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Can You Potty Train a Cow?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the we're-going-to-need-a-bigger-diaper dept.

Idle 214

sciencehabit writes "Think potty training a child is hard? Try teaching a cow when and where to do its business. The bovines can defecate nine to 16 times daily, creating big hygiene problems on dairy and beef farms. So cueing the animals to go in the right place would be a big help for managing manure. But past techniques—including training cows to respond to mild electric shocks—have proven ineffective or impractical for wide use. To see if they could come up with a better potty prompt, scientists tested a series of stimuli on a dozen Holstein cows. The milkers stood in or walked through a footbath filled with water, for example, or had air or water sprayed on their feet. Alas, '[n]one of our tests reliably stimulated defecation,' the team reports."

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Apparently not. (4, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907699)

I love when the headline question is answered right there in the summary.

Re:Apparently not. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907843)

Change the topic to Ask Slashdot, and let's see if we can figure this out! My recommendation is to try cow hypnosis.

Re:Apparently not. (1)

Prokur (2445102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908049)

Ask Slashdot is not a direct question, so Betteridge's law is not working here.

My chickens know where not to go (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907887)

but they go there anyway. So I trained the dogs to only chase the chickens when they go on the deck and pool. That works pretty good if the dogs are outside. One of the chickens flew out of the back yard the other day and a big crow cornered her in a hydrangea at the front of the house. I came to see what all the commotion was and scared the crow away. The chicken waddled behind me into the back yard and she hasn't flown out since.

last date (2)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908555)

And the girls asks "So what do you do for a living?" ...

News for nerds. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907711)

Ladies and gentlemen: Slashdot in 2013.

Death camps not enough (-1, Troll)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907725)

Standing still in a small area with no access to sun light or stimuli isn't enough.

Now you have to shit on order and be semi-tortured into doing so.

Fuck meat and diary consumers.

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

guises (2423402) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907769)

It's not nearly so bad for dairy cows as it is for steer, and even steer get some sun. You're thinking of pigs and chickens - they're the ones that are most severely abused and are generally kept in dark cages indoors for their entire lives.

Re:Death camps not enough (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907825)

Fuck meat and diary consumers.

Think of the trees !

Re:Death camps not enough (4, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908007)

That would be slightly disgusting, but hey, if screwing with meat floats your boat....

Personally I don't mind animals suffering for my pleasure - in fact, looking at my gadgets and my way of living, I'd go as far as apparently, I don't mind humans suffering for my pleasure. I wear clothes produced by cheap labor in India, I use computers produced by cheap labor in China, I eat meat produced under horrible conditions; however, it does make my life pretty nice.

Re:Death camps not enough (1, Flamebait)

six025 (714064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908393)

That would be slightly disgusting, but hey, if screwing with meat floats your boat....

Personally I don't mind animals suffering for my pleasure - in fact, looking at my gadgets and my way of living, I'd go as far as apparently, I don't mind humans suffering for my pleasure. I wear clothes produced by cheap labor in India, I use computers produced by cheap labor in China, I eat meat produced under horrible conditions; however, it does make my life pretty nice.

There is an old saying: two wrongs don't make a right.

We are conscious of our actions and can therefore exercise control over what we choose to consume. Food is one of our most basic requirements for survival but meat is a luxury, and demonstrably not necessary to function in society. Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle will help put an end to the needless suffering of animals, and is a "good" choice for many other reasons including sustainability and the environment.

Peace,
Andy.

Two Wrongs (1)

neoshroom (324937) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908465)

There is an old saying: two wrongs don't make a right.

Lying is wrong. Breaking the law is wrong. Lying to the Nazi's about how you are illegally keeping Anne Frank in your attic is right. Sometimes two wrongs can make a right.

However, I agree with you. Animals should be treated better and vegetarianism is a noble choice.

Now if only we combined the wrongs associated with our penchant for meat-eating, the wrongs of our love of processed foods and the wrongs of our genetically engineering without long-term testing to make some mass-produced, tasty meat-in-a-lab, and we might be able to turn meat eating into right as well...

Re:Two Wrongs (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908567)

And Goodwin!

Re:Two Wrongs (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908739)

"Godwin"...

"Goodwin!" sounds like "good win!"

Re:Two Wrongs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908667)

In your example, I don't think many people would argue that either breaking the law or lying were wrong when dealing with Nazis. It's a terrible example.

