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Do Cows Like Music? Here’s What We Know

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Music is a huge part of our lives and it helps us get through tough times, but most of us do not associate music with cows. Have you ever wondered if music could somehow help our cows the way it helps us?

Do Cows Like Music?

Cows do like music and the type of music makes a big difference to them. Classical tunes are proven to relax them whereas upbeat music, with more than 100 beats per minute, can actually stress them out.

Although they do not know what the lyrics mean, cows seem to be able to enjoy the melody and harmony. Cows enjoy music because it helps to keep them calm. The wrong music, however, can cause stress and unrest in cattle.

Cow resting lying on the grass

Understanding why cows like music and knowing what type of music they prefer could do wonders for your farm. Music may just be the tool you are looking for to help keep your cattle relaxed and more productive than ever.

What Kind of Music do Cows Like?

According to a study by the University of Leicester, located in the United Kingdom, cows prefer slow music. They measured musical preference by studying the increase or decrease in the cows’ milk production, an indicator of their stress levels.

The study found that songs like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel and Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” fared the best among the cows. (source)

Is There Any Music Cows Do Not Like?

The same study also found that fast music, those songs that have more than 100 beats per minute, was not enjoyed by the cows. The faster songs are, the more they seemed to contribute to high-stress levels in cattle.

Milk production among cattle when fast music was played was noticeably less than when slower music was played.


This means that up-tempo music, the kind we use to pump ourselves up and help us exercise, is not ideal for cows or their level of stress.

man holding phone and bluetooth speaker plays music

How Often Should You Play Music to Cows?

You may not want to play music for your cows 24 hours a day, but there is really no limit on how often you can play music for cows.

If you have dairy cattle, you can play them slow, calming music for at least half of the day to aid in their milk production.

If you have beef cattle, they can be played music when they are in stressful situations as well, like when they are hemmed up in pens or barns. You can play soft, slow music anytime you want for your cows, if they appear calm and relaxed while it plays.

Why Should You Play Music for Cows?

Music is believed to calm cattle and help to relax them when they are in stressful situations. This leads to higher milk production in dairy cows, which is beneficial for the farms that are depending on them for their survival.

Researchers in the UK study found that milk production rose to 3% each day when slow, calming music was played for dairy cattle.


When Should You Play Music for Cows?

Music can be played for cattle anytime, but it is most helpful when they need a little help to relax. Excessive stress in cows can result in a reduction in milk production as well as weight loss.

To combat this, you can use music as a form of therapy to promote calmness in a stressed-out herd.

You should play music for your cattle when you pen them up, separate them, wean calves, or when you bring cattle to your farm for the first time.

young cows at farm pen

Final Thoughts

Cows like to listen to music, that much we know is true. They appear to find the slower melodies most calming and enjoyable, much like we do when we want to relax.

Faster music seems not to be their speed, raising their anxiety and causing them stress, but that is understandable. The fact that cows enjoy music at all is fantastic news in itself!


Sunday 6th of June 2021

Reduced milk production or higher stress hormone levels does not necessarily mean they don’t like the music. That’s just the biological reaction. A good example is a roller coaster. Or a scary movie. You can love the roller coaster ride and still get off of it with higher stress hormone levels. Because it’s thrilling. It’s very possible they love the upbeat music, but it just doesn’t result in higher milk production. If there were other the visual signs that they disliked it, like walking away from it or acting anxious or unhappy, that would help confirm.

Sofia Zoe Grajeda

Thursday 15th of April 2021

i love this it is so cool