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Potty-trained cattle could help reduce pollution

By   /  September 15, 2021  /  Comments Off on Potty-trained cattle could help reduce pollution

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You can lead a cow to a water closet, but can you make it pee there? It turns out that yes, you can.

Researchers in Germany successfully trained cows to use a small, fenced-in area with artificial turf flooring as a bathroom stall. This could allow farms to easily capture and treat cow urine, which often pollutes air, soil and water, researchers report online September 13 in Current Biology. Components of that urine, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, could also be used to make fertilizer (SN: 4/6/21).

The average cow can pee tens of liters per day, and there are some 1 billion cattle worldwide. In barns, cow pee typically mixes with poop on the floor to create a slurry that emits the air pollutant ammonia (SN: 1/4/19). Out in…

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