Is there something about names that attracts odd research? The last time I used “Weird News” in a Neuromarketing title was in, Weird News: Names Affect Outcomes. That article detailed research that showed a weak but significant correlation between grades and the first letter of a person’s name. Now, research at Newcastle University have found that naming cows affects outcomes, too:
A cow with a name produces more milk than one without, scientists at Newcastle University have found.
Drs Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson have shown that by giving a cow a name and treating her as an individual, farmers can increase their annual milk yield by almost 500 pints.
The study, published online… in the academic journal Anthrozoos, found that on farms where each cow was called by her name the overall milk yield was higher than on farms where the cattle were herded as a group. [From Newcastle University press release – Names give cows a lotta bottle.]
The researchers acknowledge that naming the cows was only part of the process; they also talked to the cows and treated them as “individuals.”
The work was published earlier this year, but was just awarded an Ig Nobel prize.
While you are waiting for the next breaking news item on name power, remember, your cows are people, too. Or, even if they aren’t people, you’ll get more milk if you pretend they are.