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 Cows Can Be Toilet Trained, A New Study Suggests. This Has Implications For The Environment And Animal Welfare.

Dogs and cats aren’t the only creatures that can be potty trained. New research suggests that cows can learn to use a make-shift bathroom.

Researchers put the cows in a small bathroom including a separate latrine-style toilet for 45 min at a time and rewarded them with food when they used the toilet for peeing. Cows were also showered with water from a sprinkler when they did not pee in the toilet. 

Eleven of the 16 cows in the study learned to use the toilet, nicknamed the “MooLoo,” according to a paper in Current Biology. They also learned to open the gate to the toilet by pushing it with their heads.

Author Lars Schrader, a professor at the Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry in Germany, said he thinks the rest of the cows would have learned to use the toilet too with more time

Although the idea of cows going poo in a “MooLoo” sounds funny, the study has important implications for both the environment and animal welfare.

“Many people think cattle are stupid because they are just grazing all the time,” he said. “Irrespective of their behavior, which seems quite lazy, they are very intelligent animals.”

Schrader said farm animals are frequently kept in conditions where they have no control over their environment. Training cattle to use a toilet can allow them to have some control over their living situation while also providing them with a source of cognitive enrichment.


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