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  1. #1
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Cows toilet trained to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Well, who knew?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europ...D&xtor=ES-213-[BBC%20News%20Newsletter]-2021September14-[top+news+stories]

    Cows toilet trained to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Published
    17 hours ago


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    media captionA cow uses a MooLoo as part of an experiment

    Cows can be toilet trained in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, researchers have said.


    In the study, which took place in Germany, scientists trained the animals to use a designated toilet. Their urine was then collected and treated.


    The ammonia from cows' urine turns into the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide when it's mixed with soil.


    Worldwide, about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities comes from cattle.


    Researchers attempted to teach 16 cows to use the toilet, dubbed the "MooLoo", at a farm owned by the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology.


    The animals were placed in the MooLoo pen and were rewarded with food for urinating. After this, they were then placed in an area next to the MooLoo and rewarded for walking into the pen and urinating.




    Those who urinated outside of the MooLoo were sprayed with water for three seconds.


    As part of the third stage of training, the distance from the toilet was extended, and the rewards and punishments continued.







    By the end of the 10 training sessions, researchers found that 11 of the animals were successfully toilet trained.

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    "Very quickly, within 15 to 20 urinations on average, the cows would self-initiate entry to the toilet," Lindsay Matthews, a researcher involved in the study told Radio New Zealand.


    "By the end, three quarters of the animals were doing three-quarters of their urinations in the toilet," he said.


    IMAGE SOURCE,FBN
    image caption The animals were rewarded with treats for using the designated toilet-

    "The calves showed a level of performance comparable to that of children and superior to that of very young children," the study said.



    Researchers say that capturing 80% of cattle urine in a model like the MooLoo could lead to a 56% reduction in ammonia emissions.


    They also say that reducing the levels of urine in the animals' living area will improve their hygiene and welfare.

    Last edited by Bogertophis; Yesterday at 12:15 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    On one hand, I think it's really cool that scientists or people in general can stretch the limits by teaching animals cool new things. On the other hand it is extremely frustrating to me that these "climate scientists" sometimes seem to ignore biology by having very myopic ideas and seem to have missed some vitally important insights into the negative impacts putting this into practice could have. The ammonia/nitrogen cycle is a very important part of nature and this could devastate plant life and ruin soil if it gets carried away. If done properly, it could correct an imbalance present by the technology already used in meat/dairy farming that goes away from grass feeding, which is more natural and handles a huge biochemical load of waste, but I'd rather see the meat/dairy industry just go back to its roots on that one all together because it's healthier for the consumers of the meat/dairy anyway... what goes into prey animals goes into the predators, just like the importance of feeding feeder rodents and insects quality food impacts our reptiles.
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    Bogertophis (Yesterday)

  5. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I don't think this would be very practical to implement anyway- just thought it was interesting. I don't think you need to worry that MooLoo's will ever catch on.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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