Scientists to probe cow friendships

How cows make friends is to be investigated in a three-year study. Scientists want to understand more about "social networking" within dairy herds.

Scientists want to understand how cows make friends Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The aim is to help farmers improve the health and welfare of their cows, thereby increasing milk yields.

For the first stage of the research, high-tech "proximity collars" have been fitted to cows on a farm in Cullompton, Devon.

The collars use radio signals to determine how close one cow is to another, allowing scientists to map the animals' social interactions.