Re:Two Wrongs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42909263)

Also, one of the rules of internet fight club is: first person to bring up nazi's or hitler loses the argument.

Well... it should be a rule...

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908467)

Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle will help put an end to the needless suffering of animals, and is a "good" choice for many other reasons including sustainability and the environment.

And choosing a pompous lifestyle where you constantly push your views on others without being prompted is a "good" choice for many reasons too, including not making friends, being despised and unloved, and generally being a prick to those around you in the environment.

Re:Death camps not enough (5, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908551)

So plants should suffer instead? Have you seen how they grow plants these days? Most of them don't ever get to put their roots in soil, but are grown on horrible artificial conditions!

Where does your do good end? Is your clothes made under proper sustainable conditions? How about your computer? Your car? Furniture?

If I had the money to live "right", I'd (probably) do it, but for me to live the way I want, someone has to suffer. Sure I could forgo the telly, the car, the flushing toilet - I could probably live on vegs for a decade or two before dying from malnutrition. (Oh did someone just say vitamin supplement? You know what suffered to make those pills? Pigs.)

Spare me the feel good, do-gooder bullshit. You might think you are doing it right, but fact is, people, plants and animals are suffering just the same for you to live your way.

Re:Death camps not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908565)

Despite the obvious troll, I am compelled to reply. Everything I want to say is here [thebestpag...iverse.net] . I especially like: "Every year millions of animals are killed by wheat and soy bean combines during harvesting season".

Do you grow all of your own food? No, you don't, so you also contribute to animal suffering on an industrial scale. I guess living 'sustainably' and making a 'good' choice is all well and good so long as you aren't too inconvenienced by it. Once it's too inconvenient, you are only too happy to have small animals fed to the harvester for your comfort and enjoyment.

Hypocrite.

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909107)

That would be slightly disgusting, but hey, if screwing with meat floats your boat....

Personally I don't mind animals suffering for my pleasure - in fact, looking at my gadgets and my way of living, I'd go as far as apparently, I don't mind humans suffering for my pleasure. I wear clothes produced by cheap labor in India, I use computers produced by cheap labor in China, I eat meat produced under horrible conditions; however, it does make my life pretty nice.

There is an old saying: two wrongs don't make a right.

We are conscious of our actions and can therefore exercise control over what we choose to consume. Food is one of our most basic requirements for survival but meat is a luxury, and demonstrably not necessary to function in society. Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle will help put an end to the needless suffering of animals, and is a "good" choice for many other reasons including sustainability and the environment.

Peace, Andy.

It doesn't seem like the he thinks mistreating animals and people is right, is more like he just doesn't care if they are mistreated as long as his food is delicious and electronics are cheap.

Re:Death camps not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908727)

You are a fucking moron.

Re:Death camps not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908045)

And yet none of you seem to care about all the innocent grasses and shrubs that are saved from wholesale slaughter due to the unbridled savagery that are free-range cows.

Of course corn, being the evil little bitch that it is, holds exception. It simply deserves to be eaten by those death camp Nazi cattle.

Fuck herbivores.

Re:Death camps not enough (2)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908051)

It's quite possible to find animal and dairy produce which comes from animals who lived outdoors in uncramped conditions. Can't speak of the US system but in Europe there are legally defined terms to describe free range, barn and cage conditions for chickens. Buy your eggs and poultry from animals as your level of conscience allows.

As for other meat, virtually all dairy and meat cattle in the UK and Ireland lives outdoors in fields as the seasons permit. Veal is virtually taboo these days though I would not be surprised if animals are exported for consumption on the continent. Sheep live outdoors. Pigs may or may not, but again there are free range choices. My parents live near a pig farm and the animals all live in large outdoor pens.

I'm sure also that the various organic / soil association type organisations supplement the legal definition with their own criteria that members must follow. So vote with your wallet. Getting all precious that people eat meat is not going to change anything.

Re:Death camps not enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908165)

There's usually no need to be rude, but screw you man. Your holier than thou bullshit (hah) doesn't help animals at all.

I buy local, organic, humanely reared meat; I take an interest in the wellfare of animals I eat. My country has much higher standards for treatment of animals than the USA, but I take the time and pay the price to source meat from local farms that exceeds these criteria.

By removing yourself from the market completely, you're giving up your ability to vote with your wallet to support farmers who actually care about their animals. If you really gave a shit about anything other than your "er meh gerd, meat is murdur!" morally superior pomposity, you would be out there supporting proper regulation of agriculture rather than just inflating your own ego at the expense of other people.

