The calf received a reward for “resolving sadness” in the right place – CNN screenshot
In a study published in the scientific journal Current Biology on September 13, animal psychologist Jan Langbein posed the question: “People often think that cattle are different from dogs or cats. , they do not have the ability to control secretion”.
“But our research shows that cattle are quite intelligent, we can absolutely train them to use the toilet when needed,” Langbein was quoted as saying by CNN.
This scientific work is the result of a cattle training project carried out by experts from the German Institute of Farm Animals, the German National Institute of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Auckland (New Zealand).
At the beginning of the project, cows were raised in closed toilets. Now, whenever they defecate or urinate, they will be rewarded with crushed barley or a mixture of electrolyte water.
“Then when they return to the outdoor barn, the cows know to go back to the toilet to receive the reward. They will soon realize that they are only rewarded if they come here to defecate,” said Neele Dirksen, a scientist at the WC. German Farm Animal Research Institute, explained.
In addition to the rewards, the team will forcefully pour cold water on the cows as a punishment to deter them when they go to the toilet in the wrong place.
After 10 days of practice, 11 out of 16 cows in training knew to go to the toilet when it needed to “treat”.
A representative of the research team said that cattle excrete about 30-40kg of feces and 8 liters of urine per day. If this amount of waste is not collected properly, they will cause significant harm to the environment.
According to CNN, in Europe, 90% of ammonia emissions come from agriculture. In particular, emissions from livestock activities account for more than half of this figure.
Ammonia gas from cow waste does not directly cause climate change, but when mixed with soil, it converts to nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas harmful to the environment. In addition, this amount of waste also contaminates the local soil and water sources.