Discovery Channel reports:
A team of French and Austrian scientists found that cows relax, to the
point that their heart rate lowers, when petted in body regions they
often target when grooming each other. . . .
Handlers stroked 30 Brown Swiss and 30 Austrian Simmental cows in
three different body regions: the top of the back, just above and below
the neck, and along the side of the chest. Cow heart rates were monitored during the sessions. A control cow group experienced a human presence but no stroking.
The researchers observed that the cows stretched out their necks and
let their ears fall â€” signs of deep relaxation â€” when stroked in parts
of the upper back and the neck areas that cows often reach when they
lick each other. Lower heart rates confirmed these observations.
Photo credit: AP