Smiling at livestock helps farmers produce better meat

Happy farmers are more likely to produce great quality meat, according to a new study which proves livestock respond to human moods.

All farmers know that livestock wellbeing can influence meat quality, but now there’s evidence to suggest that a smile goes a long way with farm animals.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have learned that goats prefer people with happy faces to people with sad or angry expressions.

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The study showed black-and-white pictures of the same person either smiling or appearing unhappy to 20 goats.

All the goats interacted more with the happy face and researchers say the animals even displayed more emotion themselves.

“Here, we show for the first time that goats not only distinguish between these expressions, but they also prefer to interact with happy ones,” said Dr Christian Nawroth.

Similar research has indicated that animals such as dogs and horses have the ability to study a human’s emotions and react accordingly, but this is the first time that the theory has been tested on a farmed animal.

So, when feeding your livestock in the mornings, remember that a smile and a wave is key to producing great-tasting meat.


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