Barnyard breakthrough: Researchers successfully potty train cows : Advance could help solve a messy environmental problem

“Why not just potty train the cows?” That’s what a radio jockey asked animal behaviorist Lindsay Matthews during a 2007 interview about how cow urine harms the environment. The question was in jest, but it got Matthews—a researcher at the University of Auckland—thinking. Now, nearly 14 years later, he and colleagues have accomplished what many thought impossible: They’ve taught nearly a dozen calves, which normally pee and poop at random, to “hold it” and urinate in a specific location. Yes, dear readers, the bovines learned to use the bathroom.

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