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908335)

I keep a cow in my front yard. The shit keeps the neighborhood kids off my lawn. That's humane for the cow.

But, with all the broken toys, beer bottles and the rusty Chevy up on cinder blocks, the neighbors do refer to my front lawn as a Death Camp.

Re:Death camps not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908407)

I take it you have actually never been to a dairy farm?
Here's some pics:
pic1 [theepochtimes.com]
pic2 [as-projects.com]

Most farms keep the cow's inside for 9 months and outside on pasture for 3 months when they are dry. Inside usually consists of barns with 14' or so open sides or more in warmer climates (ie, in California it is basically just a roof). Cows are not tied up and are free to roam around there pen or pasture depending.

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908509)

Actually its the lack of shade at the CAFOs that adds to the misery. Whoever thought of this research is exhibiting the same logic and insight that led them to perpetrate CAFOs in the first place. Cows can't be trained that way. Even I know cows well enough to know that.

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908765)

Free range bovine!

Re:Death camps not enough (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909115)

Then bastards like you eat the food of my food.

Re:News for nerds. (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907781)

If this is Slashdot 2013, then I propose we be allowed to mod articles.

So, let me kick it off by modding this article as bovine jenkem!

Well, what the hell else could I say?

Re:News for nerds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907811)

the ARE farming nerds and geeks, yknow.

Re:News for nerds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907881)

News for herds.

Re:News for nerds. (1)

Prokur (2445102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908109)

In the end of 19th century Dmitri Mendeleev (Russian chemist) was spending a lot of time to investigate how to solve problem of too many horses shitting in the streets. Solving such type of problems is typical for nerds as well.

Hygene problems? You mean production problems (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907721)

From the summary: [quote]The bovines can defecate nine to 16 times daily, creating big hygiene problems on dairy and beef farms[/quote]

Farmers are interested in two things above all the rest: costs and production. So my guess is that it's not about hygiene, but about lowering costs. Although mildly interesting from a science point of view, this research is of course mainly to lower costs and then I think to myself: divine bovine, please shit where you stand.

Re:Hygene problems? You mean production problems (2)

PybusJ (30549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909383)

If poor hygiene causes disease then farmers care about. Disease means higher veterinary bills, and poorer quality animals worth less at the end. Obviously, if fixing the hygiene problem costs more than the gain in efficiency is worth then the high intensity farmers will let the cattle stand around in shit.

It seems to me that if you want the cows to shit themselves, all you'd need to do is show them a video of what awaits them at the end of their life.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907735)

Why should bovine defecate on one same place? That's another ill-minded human stupidity. Cows evolved chewing GRASS, not CORN on the field. And field needs composting EVERYWHERE. Isn't that obvious? The only species that doesn't fit right are humans. Other beings live in harmony with Nature.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908225)

Have you even seen other beings live in harmony with nature? Compare a wolf and rabbit population in any rural environment, population explosions followed by population crashes, ALL THE TIME. Harmony is not how nature works. Chaos and competition is how nature works.

Re:Why? (2)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908261)

You're right about fertilizing pastures.

But what is nature? Humans are just as much a part of this planet's fauna as any other species. Harmony in nature is a myth and a fallacy. It's strange that some Darwinists believe it, since Darwinism itself contradicts it. Survival of the fittest is hardly harmonious.

If you hate humanity so much, maybe you should go live harmoniously with your animal friends. I'm sure they'd be glad to have you for dinner.

Re:Why? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908443)

Wrong. Predators often hide their shit (like a cat covering it up) in order to hide their odor from potential preys. Some pack animals often have a specific spot where they go so as not to soil the den (which is why it's easy to potty train dogs).

India (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907739)

The researchers could do far worse than consult the sub-continental experts on the other side of the planet.

Doable, but hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907745)

The key is control of the bowel moo-vements.

Re:Doable, but hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908585)

title: Re:Doable, but hard

You have obviously never seen cowshit. Hard is not the right word.

Shake it like a bird? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907763)

A friend of mine often took her parrot on her finger and shook her hand to make it poo.

Re:Shake it like a bird? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908283)

Now that's a weird fetish.

Re:Shake it like a bird? (2)

deimtee (762122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908593)

Parrots can be trained to shit on command, or to fly to specific spot to shit. But they are probably smarter than cows.

