Mackie’s turns to country music to help cows produce more milk

Some of Mackie's cows have been treated to live performances by Scottish country artist Colin Clyne. File picture: John Devlin
Some of Mackie's cows have been treated to live performances by Scottish country artist Colin Clyne. File picture: John Devlin
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A Scottish ice cream producer is trying help its cows produce more milk – by exposing them to the banjos and washboards of the American South.

Mackie’s of Scotland is playing country music to its 350-strong milking herd for an entire fortnight, to see if it will increase their output.

The cows have been listening to the recordings of Scottish country artist Colin Clyne, who shares a producer with pop legend Elton John, on repeat for 14 days.

Clyne has also played sessions “live” in their fields in Westertown, Aberdeenshire.

The yield over the two- week period, which ends this weekend, will then be compared with the volume of milk normally produced by the cows.

A study at the University of Leicester in 2001 found that a cow’s milk yield increased by 3 per cent when listening to relaxing, slow music.

No studies have been done on the effects of country music on milk production, and Mackie’s marketing director, Karen Mackie, is keen to see the results.

She said: “A while back reports emerged of classical music helping cows to produce increased quantities of milk, but little has been done to see if they respond positively – or even negatively – to other types of music.

“It’s a perfect way to further enhance our milking stations: the cows enjoy using them, and the laser-guided robots give their undersides a wash and even reward the cows with a tasty treat.

“We’re excited to find out if all cows are simply classical music aficionados or if our Aberdeenshire cows are up for a bit of a hootin’, tootin’ barn dance as well!”