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Russian dairy cows wear VR glasses for better milk production

Farmers try virtual reality headwear to see if it will help cows calm down and produce more milk.

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Cows watching a VR pasture might improve their mood to make more milk.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region

If you happen to drive by a Russian farm and spot a bunch of dairy cows wearing VR glasses, no, they're not playing Tetris Effect. They're watching serene pasture scenes that researchers hope will keep them calm so they produce more milk.

On a farm near Moscow, farmers are trying out new prototype VR glasses that have been altered to be worn comfortably by cows. 

Wearing the glasses, the animals were shown a summer field simulation program -- created specifically in "shades of the red and weaker green and blue tones" that cows can actually see -- to determine if the pasture scene altered the cows' moods, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region.

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Russian farmers test out VR glasses on their dairy cows to keep the animals calm and happy.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region

Researchers noted during the first test run of cows watching the VR simulation that there was a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall good mood of the herd.

The emotional state of cattle plays an important role in dairy production. Recent research shows that a calm atmosphere can effect both the quantity, and sometimes the quality, of cow milk.

Dairy farms in different countries have experimented with everything from robotic brushes massaging cattle to classical music to keep them calm and happy.

Even just calling cows by personalized names can encourage better milk production.

The impact on milk production by dairy cows wearing these prototype VR glasses will be detailed in a future comprehensive study. 

Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.