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Japanese Farmers Are Painting Their Cows With Zebra-Like Stripes

They do This to Help Protect Cows From Blood Sucking Flies

The Japanese black is one of the breeds of cow used to make wagyu beef. But these cows are plagued with a big problem: Blood-sucking flies such as gadflies and cattle flies. These flies raise cow’s stress, causing lower reproduction rates, and unhealthy cows. Because of these flies, farmers have stopped letting cows out into fields to protect them from the flies.

However, a simple solution to this problem has started to gain traction with Japanese farmers. This solution is painting cows with stripes not unlike a zebra. According to local media, Japanese farmers will use spray paint or bleach to put white stripes on the black cows, making them look almost like a zebra. Over the almost 3 years this has been going on, many farmers are using this solution, and can see visible improvements in the cow’s health.

To determine the effectiveness of this tactic, scientists observed  painted and unpainted cows, and tracked behaviors such as cows flicking the tails, shaking the head, or stamping hooves to get flies off of their bodies. Unpainted cows were observed to do these behaviors over 16 times a minute, but painted cows were only doing these behaviors down to only 5 times a minute.

Scientists think that this works because the stripes result in polarization of light, attracting more flies, but making it harder for them to land, making issues with motion detection.


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See if this tactic works on human hair as well

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