In the Czechoslovakian comedy movie Sun, Hay, and Strawberries, an agriculture student experiments with the positive influence of classical music on milk yield. It seems that the 1983 movie was ahead of its time because a cattle breeder from Turkey is now using virtual reality headsets to accomplish the same result.
Disappointingly, the breeder, Izzet Koçak, didn’t get the idea during a Czechoslovakia-themed movie marathon. Instead, he was inspired by a similar practice in Russia.
“We are looking for alternative ways to boost the yields as the feed, hay prices increased,” the farmer explained his motives when interviewed by Anadolu Agency (AA). “I heard they were using these headsets in Russia and decided to try it here. I observed them for ten days and found out that both the quality and amount of the milk increased.”
To be more precise, two cows that were fitted with VR headsets produced up to 27 liters of milk, up from just 22 liters of milk daily. All this extra milk is attributed to the relaxing effect produced by footage of a green pasture. Unlike his Russian colleagues, Koçak used only one headset per cow, so perhaps there’s still room for improvement.
As dystopian as cows living in their own matrix may seem, farmers and researchers alike have been aware for a long time that cows that are more relaxed produce more milk. Many experiments were carried out with a variety of music genres, and Kenyan farmers even use television to improve milk yield.
We can only hope that the cows won’t manage to get their
hands feet on some VR controllers and figure out how to join VRChat. But perhaps they would fit right in.