Do Cows Like Music?

Do cows like music? I never gave it a thought and I bet a lot you haven’t either. Have you ever seen cows running towards the sound of music? I came across a similar incident a few days back and because I share my experience with livestock here so I decided to discuss this as well. But let me first tell you exactly what happened.

A new family shifted right next to my farm almost a month ago. The older guy in that family is fond of classical music (and frankly he has a great taste in music). Ever since he moved here, I have noticed him having his afternoon coffee with some music playing in the background. 

That day, my livestock were roaming around in the front yard carelessly as he played the music. I found my cows turning heads to the music. In no time all of them were gathering there to enjoy the enchanting sound of music. This incident leads me to think if cows “really” like music? So, I took a few days, searched for the answers. 

Rest assured, I’m answering all your questions but starting with the one that first came to my mind when I was witnessing the situation.

Do cows like music?

Cows have some sort of appreciation for music, they do like it but not to the point that they can not live without it. And to sound understandable, they do like it but not as much as we do. 

It’s hard to tell what exactly you should expect from the cow to do in appreciation as they are unpredictable but they mostly show fondness by swaying with the rhythm and by trying to follow the sound. They notice, stick around, and get absorbed in its sound. Even the cows that are hard to milk seem calm when they get to hear the soothing music.

Cows respond to music

There are some other animals like dogs, elephants, cats, and birds that enjoy music but the cows’ reaction to hearing the sound of music is priceless. They leave what they are doing to enjoy the soothing sound. 

Playing music on farms is a common practice

American and Chinese farmers are mostly seen hiring musicians for their farms. As per a recent study and the American and Chinese farmer’s belief, the cows that listen to the music daily produce more milk. So, after a noticeable increase in milk yield, they made music a daily ritual.

Kind of music

Classical music for sure because it’s calming and comforting. Upbeat pop music is just not their type. Cows get scared easily so upbeat fast music alarms and scare this poor creature. Upbeat music, with scaring the cows, decreases their productivity.

Classical music helps them in producing more milk

Yes, even if it’s scientifically proven that slow classical music helps them in producing more milk whereas upbeat pop music makes them hold milk in. As per a recent study, slow calming music increases milk production by 3% (5% according to the old experienced livestock keeper), and upbeat music decreases it by 2%. (source)

How music helps in producing more milk?

Music calms the cows and when they are calm their body releases oxytocin that helps them in producing more milk. They also produce more milk because they are less stressed at that time as we humans get more productive when we are calm.

What else do Cows like besides classical music?

Classical music is their absolute favorite but besides it, they seem to enjoy trombones, saxophones, and sometimes even drums. Even though they enjoy it, these options can never be a replacement for classical music.

The modern farmer magazine has some song suggestions for your cows

Since it’s widely accepted and scientifically proven that music increases the milk yield in cows, the modern farmer’s magazine has suggested some songs that most modern livestock keepers are using to entertain their cows. The suggestions are:

  • Concerto for Flute
  • Harp in D Major by Mozart
  • Perfect Day by Lou Reed

There would be several other songs as well but these suggested songs have been proven to put the cows in a less stressful mood.

Indians opinion about cows are fond of music

For Indians, cows and music have been a part of history. They believe that their lord Krishna used to call his cows by playing the flute. As soon as the cows used to hear the music being played by Krishna, they would run to him. So, the Indians were a supporter of this fact when even it wasn’t scientifically proven.

What the researchers at the University of Leicester think of this idea?

The researchers at the University of Leicester had detailed research on this topic. To get more specific answers, they tried playing slow music for some hours then shifted to upbeat and afterward no music at all to observe the cows’ reaction from every possible angle. 

As the researchers observed the cows enjoying slow music they agreed that cows do have some liking for classical music. The researchers later released the list of songs the cows enjoyed. The songs were;

  • Everybody Hurts by R.E.M
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven

In the end, I want to share my experience of playing classical music for three days straight on the farm. On the first day, I noticed a little calmed behavior, the second day went reasonably well with a slight improvement in milk production, and on the third day, they were swaying with the rhythm with a 2 to 3% percent increase in milk yield. And by the way, I played the above-mentioned songs.

More Amazing facts

Summary

Music moves the cows. They appreciate the enchanting sound of music. Cows love music to the point that they would leave what they are doing to live in that beautiful soothing moment. Playing classical music on the farm is a common practice in the USA and China. Livestock keepers and scientists have both agreed to the fact that playing classical music during the milking process helps in producing more milk. Upbeat pop music should be avoided as it scares them and then in reaction they hold the milk in. Besides classical music, they also enjoy trombones, saxophones, and sometimes drums.

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