What can a toilet-trained cow mean to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Toilet training cows. Possible and can help reduce greenhouse gases. Pollution and water pollution, New research reveals.

A new article by University of Auckland researchers Lindsay Mathews and Douglas Elif, published jointly with German colleagues, shows that cows can be trained to urinate in the “toilet”, which prevents them from catching urine. It can be dealt with first. Pollutes the environment

Cow’s urine is high in nitrogen Large water pollution And nitrous oxide emissions – a greenhouse gas that accounts for 12% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Lindsay Mathews' research shows that cows are toilet trained.


Lindsay Mathews’ research shows that cows are toilet trained.

Cattle urine is a major cause of our nitrogen problem. Elf, a professor of psychology at Auckland University, said there would be a reduction.

Read more:
* Sending dairy calves to beef farms can reduce our carbon footprint.
* Unexpected and unavoidable consequences of living with climate change.
* The AgResearch project to determine if dairy cows can be trained.

Research shows that calves have the ability to urinate, and like children, toilet training can be done using the reward system.

The couple worked on a farm with 16 calves. Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology. In Germany.

First, they showed that most calves could be trained to urinate.

By putting collars on calves that urinate in the wrong place, the researchers found that although the vibration did not hurt them, most calves learned to walk a short distance from the latrine pen.

After that, the researchers added distances that the cows had to walk to the latrine, and the calves were rewarded when they urinated in the pen.

Studies with 16 calves show that most were able to urinate in the toilet.


Studies with 16 calves show that most were able to urinate in the toilet.

By the end of the 15-day training, three-quarters of the animals were urinating in the toilet, according to Matthews, who has a PhD on learning and prioritizing in the countryside.

The majority of calves learn in 20 to 25 urine, Mathews said.

Meanwhile, Mathews and Elf are keen to apply their research to the New Zealand setting.

The couple said that compared to the Northern Hemisphere, where cows spend more time in barns, New Zealand cows spend more time outside, which can make training more difficult.

However, installing a latrine outside can be considered, and partial collection of urine will also have an environmental impact.

“If we can collect 10 or 20 percent of the urine, it will be enough to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nitrate emissions,” Elf said.

Matthews and Elf have also met with representatives of the New Zealand dairy industry, who are interested in how the results can be applied to help them. Meet emissions targets

The couple said using. Urine detection sensors And an automated reward system can help make animal training economically viable.

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