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    Cows now able to produce flavoured milk

    NewsTuesday 01 April 2014
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    Technology and farming are beginning to merge more frequently as farmers around the globe continue to be more and more innovative in finding ways to improve the industry.
     
    Last year saw a number of fantastic ideas brought forward. From 100 story high urban farms that could change the way we deal with the ever growing population in the busiest cities on the planet, to the introduction and spread of crocodile farming in the UK.
     
    And in the last few weeks, a group of farmers and scientists in Gloucestershire have revealed that they have managed to create dairy cows that are able to produce flavoured milk.
     
     

     
    So far the farm, near Stoke Orchard, has been able to affect cows to be able to produce chocolate, banana, strawberry and vanilla flavoured milk.
     
    Farmer Stephen Hemsby, 45, is one of the pioneering people behind the developments. He spoke to Farming Ads and said: “A group of biochemistry students approached us last year to discuss the possibility and we decided to give it a go.
     
    “We took four groups of 10 cows and reared them solely on a number of products with the hope of affecting the flavours of their milk.
     
    “The chocolate cows, for example, were fed nothing but chocolate for a period of six months, and over time, their milk became more and more flavoured. Now we are at the point where their milk tastes deliciously like chocolate and we are looking to get a distribution link in place to sell the products.”
     
    Whilst this seems to be interesting news for those people who love flavoured milk, a number of animal rights groups have opposed this new type of farming.
     
    One such group was concerned with the health of the cows, after it was reported that the high fat chocolate-only diet was causing them to become drastically obese.
     
    One cow was reported to have weighed over three times the usual weight for a standard dairy cow, and is now extremely lethargic.
     
    “Yes, we have come up against some opposition from animal rights groups” continued Mr Hemsby.
     
    “They had specifically targeted us on the chocolate diet, what with it being deemed extremely unhealthy for the cows.”
     
    Dr Torsten Heinze, one of the scientists who developed the idea initially, suggested that the farmers could put the obese chocolate cows on treadmills in order to regulate their weight, but this was deemed a logistical nightmare from the off.
     
    The strawberry cows have also had issues. Whilst strawberries are not fatty, they do contain a lot of natural sugars, leaving the strawberry herd almost entirely suffering from type two diabetes.
     
    And, one third of them have also begun to turn a light shade of red, which is also a growing concern. There was more outcries from animal rights groups when it turned out that the farmers were caught painting the red cows with emulsion in order to hide their new colouring.
     
    Whether this extreme and outright bizarre farming method will take off in the UK is yet to be seen, but it will raise eyebrows among the farming fraternity for sure.

    Adam Rowden is a writer for Farming Ads view his Google+ page. 
     
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