Did you know that cows could be potty-trained? And by doing so, did you know it could help fight against pollution?
According to Science News, researchers in Germany have trained cows to use a small, fenced-in area with artificial flooring as a bathroom stall. This allows farms to capture and treat cow urine, which often pollutes the air, soil, and water; the nitrogen and phosphorus in the urine can also be used as fertilizer.
The average cow pees tens of liters per day, which typically mixes with feces on the floor, emitting ammonia into the air. When out in the field, cow urine can get into waterways and release nitrous oxide.
Lindsay Matthews, a cow psychologist who studies animal behavior at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, is currently potty training 16 calves. Her team gives each cow 45 minutes of “Moohoo training” each day, where the animals are fed every time they urinate in a stall. Matthews advised that cows are “much, much smarter than people give them credit for.”
Jason Hill, a biosystems engineer at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, argued that cutting ammonia emissions from cow urine could help create cleaner air and comfortable living spaces for the cows.
“It’s those ammonia emissions that are key to the real environmental benefit, as well as potential for reducing water contamination.”
“Ammonia from cattle is a major contributor to reduced human health.”
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: USA Today
Temming, M. (2021, September 14). Potty-trained cattle could help reduce pollution. Science News. Retrieved September 23, 2021, from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cow-cattle-pee-potty-training-bathroom-pollution-ammonia.