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Potty training


Yenn
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Today the ABC ran a bit about a New Zealand university running a program to train cows to urinate in a designated area. Supposedly because cow urine and also faeces have high nitrate and ammonia content and it is polluting the waterways. The ABC presenter asked how it could apply to Australia and was told that while it was different we could have the same problems.

Now I wonder why in years gone by when i milked cows in England, we spread the manure onto the land to increase its fertility and you could see where cattle had defecated in the paddock by a ring of bright green grass. Urine was not causing that sort of thing. That bright green grass was shunned by the cattle until it had matured.

Now of course dairy farmers in NZ are no doubt spreading Nitrogen fertiliser on the land to increase grass production. The cows eat thegrass and maybe there is too much nitrate, but wouldn't the best thing be to reduce the use of artificial fertiliser.

The university was training cattle by building a compound and putting the cattle in them and giving them food when they urinated. It seems they quickly learned to pee in the compound to get food. Who said they are stupid.

I can just see it working in Australia, where according to the Uni professor we have free range and lot fed cattle. Lot fed are of course up to their hock in a foul smelling mix of manure, urine and waste food, so whatever happens it should not be allowed to get anywhere near a waterway.

Free range cattle would no doubt love to walk a few Km to have a pee and then walk back to here they were grazing. Of course if the didn't take that walk I can't see the urine making it to a waterway, before it evaporated.

It seems that Australian Unis have dropped their work force drastically and they should be doing this sort of thing to keep their work force busy.

Maybe they could come up with a way to make wombats dig drainage tunnels to prevent floods from climate change.

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2 hours ago, Yenn said:

Today the ABC ran a bit about a New Zealand university running a program to train cows to urinate in a designated area. Supposedly because cow urine and also faeces have high nitrate and ammonia content and it is polluting the waterways.

Yenn as a kid in our dairy farm, I was fascinated by the long streamers of greens slime in our creek. There were lots of cattle upstream and no effort to keep them out of the creek, so their nutrient load must have considerably changed the water ecosystem.

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The university was training cattle by building a compound and putting the cattle in them and giving them food when they urinated.

 

It’s remarkably easy to train domestic animals; our species has been modifying their behavior for eons.

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Animals can be quite cunning. We have a cat that loves to jump up on top of the buffet and hutch, near the ceiling, and sometimes gets on the pelmet over the sliding door. Has fallen off a couple of times. To get him to come down, we offered him a small amount of roast chicken we have in the fridge. (We have a roast chook from Woolies once a week.) Now, if he doesn't get what he wants, up on the buffet. The minute you open the fridge, he gets down.

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