Get out, men! Cows prefer to be cuddled by women, research shows

  • Cuddling cows can be an effective way to relieve stress and anxiety
  • Cows show a strong preference for interactions with females compared to males

They aren’t the first animal you think of when considering therapy.

But cuddling cows can be an effective way to ease stress and anxiety, especially if you’re a woman, a new study shows.

Researchers recruited 11 participants and two Holstein bulls named Magnus and Callum to take part in their study.

The cows spent 45 minutes of contact time with each person and often smoked or licked them and accepted food from them.

They also allowed physical interactions in the form of hugs, grooming, stroking or kissing.

They aren’t the first animal you think of when considering therapy. But cuddling cows can be an effective way to ease stress and anxiety – especially if you’re a woman, a new study shows (stock image)

The animals rarely made unfriendly or aggressive gestures toward them, although they occasionally refused to interact.

All participants reported having an overall positive session with the cows and most said they would recommend cow therapy to a friend.

Analysis also revealed that the cows showed a strong preference for interactions with females compared to males, and in turn the females reported stronger attachment behavior towards the cows.

Dr. Katherine Compitus, one of the authors of the study from New York University, said: ‘We found in the current study that bovine assisted therapy can not only be an effective treatment model that benefits human participants, but also enrich appears to be for the cattle participants. also, as evidenced by their proximity to and continued interactions with humans.”

Analysis revealed that the cows showed a strong preference for interactions with females compared to males, and in turn the females reported stronger attachment behavior towards the cows (stock image)

Analysis revealed that the cows showed a strong preference for interactions with females compared to males, and in turn the females reported stronger attachment behavior towards the cows (stock image)

One participant said she was worried the bulls would be more aggressive, but she “fell in love with cows” after the session.

‘Without further testing, it is unclear whether the animals attracted the attention of women in general, or whether the women were more likely to perform the actions compared to the male participants,’ Dr Compitus added.

‘This is exciting because it opens up a new area as to whether some therapies may be stronger primarily based on gender and not procedure.’

Dr. Sonya Bierbower, from the US Military Academy West Point, also participated in the study.

She said cows have special behavioral traits that allow them to bond with people in ways unique to their size and temperament.

The team wrote in the journal Human-Animal Interactions: ‘Cattle are herd animals and thrive in a social environment.

‘The behavioral characteristics exhibited by the oxen in this study demonstrate their desire to interact socially with people.’

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FARMING COWS

Livestock animals are notorious for producing large amounts of methane, which is a major contributor to global warming.

Each of the farm animals produces the equivalent of three tons of carbon dioxide per year and the amount of animals is increasing as the need to feed a growing population increases.

Methane is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases, trapping 30 times more heat than the same amount of carbon dioxide.

Scientists are investigating how feeding different diets can make livestock more climate-friendly.

They believe feeding seaweed to dairy cows can help and also use a herb-rich food called the Lindhof sample.

Researchers found that cows’ methane emissions were reduced by more than 30 percent when they ate ocean algae.

In research conducted by the University of California, small amounts of it were mixed into the animals’ feed in August and sweetened with molasses to disguise the salty taste.

As a result, methane emissions fell by almost a third.

β€œI was very surprised when I saw the results,” says Professor Ermias Kebreab, the animal scientist who led the study.

“I didn’t expect it to be so dramatic with a small amount of seaweed.”

The team now plans to conduct another six-month study of a seaweed diet in beef cattle starting this month.