Music moves us in so many ways — so what are the odds that the right songs will moove cows to better milk production? Lely has a new Spotify playlist out that they’re thinking may be able to help increase milk production. And are you surprised? With so many advances in technology for agriculture, it was just a matter of time before the next big thing comes along — even if it has you raising your eyebrow on April 1.
Lely notes that sound influences a cow’s production capability: As soon as sound waves reaches a cow’s inner ear, the tiny hair cells produce nerve impulses that travel via the auditory nerve to the cerebral cortex of the brain where they are interpreted as sound. Cows use the sense of hearing for many different purposes (for example, to sense danger).
Of course, if you’re talking about increasing milk production per animal, most all of the songs have to be about milk, right? Here’s what’s on the playlist:
You may be wondering what is the science behind Lely’s method? According to their website, “Certain sound waves decreases the production of the hormone melatonin. This hormone results in sleepiness, increases the percentage of body fats, and disturbs the animal’s productive capabilities. When the melatonin level decreases, another hormone, viz. IGF-I, increases in the animal’s blood. The function of the IGF-I hormone is to stimulate animal activity and, therefore, milk production.”
Lely has set up an experiment to learn more about the relation of certain sound waves, the IGF-1 hormone level in the blood and the milk production. According to Clemens Duijnisveld, Product Manager Barns at Lely International, it is possible to increase the milk production between 3 percent and 8 percent while maintaining fat and protein content. Cows in the first lactation showed the biggest increase, but this effect decreases as the animals age. There were no adverse side effects measured during the six months test period.
Based on these tests, Lely composed their playlist especially for lactating cows.
Currently Lely looks at the development of cow-earphones to offer cow specific music. Until then, Bluetooth speakers in the barn or letting your cow borrow your Beats just may have to work. More information regarding Lely Sonic can be found here.