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A new initiative is giving dairy cows the spa treatment

Sammy Nickalls
February 07, 2018

Happy workers leads to more productivity. Makes sense, right? Well, that same sentiment applies to dairy cows, according to new research from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. A new initiative is focusing on the happiness of cows to increase milk production, because a happy and relaxed cow has a happy and relaxed udder, and the whole thing is udderly cute. Nigel Cook, who's been the director of the Dairyland Iniative at the university's School of Veterinary Medicine for the past seven years, visits farms with his team to discuss how to help their cows be less stressed out. Yes, seriously.

"I think it's really important that we give them the spa treatment," Cook told the Associated Press. And they certainly do--they provide workshops and even created a website listing advice on how to cultivate happy cows. 

Some of the biggest concerns include lameness and pain in the legs, as there are many cows that don't have a comfortable resting place. "It impacts the way she rests, the way she milks, the way she eats, her ability to reproduce, and ultimately her ability to stay on the farm," he added.

Get ready for this next whopper, because it’s really damn cute: one of the solutions is taking the cows to the beach. OK, not literally, but but creating a beachy environment on the farm eases their sore legs. "The deep soft bedding of sand creates an environment where cows can rest half the day," Cook told the AP.

Dairy farmer Mitch Brewing, who has 400 cows at Mystic Valley Dairy in Wisconsin, added that he's been taking Cook's advice. "If you take away their stress, they actually produce more milk, and the other thing that is actually interesting is they do it by eating less feed," he said. 

Yes, cows stress-eat. Life can be adorable sometimes.

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