In Russia found out how virtual reality affects the well-being of cows

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Virtual reality helmets, which enable people to feel in the computer-generated world, were only offered for sale on a large scale a few years ago. Today, however, they are used not only in the field of computer games but also in medicine to treat all kinds of mental disorders and alleviate fears. Recently, Russian farmers and employees of one of the technology companies have decided to find out if it is possible to use virtual reality to influence the emotional state of cows. They did an experiment with special helmets placed on the heads of animals, as if cows were brought from a gray autumn farm to a bright summer field.

Cow in a virtual reality helmet

Farmers from all over the world strongly believe that the environmental conditions and the emotional state of the cows have a direct impact on the quantity and quality of the milk they produce. For example, some American farmers buy special machines with brushes that massage and soothe cows. Farmers of livestock farming in Europe offer the greatest possible opportunity for hiking. In Russia, previous experiments were carried out trying to influence the emotional state of the cows with the help of classical music. Now it seems that the time has come for virtual reality.

Incidentally, the virtual reality can calm a person even during a surgical procedure.

How can the quality of cow's milk be improved?

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Moscow region reported on a new experiment. The location of the farm and the name of the Russian company that provided the virtual reality helmets were not disclosed, but the results of the study were partially shared. During the experiment, special helmets were placed on the cow heads, with their screens and lenses set to match the position of the cow's eyes.

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Farm workers near Moscow and a cow wearing a VR helmet

In addition, the developers took into account that cows see the world differently than humans – they see red the best and have little understanding of greens and blues. Against this background, the developers have created a virtual space in the form of a bright summer field with lush vegetation. It was demonstrated to the cows with customized virtual reality helmets. The authors of the study reported that the cows actually felt less stress, only that they did not provide specific data on the degree of anxiety before and after the experiment.

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It may well be that Russian farmers, with a combination of virtual reality and music therapy, are able to increase the amount of milk produced. If the cows feel happier and listen to classical music on a virtual summer field, their milk can also become more useful. This assumption was proven in 2016, when scientists from the US state of Wisconsin conducted a study in which they observed an increase in the amount of calcium in the milk of lucky Jersey cows.