When it comes to people who either drink milk or eat meat, healthier cows mean healthier humans.  Now, scientists have discovered another way to keep them healthy.

Flies carry disease.  They also waste a lot of a cow's energy as the cow has to shake them off and swat at them with their tails.  Often cows will band together to avoid being bitten which can in some instances cause problems with heat stress and injury.

But according to a story on CNN, if you paint your cows to look more like zebras, they will suffer fewer bites from flies.

Seems silly right?

The study was done in Japan.  They painted the cows with black-and-white stripes, black stripes and no stripes.  So how did they do?  Unpainted cows and cows with black stripes endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the black-and-white cows suffered fewer than 60 in the same period.

The theory is that the flies have a problem with the black on white.  The polarization of light impairs their perception, so they can't properly decelerate.

So...wouldn't that work with cows that were spotted too?

Probably, yes, but the thinner stripes seem to have a better affect.

I just can't see it happening.  For a farmer to constantly have to be painting their hundreds if not thousands of cows seems like an unending job that cows have a tail for.