A farmer has turned to virtual reality headsets to make his cooped-up cows think they’re outside in a meadow.
Izzet Kocak, has turned to the high-tech headgear after seeing a study suggesting it makes the cows happier. This, in turn, means they produce more milk.
The herd donned VR systems adapted for the “structural features of cow heads” and were shown a summer field simulation program created specifically in “shades of the red and weaker green and blue tones” that cows can actually see.
Moscow’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food cited research which they say has shown a link between a cow’s emotional experience and its milk yield.
Initial tests reportedly boosted “the overall emotional mood of the herd”.
Kocak says the move is already paying off. He’s given the headsets to two of his cows and noted that milk production went up from 22 liters to 27 liters a day.
Izzet has previously used classical music to try and soothe his cattle. But he says he’s been so impressed with the headsets, he plans to buy ten more of them.
Researchers will examine the effects of the programme in a long-term study. The developers reportedly hope to expand the project if positive results continue.
Russian dairy farmers aren’t the only ones going the extra mile to keep their cows happy and improve product, though. Some Wagyu farmers set mood lighting, among other tricks, to keep their cows calm and producing the best beef possible. Others play them music, which one Missouri farmer says leads to better milk.