Wageningen University in the Netherlands has installed a cow toilet at its dairy campus.
The Hanskamp Cow Toilet collects urine before it hits the floor. Separating urine from faeces means less ammonia in the environment and a healthier atmosphere in cattle sheds, the company says. The device also offers economic advantages through savings on manure storage, and benefits agricultural sustainability. Separated urine can become a natural precision fertiliser and, potentially, a source of clean power through hydrogen, it adds.
The starting point for the toilet’s development was recognition that cows have a nerve reflex that causes them to immediately urinate. When the device comes into contact with an animal’s suspensory ligament, it moves with the cow, locating the nerve that triggers the urinary reflex and the cow starts urinating.
It was developed for out-of-parlour feeding stations and is said to be used voluntarily by the cows. The toilet will...