Giving Cows Human Names Raises Milk Production
Turns out there's a reason so many farmers call their cows Bessie, Daisy, and Elsie. Recent research suggests that cows given human names, plenty of personal attention, and affection tend to produce more milk. In a study of 516 United Kingdom dairy farmers, 46 percent said they called their cows by name; those farmers also reported a milk yield 258 liters higher than the farmers who did not name their animals.
Up to 66 percent of farmers said they "knew all the cows in the herd" and 48 percent agreed that positive human contact was more likely to produce cows with a good milking temperament. These farmers believe that there is a connection between how well you treat the cow--not just feeding it, but also stroking it, calling it by name and talking to it--and the amount of milk it produces.