Re:Shake it like a bird? (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909261)

One blindly does what you tell it to, the other ignores the human and does whatever it likes. Now which one is smarter?

Next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907775)

If this is successful we should try to apply this on human subjects.

http://pix11.com/2013/02/13/feces-all-over-the-floor-carnival-cruise-nightmare-continues-for-trapped-passengers/#axzz2KxRLOguE

Free range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907789)

Maybe if they gave each of the cows more space to roam, and they ate grass instead of corn, it might not be so bad for them, the "farmers", and for the consumer

Re:Free range (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907909)

Your idea will never work because it would raise the price of beef to the point where many consumers couldn't afford to eat it anymore.

Learn from Polyface farm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907795)

Manure management? What manure management? That's a byproduct of factory farming. Just obey the law of nature and you can be as successful as any factory farmer and protect the environment.

All about the rewards (1)

lammy (1557325) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907817)

Someone needs to come up with a system where the cows receive a reward immediately upon defacating in the nominated area. I.e. When the cow stands on the grate facing the right way and drops a pat, some tasty treats appear in a bowl at mouth level. Other cows which are ready to drop and wanting their reward would hustle any cubicle-occupiers out of the area, ensuring a good level of throughput and discouraging the cows from hanging around in the toilets like naughty schoolchildren (minus cigarettes)

Re:All about the rewards (3, Informative)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907893)

Cows aren't really that smart or independent. A cow will not go off on its own to take a crap. Nor will it be smart enough to realize why it is getting food.

Most likely you'll just have cows accidentally get a treat, the other cows will see this, become jealous, and then crowd the reward bowl until they break it.

Re:All about the rewards (1)

funkboy (71672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907961)

Maybe they should work on breeding smarter (instead of fatter) cattle so they can figure out where they need to shit?

Re:All about the rewards (1)

guest235 (1558143) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908025)

I'd say you are underestimating the cows. I'm pretty sure you can train at least some of them... "Potty training" was done with horses before. It is not commonly done, but possible. They usually do their think when entering water, before scary actions, and when entering clean stables...

Re:All about the rewards (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908071)

Horses are much smarter than cows, and respond much more favorably to human direction. Though cows also poop when faced with anything stressful. The thing is that cows get stressed out by pretty much anything else that isn't another cow. Hence they just crap everywhere.

Re:All about the rewards (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908493)

Horses taste much better too as consumers all over Europe are finding out.

Re:All about the rewards (4, Interesting)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908181)

Indeed, dairy cows know when and where their udders are going to get relief and will walk themselves to the milking yard (or stable, or barn, or whatever the fuck those rural types call it).

There's a footbridge over the M6 motorway just south of Sandbach which will have cows crossing it just after 6am, no farmer/dogs/tractors in sight, because they know it's milking time.

Perhaps the answer is to use a cork to stop them going until they're in the right place. They clearly respond to the physical relief caused by being emptied.

(Either that or the pleasure of having their tits squeezed. Hmm. Self-service milking machines positioned over grating?)

Nappies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907829)

Nappies, that solves it.

Re:Nappies (2)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908191)

I opened this story specifically to suggest that.

Not because I think it's practical, but because watching a farmer trying to change one would be a fantastic spectator sport.

As someone who has raised cattle (2)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907837)

There is no way in hell a cow is going to poop in a specific place. They crap everywhere, constantly. It's just their response to most events.

Many a time a cow raised its posture, stared me directly in the eyes, and then crapped itself with a defiant glare.

Re:As someone who has raised cattle (4, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908785)

I call bullshit.

Re:As someone who has raised cattle (1)

mtempsch (524313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909333)

Back whern they were kept in single boxes/partitions/stalls (or what they're called) (today they tend to be allowed to walk around more, often free to use an automated milking station on its own schedule) there was often an electrode suspended just above the back of the cow. Apparently they arch their back as they go.. After a few times they learned to take a step or two backwards, depositing into a grating covered manure ditch instead of onto the floor, avoiding the electrode. IIRC the use of these electrodes was stopped even prior to the more free style of keeping them.

All I can say is (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907871)

No shit Sherlock

Re:All I can say is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908359)

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42907915)

How did this even show up here.. What dipshit submitted this? What was wrong with whoever approved it?

And why can't we kill them both to improve the planet? Now there's a question i really want answered!

