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Can Cows Talk?

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11:22am 23rd December 2014

Can cows talk?

A farmer from south-east Cornwall is backing research about how calves communicate with their mothers.

Teams from The University of Nottingham and Queen Mary University of London have been using detailed acoustic analysis of the sounds the animals make.

They say mums make higher or lower calls to their babies, depending on whether they can see them or sense danger.

Martin Howlett is the South-West regional chairman of the NFU and has 300 cattle near Callington, including suckler herds.

He says they bond at birth: "Not least from a point-of-view of making sure that the calf will get up and suckle, but also from a natural protection. If it was calving outside and there were natural predators that were going to attack that calf, the fact that mother and calf can bond and get together very quickly is most important for life.

"When it's introduced into the bigger group with fellow cows and calves, it's a bit like going to school. Those young are mixing with each other and of course, when there is any danger or any uncertainty, mother will always call back her calf to make sure everything is well."

11:22am 23rd December 2014

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