Study: Cows Produce More Milk When They Listen to Slow Jams

Okay, so that headline might look ridiculous at first glance. But let’s remember that farming and raising livestock can be a perilous low-margin business subject to the whims of nature and the marketplace.  Producers will look at anything–and I mean anything–that will give them an edge over uncertainty.

In 2001, scientists–psychologists, actually–at the University of Leicester in England decided to conduct an experiment with dairy cows.  The herd was divided into two groups.  The first group was exposed to fast music; the second heard nothing but slow, rhythmic tunes–slow jams, to use the vernacular.  The cows who heard the slow jams really got into it, milk-wise.  Their production went up 3%–a significant amount in the world of dairy farming.

This idea has been put into practice in a number of places.  In fact, the British Columbia Dairy Association held a contest in 2012 to create the best milk-producing playlists for cows.  (Scroll down for the video.)

A word of warning, though:  no Willie Nelson. His music tends to annoy cows, apparently.  REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from Simon and Garfunkel seem to do the trick.

I gotta tell this to my peeps at Songza…

(Rupinder forwarded this from Neatorama.  More at Modern Farmer, too.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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