LONDON - COWS with names like Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce more milk than their sisters with no names, according to a British study released on Wednesday.
Cattle who are given 'the personal touch' can produce up to 284 litres of milk a year, said experts at Newcastle University in northeast England.
'Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention,' said Catherine Douglas, who conducted the research.
'By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we not only improve the animal's welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production,' she added.
Almost half of those surveyed - 46 per cent - said the cows on their farms had individual names.
Dairy farmer Dennis Gibb from the Eachwick Red House Farm outside Newcastle said it was 'vitally important' to treat cows individually. 'They aren't just our livelihood - they're part of the family.
'We love our cows here at Eachwick and every one of them has a name. Collectively we refer to them as 'our ladies' but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality.'
The study was compiled by Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, based on interviews with 516 dairy farmers, and published in the online journal Anthrozoos. -- AFP