You’ve heard of litter training a cat, housetraining a dog, and potty training a toddler. As it turns out, cows too can be toilet trained . . . and more quickly than kids. When scientists put the task to the test, 11 out of 16 cows learned to use a designated area called the “MooLoo” when they had to go, and the project took only 15 days.
“The cows are at least as good as children, age two to four years, at least as quick,” says researcher Lindsay Matthews, an animal behavioral scientist at New Zealand’s University of Auckland.
Why potty train a cow? Because, say researchers, it’s good for the planet.
Urine contains nitrogen, which when mixed with feces becomes ammonia. Ammonia can taint nearby water with nitrates and create the airborne pollutant nitrous oxide. And cows do pee a lot—about eight gallons of urine a day per cow.
That’s a lot of mess. But we gotta have cows, and not just for steak and ice cream—and soil fertilizer. God made these animals walking suppliers of all sorts of good things: makeup and face creams containing glycerin from tallow, dog biscuits and animal feed from ground up cow hooves, and bone china dishes. Even some violin strings owe their existence to cow guts. More than 100 important drugs also come from cows, including insulin for diabetics from the cow’s pancreas organ, drugs to treat allergies, anemia, leukemia, respiratory diseases, and thyroid problems. Cancer research depends on ingredients from a cow’s blood and lungs. Every part of the cow is useable . . . except maybe the moo.
But cow waste needs management.
How do you potty train a cow? At the lab in Dummerstorf, Germany, the researchers mimicked a toddler’s training. When cows in a pen (dubbed the MooLoo) urinated, the researchers gave them a reward: a sweet liquid of mostly molasses. If the cows urinated outside the MooLoo after the training, they got a squirt of cold water instead.
Researchers tested their progress by letting the cows roam about the indoor facility. When the cows had to urinate, 11 of them pushed into the pen, did their business, and got their sweet rewards. Mission accomplished! Except . . . the researchers didn’t train cows to do number two in the MooLoo. Could cows learn to do all their business in one place? Matthews says he wouldn’t be surprised.
It is He who made the Earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom. — Jeremiah 10:12
Why? God made cows with so many purposes. People use their God-given creativity to discover these purposes and to control cow waste.