A calf enters an astroturf-covered pen nicknamed the “MooLoo.” (Thomas Häntzschel/FBN via AP)

A calf enters an astroturf-covered pen nicknamed the “MooLoo.” (Thomas Häntzschel/FBN via AP)

One cow can produce about eight gallons of urine each day. (AP/Steve Helber)

One cow can produce about eight gallons of urine each day. (AP/Steve Helber)

This million-gallon storage tank is used to hold cow manure at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, California. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

This million-gallon storage tank is used to hold cow manure at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, California. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

This is the methane digester at the New Hope Dairy. The digester uses methane gas from cow manure to generate renewable power. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

This is the methane digester at the New Hope Dairy. The digester uses methane gas from cow manure to generate renewable power. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Children run past heaps of cow dung at a village in Kannauj, India. The cow manure is used as fertilizer, fuel, and bio-gas in many villages in India. (AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Children run past heaps of cow dung at a village in Kannauj, India. The cow manure is used as fertilizer, fuel, and bio-gas in many villages in India. (AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Moo Loo

Posted: November 1, 2021

You’ve heard of litter training a cat, housetraining a dog, and potty training a toddler. What about stall training a cow?

As it turns out, cows can be potty trained . . . pretty easily!

Scientists put the task to the test. Eleven out of 16 cows learned to use the “MooLoo” when they had to go. The project took only 15 days. Some kids take quite a bit longer to potty train.

“The cows are at least as good as children, age two to four years, at least as quick,” says Dr. Lindsay Matthews, an animal behavioral scientist at New Zealand’s University of Auckland.

Why potty train a cow? Because, say researchers, it’s good for the planet.

Urine (pee) contains nitrogen. When mixed with feces (poo), it becomes ammonia. If that mixture gets into nearby water, it taints it with nitrates (a type of chemicals). It also creates the airborne pollutant nitrous oxide.

And cows do pee a lot. A single cow can produce about eight gallons of urine every day!

Now: How do you potty train a cow? At the lab in Dummerstorf, Germany, researchers mimicked a toddler’s training. They put cows in a pen. When a cow urinated in the right spot, it got a reward: a sweet liquid of mostly molasses. Cows have a sweet tooth. But if a cow urinated outside the MooLoo after the training, it got a squirt of cold water.

Next, the researchers tested their progress. They let the cows roam about the indoor facility. When the cows had to urinate, 11 of them pushed into the pen, did their business, and got their sweet rewards.

Mission accomplished! Except . . . the researches didn’t train cows to do number two in the MooLoo. But Dr. Matthews says he wouldn’t be surprised if cows could learn that too.

Why? God made cows with many purposes. People use their God-given creativity to discover these purposes and to control cow waste.