Potty-trained cows could help save the environment, reduce greenhouse gases

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Scientists have found that cows can be potty-trained and that it might be easier than teaching a toddler.

The study, published by the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) in Germany, found that potty-trained cows could be a great way to cut greenhouse gas emissions as they tend to emit heat-trapping gas methane in belches and flatulence, a significant source of global warming.

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The research involved 16 cows, of which 11 were able to use the “MooLoo” correctly when they needed it. They noted that it took 15 days to train the young calves.

“The cows are at least as good as children, age 2 to 4 years, at least as quick,” said the study’s senior author and animal behavioral scientist at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, Lindsay Matthews.

“Within one or two urinations, most of the animals were walking down that alleyway, pushing open the door and going into the toilet,” said Matthews.

These findings are particularly important because cow urine contains high amounts of nitrate which can create airborne nitrous oxide in soil and can contaminate waterways if not managed appropriately. Toilet training them could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the study’s author believe.

Cows produce high amounts of urine of around 8 gallons every day according to online news media National Public Radio (NPR).

“I am not surprised they can train calves to urinate in set locations, but I am surprised no one has demonstrated this before,” Duke University animal cognition scientist Brian Hare, who took part in the study, was quoted as saying by NPR. “The critical question is: can it and will it scale?”

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