A farm in Moscow has begun testing virtual reality (VR) headsets on its cows to help reduce anxiety levels among its herd.
The experiment, which was reported by Russia’s agriculture ministry, has seen VR developers and veterinarians work together to adapt a headset to perfectly fit a cow’s head.
The results recorded in an initial round of testing, it added, found a link between the use of VR and “a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall emotional mood of the herd”.
Further effects on the actual production of milk are now set to become part of a wider and more comprehensive study with the headsets.
According to the ministry, the experiment was inspired by a greater focus on the emotional wellbeing of farm animals, and how this can affect the quantity and the quality of produce.
In Europe, systems are in place to ensure the animals are given as much free movement as possible.
The statement then looked to an initiative already in place in Moscow, which sees sound equipment installed in the farms to broadcast classical music — “the relaxing effect of which positively affects milk output”.