Toilet-training cows is possible, researchers find

Leah Panapa 14/09/2021

LISTEN: New Zealand researchers have found cows can be toilet-trained.

Lindsay Matthews and Douglas Elliffe, both University of Auckland-affiliated researchers, were involved in training the cows on a research farm in Germany.

Of the 16 calves in the program, 11 had learned to urinate in a specific 'MooLoo' area within a few weeks. 

Matthews says toilet-training cows could help farmers reduce water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions.

But there are challenges with implementing the programme in New Zealand and how it would work here.

In Germany cows spend much of their time in barns, but in New Zealand they spend most of their time outdoors and toilet-training would be more of a challenge.

Matthews says he has been talking with farming industry leaders, who are excited about the idea.

Listen to the full interview with Lindsay Matthews above.

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