Cows do not sense the North Magnetic Pole
Around the world in the past decade, all kinds of publications apparently claim that cows, deers and dogs tend to lie down in a North-South direction, possibly affected by the North Magnetic Pole.
However, according to the first scientific studies on the sensitivity of cows for the magnetic North at the University of Wageningen, it’s not true. Although there is scientific evidence to suggest that small animals are affected by magnetism, anything that has been said about large animals has been solely based on observations, from farmer descriptions to Google Earth photographs.
Tests were done in Portugal on 34 cows fitted with a strong magnet by checking their orientation when they were resting. With or without the magnet, the cows just lie around wherever. Actually, the direction of the sun makes a difference, not the wind, which is the same result of a study done at the same time in Portugal of 659 cows on six farms.
Critics who claim that environmental factors such as wind and sun exert such a strong influence on animals that they obscure the effect of the earth’s magnetic field are welcome to repeat this experiment at night.