Ig Nobel (1)

eulernet (1132389) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907933)

This research smells like a future Ig Nobel:
http://www.improbable.com/ig/ [improbable.com]

Not in the short timeframe! (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907973)

You can imagine why. It takes a lot of time with intelligent beings, aka toddlers. It will very likely take much more with cows.
Maybe cow napkins can help, just like they use to do with horses involved in parades!

What training? (3, Informative)

KC1P (907742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907981)

From the abstract, it sounds as if they made no attempt at all to train the cows -- they were just seeing what would stimulate a cow to poop with no training at all. Or, they were seeing what's the least that counts as a master's thesis! A much more interesting question.

Re:What training? (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908645)

Training is time consuming, expensive and needs to be taught to every single cow. A automated process could provide a cost saving mechanism - a training program probably not. It might be interesting for your pet cow Betsy though.

Just scare the sh1te out of them.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42907997)

Seems like the obvious solution would involve herding them into the right place and then have a portly Texan setup a BBQ in front.. or maybe that bengal tiger from Life of Pi would do the trick.

Not sure how it would affect milk yields though.

I just woke up and thought I was on a farming site (4, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908029)

Speaking of cows I need a Red Bull. Okay to answer their question before they wasted the time, no it can't be done for a simple reason. Grazing animals are hardwired to go at will. Notice how pet animals tend to be animals that have dens or burrows? Evolution has adapted them to this condition so they go in one location so they don't soil their dens. Predators have the same ability even when they don't den. Primates do it as well probably because of tree dwelling origins. Evacuating bowels requires muscles that in upright animals is used in locomotion as well as four legged animals on the move as in stalking prey. Notice horses don't go a gallop. I guess you could keep the cows on a treadmill but it would cause severe problems if they kept it up too long. I'm sure over thousands of years they could adapt but it's a waste of time. Let them roam in a field they way they were adapted to live. They'll perfect engineered meat and milk long before you could adapt a cow. I even managed in my caffeine deprived state to get it back onto a Slashdot subject, engineered meat. That's the real solution to the waste problem not teaching cows to cross their legs.

Re:I just woke up and thought I was on a farming s (2)

sa1lnr (669048) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908401)

"Notice how pet animals tend to be animals that have dens or burrows?"

What does that say about mothers and their basements?

Re:I just woke up and thought I was on a farming s (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908519)

Evacuating bowels requires muscles that in upright animals is used in locomotion as well as four legged animals on the move as in stalking prey.

This doesn't explain why you can fart whilst running for a bus... Cracks me up every time.

Re:I just woke up and thought I was on a farming s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42909011)

Grazing animals are hardwired to go at will.

Alpacas [wikipedia.org] don't fit that criteria.

Re:I just woke up and thought I was on a farming s (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909097)

I wonder if Red Bull would make them defecate?

Cow froppings (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908037)

Do cows have any control over their droppings at all? IIRC they do not have a sphincter that could be controlled consciously. Isn't it more like it comes out simply according to the cows bowel movements?

Its been done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908041)

as a child I visited a farm in France, the cows were gathered in a covered concreted area, the farmer called "aller vite vite vite", the cows would then defecate. The gates were opened and the cows returned to the fields. A motorized boom then scrapped the shit into a slurry pit.

I'm pretty sure the cows still crapped every where else but to a 10 year old kid the whole process was pretty amazing.

I seriously doubt it... (4, Funny)

Spugglefink (1041680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908123)

I lost any respect I ever might have had for bovine kind when I witnessed the miracle of life one day. A newborn calf so fresh it was still wet stumbled gingerly up to Momma, looking for a teat to suck.

The calf approached from the rear, and right as it got in range, BLAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!! Moma took a huge steaming crap right on widdle baby's head.

It was OK though. While the crap was still dribbling out, she unleashed a fire hose of urine right in the calf's face and washed most of the crap off. Momma cows care, people. Momma cows care!

Re:I seriously doubt it... (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908143)

Not sure which is more disturbing; your story, or the fact you continued to watch after the huge steaming pile of crap part.

Re:I seriously doubt it... (1)

Spugglefink (1041680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908289)

Not sure which is more disturbing; your story, or the fact you continued to watch after the huge steaming pile of crap part.

Let the record show that I was in the process of shimmying my way out of a narrow cave opening at the time, and I had to wait for the cows to get out of my way so I could pull myself out. I was kind of a captive audience at the time.

Ah, youth.

Re:I seriously doubt it... (2)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908199)

Of course she cared. Her very first lesson for the new child: Always approach from the side.

