These cows were asked to wear a VR headset!
Some Moscow-based farmers tried virtual-reality headsets on their dairy cows. Bizarre as it sounds, they wanted to test if it improved cows' mood, and hence milk production. Apparently, it did reduce cows' anxiety, signaling some success at least on a basic level. Now, in the second phase of the experiment, the quality and quantity of the milk produced by VR-wearing cows will be ascertained.
A simulated summer field was shown to the cows
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region, the experiment was conducted as some reports show how "in a calm atmosphere, the quantity, and sometimes the quality, of milk increases markedly." Under the test, cattle were subjected to a "unique summer field simulation program" wherein colors were tuned for the animals' eyes, helping them achieve a better emotional state.
Headsets were adapted to the "structural features" of cows' heads
Developed by the virtual reality studio, in cooperation with veterinarians and consultants, the cows were fitted with a prototype headset that was based on human virtual-reality sets but adapted to suit the structural features of the cattle.
First test showed increased in the overall emotional mood
As per the regional administration, during the first test, "experts recorded a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall emotional mood of the herd." However, "the impact of VR glasses on the milk production of cows will be shown by a further comprehensive study." Evidently, the experimenters intend to scale up the project and modernize the local dairy production.
Some tech-driven methods are already being practised in other countries
Notably, this is not the first time that such an idea has been conceived. In US, farmers install automatically rotating brushes in the stalls to replace the cows' masseurs. In some suburbs of Moscow, farmers and dairy producers "install sound equipment for broadcasting classical music, the relaxing effect of which positively affects milk output", notes the Ministry.