Happy cows may come from California, but slow jams and easy listening music also keeps cows happy while increasing milk production.
According to Food World News, the connection between music and milk production dates back to 2001, when a study from the University of Leicester in England discovered that playing slower tunes, defined as fewer than 100 beats per much, to a dairy herd at a large farm increased milk production by 3 perfect.
In the study that used 1,000 Holstein cows, researchers played music 12 hours a day — from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cows that heard slow music — defined as less than 100 beats per minute such as Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” — produced 3 percent more milk than cows that heard fast music defined as greater than 120 beats per minute such as the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR.”
Milk production results of the study were as follows:
- Slow music = 50.88 pounds of milk per day.
- No music = 50.48 pounds of milk per day.
- Fast music = 49.36 pounds of milk per day.
However, for many dairy farmers, the news was far from shocking.
"In terms of music, in my 30 years working with dairy cows, I have found that music can be beneficial to the well-being of the cows, but it must be consistent and calming," says Juan Velez, executive VP of Aurora Organic Farms, from Colorado. "If the music volume is kept constant and the style of music is consistent, and everything else in that parlor is well managed and maintained, music can have a positive effect on milk let down."
In 2012, the British Columbia Dairy Association held a contest to challenge participants to find the best song for milk production. The winning video, embedded above, was called “A Moo Down Milk Lane.”
So what does the ideal playlist for increased milk production look like? According to OpenCulture, it looks something like this:
- “Everybody Hurts,” REM
- “What a Difference A Day Makes,” Aretha Franklin
- “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon & Garfunkel
- “Moon River,” Danny Williams
- “Orinoco Flow,” Celtic Woman
- “Perfect Day,” Lou Reed