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Just 5 Minutes Of Neck Scratches Make Dairy Cows Happier, Calmer

By Shyla Cadogan

 In the dairy industry, keeping calves happy and healthy is important, especially during weaning. New research shows that a little human interaction can do the trick — particularly if it means a nice neck-scratching for the young cows.

Scientists from the University of Florida might be a welcome, cost-effective discovery for farmers. Their new study shows that socialization with other calves and humans, even if only for five minutes, can improve their well-being.

“Calves are active and seek stimulation following milk-feeding, so providing more things to do, like brushing, may calm calves, reducing sucking behaviors after feeding and increasing rest,” says Emily K. Miller-Cushon, PhD, of the University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences, in a statement.

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