Cows taught to urinate in a potty
In this way we protect nature, scientists said, recalling that livestock urine is an environmental problem.
Researchers trained cows to defecate in a special pot. It turned out that the task was even easier than with the children. The researchers were able to train 11 of the 16 cows that participated in the experiment.
As some parents practice, researchers have resorted to treats to teach cows to urinate in a special device and have achieved results after only 15 days in young calves. Some children find it harder to defecate on a potty and learning takes longer, experts say.
“Cows are at least as good as children between the ages of two and four, at least they’re doing as fast as they are,” said study leader Lindsay Matthews, who works on animal behavior at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He has worked with colleagues in an animal research laboratory in Germany.
Matthews emphasizes that the huge amounts of urine excreted by animals is a serious environmental problem. The specialist started the experiment after participating in a radio interview in New Zealand about the problem of livestock waste.
Urine contains nitrogen, and when mixed with feces, ammonia is formed, an environmental problem associated with acid rain, Matthews said. In addition, water can become contaminated with nitrates and form nitric oxide, which pollutes the air.
Cows excrete a lot of urine. A cow can excrete about 30 liters a day, Matthews said. In 2019, nitric oxide is 7 percent of the greenhouse gases in the United States, according to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Toilet-trained animals will make it easier to manage waste products and help reduce emissions, said Donald Broome, a professor at the University of Cambridge.