virtual reality) helmets on cows to determine whether such visual (and sonic) stimulation would improve their mood and, consequently, their milk production.

As part of the study project, the livestock benefited from a realistic 3D model of a field, with colors adapted to the animals' eyes, thus offering them a landscape much more pleasant than their confined space within a closed. The helmets have been adapted to the structural features of the cow heads so that they can see properly.


Collaboration between farmers, developers and veterinarians

The technique, proposed by Russian farmers in collaboration with developers and veterinarians, seems to have worked, at least in terms of cow mood.

The first test, conducted on a farm in Krasnogorsk, northwestern Moscow, reduced cow anxiety and increased their overall sense of well-being. Although it is not yet certain that this affects the quality or volume of milk production, a more "comprehensive" study is planned to answer this question.

However, this experience raises some questions: Why not just leave the cows more often in the fields? Is there a risk of disturbing the animals when their helmet has to be removed (for maintenance or changing the battery for example), thus temporarily revealing the sad reality hidden to them?

In a way, it is a solution to a problem created by Man ... But it is equally obvious that this could be considered as an "option" for farms that do not have enough (or at all ) open fields, or for which existing techniques (such as playing nice music) may not be effective.

System developers, meanwhile, plan to extend the VR experience if observations continue to show positive results.



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