HERE’S THE SCOOP:
- Researchers successfully trained 11 out of 16 cows to urinate in a special area dubbed the “MooLoo.”
- Cows were coaxed into the area using a sweet treat made of molasses.
- Training cows on a widespread scale could address the issue of livestock waste, which poses serious environmental risks.
Don’t have a cow, man! Scientists found that cows may be as easy as toddlers to potty train.
Researchers successfully trained 11 out of 16 cows to use the “MooLoo.”
The scientists used positive reinforcements to train the cows. They used a tasty sweet treat to encourage the cows to push through a gate and eliminate their bladders in a designated area.
The researchers found success after just 15 days. Potty training a toddler takes between three and six months on average.
Lindsay Matthews, the study’s senior author, conducted the tests with colleagues at the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology in Germany.
“The cows are at least as good as children, age 2 to 4 years, at least as quick,” said Matthews, an animal behavioral scientist at the University of Auckland.
Scientists began their research to address the problem of a massive amount of livestock waste.
Matthews said that the chemical makeup of urine and feces pose serious environmental issues, such as water contamination and the creation of nitrous oxide.
Surprisingly, potty training the cows may address the issue.
“I am not surprised they can train calves to urinate in set locations, but I am surprised no one has demonstrated this before,” said Brian Hare, an animal cognition scientist at Duke University, who did not partake in the research. “The critical question is can it and will it scale?”