(NEWSER) – Cowbell-clad cows are an iconic part of Swiss culture, but that doesn't mean the cows are happy about it. A new study out of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich studied 100-plus cows over a three-day period at 25 farms. Those who wore cowbells—some of which rang, some of which didn't—ate for shorter amounts of time and even chewed less, reports Swiss Radio International.
Researchers say it's unclear which was the chief culprit: the weight of the bells (12 pounds) or the sound (up to 113 decibels). The decibel level of the bells is the equivalent of a chainsaw; the Swiss Accident Insurance Fund says human exposure to this level of noise for even eight hours a day would negatively and seriously affect health.