29 Jan 2009

Cows with names produce more milk - study

3:23 pm on 29 January 2009

Cows with names such as Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce more milk than those with no names, according to a British study.

Researchers at Newcastle University say cattle given a "personal touch" can produce up to 284 litres of milk more a year.

They say cows feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention - just like people.

Catherine Douglas, who conducted the research, says placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up - not only improves the animal's welfare and her perception of humans, but also increases milk production.

More than 500 British farmers were interviewed. Almost half said the cows on their farms had individual names.