Re:I seriously doubt it... (1)

Barryke (772876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908319)

This happens people. Also, cows lick their newborns for an hour or so. Interestingly, they''ll only lick poo once unless you put a birthday candle in them which triggers the quite interesting curious cow reaction.

Re:I seriously doubt it... (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908673)

I know I should probably not ask, but birthday candle? (No, I will not Google for this)

Well you can MiRV a cow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908153)

Readers Digest said so in the 70s

Obligatory Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908229)

Bart: Uh dad... I don't think the dog can handle anymore bacon.
Homer: Looks like he's about ready for another squeezing.

Just wear oversized boots and stand behind them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908301)

I have noticed that people wearing boots (especially if a size to big, so it acts as a funnel) with short pants or with pants inside (versus hanging over) the boot tend to see the veal take a shit right in there if standing behind one. Seriously it ain't funny anymore.

The real reason for this study! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908339)

"Rinder-Roulette"
http://www.usinger-land-extra.de/allgemeine-seiten/artikel.html?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=4450&cHash=1b37101e2f

where am i? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908395)

have i stumbled on an alternate gizmodo?

Stop being squeamish (1, Informative)

r_a_trip (612314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908475)

I'm going to get vegetarians and vegans up in arms, but we already treat cows as an industrial product. Why bother trying to get them to defecate with external stimuli. Just go all the way and solve it technically. Just attach a tube to the rectum and pump the manure away to a storage area. Neat and clean.

Don't want the product to suffer? Alter the brain chemistry with pharmaceuticals, so the product is unaware of its condition.

Re:Stop being squeamish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908605)

It's like The Matrix, except made out of cow turds. It's... it's beautiful.

Bullshit is a good energy source. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908499)

The farm waste from cows, pigs and chicken, can be a very serious partial solution in switching over to renewable energy sources. America has 100 million cows. Once I calculated something like 6 cows can produce enough natural gas to keep one car going, i,e they produce enough natural gas to run a car for some 15000 miles in one year.

The methane is odorless, the smell comes from other chemicals and bacteria, By covering the waste to capture methane you would also reduce odor pollution too.

Once the methane has been extracted what remains is a great organic fertilizer.

It is not as sexy as windmills and solar arrays but it is a good viable path. But, alas, USA is never going to go this path. The hydraulic fracking breakthrough has dropped the price of natural gas so low, now it is not worth capturing methane to sell off. Only if there is any kind of credit for not emitting the methane into the atmosphere, odor pollution abatement and value of organic fertilizer works out farmers will invest on this low tech solution. Pond the waste, cover it with thick plastic, capture the gas, separate the methane, and chimney up the noxious pollutants. The break even cost was working out to a dairy farm of at least 1000 cows at the height of oil price spike. Now it is likely to be at 4000 or 5000 cows. Practically impossible in USA.

It would be a great boon for India and China though. Hope it works out

Re:Bullshit is a good energy source. (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908693)

Well as the Romans already stated: "non olet", [Money] doesn't smell.

Swiss cows can find their way home (in towns)... (1)

ivi (126837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908653)

each walking from pasture to their own little barn.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before these cows master pottying (as cats can use toilets).

Shocking them, however, isn't the way... Maybe import some good Swiss cow trainers...?

They could have done this more cheaply with ..... (1)

prasadsurve (665770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908735)

a maths professor and a spherical cow.

Pet scorpion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42908761)

Can you train your pet scorpion not to sting you? No you cannot.

Re:Pet scorpion (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42908795)

Sure you can. My scorpion is with me now right there on my keyboar

What a piece of work is a cow! (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909199)

The study is flawed, it treats defecation as the problem. Poop is the problem, defecation is the solution.

"What a piece of work is a cow! how now in reason!
how infinite in lactation! in form and moooving how
express and admoooable...''
~Captain Jean Luc Picard, USS Enterprise: Cow Greeting, Alpha Prime

Bovidae in Absurdiae Gloria. Being a treatise on sundry bovidae topics as: Cow Greetings. Cow Banners. Also may contain capricious claptrap. codswallop. and flapdoodle. [everything2.com]

The Fix Is In... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42909227)

If this is possible, people may use this it fix the cow patty bingo game normally found at county fairs.

Use "Music" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42909235)

The Brown Note [southparkstudios.com] , anyone?

April Troll's Day? (1)

in10se (472253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42909237)

Is my calendar broken? Is it April 1 already?

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