Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not Just An Ear Tag With A Number

The Sunday Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue just gets better and better, and for this farm boy the best item in the 2009 edition is that dairy cows that have names seem to produce more milk than those that don't.

A study of several hundred British dairies published in the journal Anthrozoös compared responses to a survey about cow treatment with independently collected milk data and found that cows that have names make, in a given year, about 258 liters more milk per farm than anonymous ones -- a bump of about 6 percent.

Some farmers name their cows alphabetically, but herb and flower names are especially popular in Britain.

Illustration by Jan Kallwejt

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