Painting Cows like Zebras? It has a surprising benefit!

People have a thousand different ideas of amusement and pranks. We play pranks on each other to have some fun even though the ones at the receiving end don’t. Sometimes, you may find animals at the receiving end of amusement and pranks. E.g. you must have seen people painting their cattle in different colors for fun.

You must have felt sorry for the poor animals, or if you did it yourself, you must have felt guilty about it at some time. But now, you no more have to feel remorse or feel only adventurous in doing this activity. You literally have got some scientific backing for your naughty prank.

If you have been painting your cows like zebra stripes for some fun and removing them later, you may as well won’t wash the paint now, because that will benefit the cows, according to some scientists!

Yes, you heard it right. Japanese scientists were searching for ways to diminish the need for using pesticides on livestock when they stumbled upon this crazy discovery. A study was published in the journal “PLoS One,” in which it was deduced that painting the zebra stripes on cows reduced the biting attacks of flies! Thus, reducing the need for pesticides.

This study was made possible because of some similar activities conducted in the past which suggested that the stripes of zebras (in general, alternate black and white surfaces) attracted fewer pests than any solid color, e.g. the solid black color of the Japanese cows which were studied.

This happens because of the polarization of light for the flies and they are less likely to land on striped surfaces than on solid-colored surfaces, as it impairs their perception. This study found that the zebra-striped cattle were bitten more than 50% less than the solid colored cattle by the flies.

Something as simple as the fly bites cause billions to the Livestock industry every year! For those who have cattle, they very well know how annoying is the fly bites because they interfere in the feeding and grazing activities of the cattle. The fly bites also lead the cattle to head throwing, foot-stamping, bunching together, all which can lead to injuries and heat stress.

We should always keep the fun element in our lives, but in the bid to do that, we never know when and how our pranks can turn out to be beneficial. So the next time you start applying strip paint to your cows, do explain to them the benefit of it or else the poor cows may feel sad to always be the target of your pranks.

Article Reference: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/study-cows-zebra-stripes-flies_n_5d9d4b57e4b02c9da040c7da?ri18n=true.

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