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Pedometers for cows to assess mood.

AN experiment that fitted cows with pedometers to monitor their behaviour has won a top award.

A team from Scotland's Rural College wanted to find out if the length of time cows spend lying down and standing up affects their health or happiness.

Pedometers recorded the movements of a group of cows in farms in Dumfries and Edinburgh.

By tracking beef and dairy cows' activity, the researchers analysed patterns in the time they spent lying and standing, with the theory that changes to these patterns could indicate that a cow is ill or unhappy.

The team expected to find that as the cows became increasingly tired due to standing, they would become more likely to lie down.

But they found that cows standing for six hours are just as likely to lie down as cows standing for only one hour.

The project won the Ig Nobel prize, a light-hearted version of the Nobel prize.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2013
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