Studies into the social networking of cows launched | Pakistan Today

Studies into the social networking of cows launched

How cows make friends is to be investigated in a three-year study. Scientists want to understand more about “social networking” within dairy herds. The aim is to help farmers improve the health and welfare of their cows, thereby increasing milk yields. For the first stage of the research, high-tech “proximity collars” have been fitted to cows on a farm in Cullompton, Devon. The collars use radio signals to determine how close one cow is to another, allowing scientists to map the animals’ social interactions. Study leader Dr Darren Croft, from the University of Exeter’s Animal Behaviour Research Group, said: “Emerging evidence on wild animal populations supports the idea that the group structure and relationships between the animals affect their health and wellbeing. “Cows are social animals that form important group structures, and the addition or removal of animals from an established group can significantly alter its dynamics.”

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