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Dairy cows delight in classical music

Saturday, March 15, 2003
The Associated Press

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Daniel McElmurray recently won first place in a regional science fair for a project on how music improved milk production in cows.

HEPHZIBAH, Georgia (AP) -- Daniel McElmurray has milked his family's dairy farm for all it's worth.

After hearing his dad, Earl, complain about weak milk production from their 300 cows, the 10-year-old student at Goshen Elementary in Augusta helped solve the problem with a prize-winning science fair project. He tested the effects of classical, country and rock music on the cows.

Daniel said he and his dad like to listen to music while they milk the cows, without giving the cows much say in the selection.

Turns out rock is their least favorite. After listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shania Twain and a selection of classical music, the cows proved they prefer classical to country and rock by producing 1,000 pounds more milk.

"I guess a slower beat helps them relax," Daniel said Thursday, after learning he won first place in his region. He received a special award from the American Society of Mammalogists, an organization that supports the study of mammals.


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