Cows generate more milk for daughters as compared to sons
JAN 31, 2014
The love of a mother cannot compare with any other thing in the world and a mother always treats her child’s equally and with love as well. Especially the mother loves her child when he/she is just born. It is said normally that a mother’s love is unbiased but if you think so then you might be wrong because the mother’s love is biased in the case of cows. The latest research has indicated that the cows feed more milk to their daughter off spring as compared to boys. Well this might make the boys feel a bit jealous but this is quite evident in the research that the cows prefer their female offspring more than the boys when it comes to lactation.
The Research on Dairy Cows by Professor Bradford
Barry Bradford, associate professor in K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. Barry, along with Katie Hinde in Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology conducted this study on the dairy cows and they studied and observed more than 1.4 million cows and 2.5 million lactation cases .Actually this study was derived from the database of Dairy Records Management Systems of Raleigh, North California.
Professor Bradford said that the research indicated that the gender of the offspring plays a vital role in the factor that how much milk the mother will produce for the child. When the researchers observed closely they found that the cows produce more milk for the daughters as compared to the sons. The researchers also mentioned that the gender of the fetus can determine in advance that how much milk the cow will produce in lactation. Professor Bradford said: “One possible explanation is that a daughter is able to let her mom know that she expects to receive more milk than her brothers.”
Especially in the case of the first lactation the bias among the genders was greatest. If a cow’s first lactation was a daughter then the cow had produced far more milk in amount as compared to the son in first lactation. Professor Bradford mentioned: Daughters seemed to have the most dramatic effect on the initial development of the mammary gland, as the bias against sons was maximum in the first lactation,”
Though this research indicated that the cows produce far more milk for daughters but it also justified on more point and that was regarding the quality of the milk. The study indicated that the quality of milk for both daughters and sons was the same when the amount of fat and protein was tested. The researchers said that the impact of fetus on the milk production might be justified as the hormones of fetus and placenta might differ in sons and daughters as these hormones may affect the mammary glands which produce milk.
Same study on humans?
The study shown clear results of difference in milk consumption of daughters and sons of a cow but now the question arises that is there a bias of milk generation or consumption in humans as well. Well the researchers said that there has been no evidence at all that there is such bias found in humans. But it would b interesting to know that whether a fetus can affect the milk generation or consumption in humans.