Psychologists at the University of Leicester, UK, analyzed the musical preference of milk cows. Interesting idea. But surprisingly they found out that music actually influences the dairy cow's lactation!
The researchers played different tempos to one-thousand-strong herds of Friesian cattle, 12 hours per day over the course of 9 weeks.
Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, for example, were a big hit in the milking shed. But when rowdy numbers, like Mud's Tigerfeet and Size of a Cow by Wonderstuff, were played, there was no increase in milk yield. But why is that?
"Calming music can improve milk yield, probably because it reduces stress and relaxes the cows in much the same way as it relaxes humans," said Dr Adrian North, who carried out the study with colleague Liam MacKenzie. Some farmers already play music to chickens, as there is anecdotal evidence that it reduces stress.
Dr. North and MacKenzie are now seeking further funding to see whether music can help other animals.