Do cows and goats really produce more milk if they listen to music?
posted 14 years ago
marilyn.........you'll only know if you try.........don't EVER leave a stone unturned......music....really...is the great emancipator.......what do you think?........dg
posted 11 years ago
Yes. Milk production is reliant upon the sound of the kid's bleating - any music that approximates that sound to a mother in lactation may result in increased milk production. Ditto cows, etc.
Music also soothes the spirit of most creatures and any creature being asked to increase milk production for non-offspring consumption probably appreciates having their spirits soothed.
Music also increases the general positive ambiance of an environment that can be stressful - like a barn full of nursing mothers with painfully swollen udders waiting to be milked or a family goat who knows that music means a pleasant time of being part of the human family while being milked, which is clearly a family activity.
Three reasons to whistle or hum or sing while you work.
Have any of you ever seen that Mythbusters where they play music and speech to a number of plants that they are growing? The control group had no music or speech played to them. Every batch of plants that had some sort of music or speech grew more than the control, but death metal did the best!
Some scientists in South Korea did a similar experiment with similar results, and also noticed that certain plant genes become more productive at different frequency of vibration:
I wonder if the experiments were done in a closed or outside enviroment. Certainly indoor plants benefit from getting a good "shake" every now and then. It helps with developing the strength of the parts of plants. Naturally plants are exposed to wind and water that challenge there ability to stay upright and in the beneficial foliage "structure" to absorb light. It wouldn't surprise me if having a strong "Stem" helped with water and nutrient uptake and that the vibrations of the air helped stimulate that strength by subtly "shaking" them.
As a lactating mammal (aka breastfeeding mama), I know that having calming music helps with the "let down" of milk--but that's just getting the milk out, not how much is made. It would be wonderful if music impacted milk production, for both dairy animals and breastfeedings moms. I know quite a few mothers who struggled with low production, and it would be wonderful is something as simple as music could increase production.
Ah-ha! There was actually a study done on mothers pumping milk for the NICU babies, and music did help increase milk production, especially when combined with guided relaxation. The study, sadly, did not isolate the music from the guided relaxation, though.
In my opinion, in my experience, I don't think there is even a question if this is true or not; in fact I do not know of any dairy farm I have ever been in that did not have music playing.
Now what KIND of music was a different matter, My uncle said it had to be Country Music because he liked it of course, but for me... who would rather listen to STATIC than County Music, I said it was rock and roll.
When he was away on the rare occasion, we used to dig into the green chop oats and then watch him ponder when the milk slips came back much higher when he was gone. We allowed it was on account of the clasic rock that we played, and it was quite a few times that we did this before he caught on.
We laugh now, but on a dairy farm with 18 hour days 7 days a week, it did not take much to amuse us.
A sincere thank you to all of Permies Forums for making Christmas special to Katie and I, and our four daughters. Thank you!
My only experience with dairying was 6 alpine milk goats 3 decades ago. My first year was terrible milk production. I failed to keep a set time schedule, varied the feed too often, was hit n miss on grain/pellets while they were milked, was often in a rush, plus not in the greatest mood myself. By the second year I had learned to dramatically change my ways. Production went from a miserable less than a quart a day to almost a gallon daily after freshening (per goat). Milking time became a time of gentle peace, soft movements, methodical schedule and procedures. Plus I learned to hum. So was it my humming or was it the more serene atmosphere? Both?
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com