A Turkish dairy farmer puts virtual reality glasses on his cows. This is intended to increase the quality of milk production. But despite the modern approach, he is not the first to apply this technology to his animals.
Free-roaming cows on lush green meadows. For many, this is the ideal image of livestock farming in dairy farms. It is well known that cows experience a different reality every day in many places. In order to give his cows a little “exercise” despite being kept in the barn, a dairy farmer in Aksaray in central Anatolia is now relying on virtual reality glasses (VR glasses).
Izzet Kocak is currently testing the new technology on two of his more than one hundred cows for a total of 20 minutes a day. With the help of the VR glasses, the animals then see a green pasture instead of the stable. In addition to this simulation, the Turkish dairy farmer sonicates his barn with classical music. This approach is not new.
VR glasses for cows tested for the first time in Russia
Already in 2019, Russian farmers from the RusMoko farm near Moscow put VR glasses on their animals. According to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and Food in the Moscow region, a prototype for cows was specially developed in cooperation with veterinarians and IT specialists.
The glasses were adapted to the shape of a cow’s head. In addition, studies dealing with the eyesight of the animals were taken into account during development.
Cows could, for example, better perceive shades in the red part of the spectrum as well as weaker shades of green and blue. Based on these findings, the perfect simulation of a summer field was designed in Russia at that time.
According to the Russian authority, international studies have found that the emotional experience of the cows has a significant impact on the quality and quantity of dairy products. So the more comfortable the cows felt, the more and the better milk they produced.
Turkish cows feel more comfortable in virtual reality
The Turkish dairy farmer Izzet Kocak has also had this experience. In a video, he reports that his cows produce an average of about 22 liters of milk per day. With the use of VR glasses, the two test animals would now give 27 liters of milk daily. Thanks to the positive results, the Turkish dairy farmer has already ordered 10 more glasses for his cows.
Although the VR glasses do not harm the cows, animal rights activists are critical of the concept, according to media reports. The head of the Turkish animal rights group Haytap Ahmet Kemal Senpolatsaid that the new technology violated the animal rights of cows.
There is also the question of who benefits more from the technology in the end: the cows or the dairy farmer? Despite the apparently positive experience for the cows, the virtual experience cannot be compared with a real release.