I can tell you why they wear bells today.
If it is foggy on the alps the farmers find the animals quick. And if there are some hunters (Wolf, lynx…) going around the farmers hear that something is wrong.
On competitions the cows wear nice bells also (Best milk cow, nicest udder…).
Last but not least the bigger bells are used when the farmers go from the valley to the alps or back.
In 1975 I was dumb enough to believe in the “back to the land” movement. I got in on a deal with friends that had purchased 20 acres in Southern Oregon. The land was beautiful, but it is not possible to live off the land so I got a job with a rancher.
I learned a lot about cattle that year.
The lead female gets the bell. The other cattle follow her. The bell makes the herd easier to find. It is never easy, the bell just helps. The bell keeps all the cattle in touch with the herd. They are social and prefer to stay together. The article was cute, but cattle bells are really working bells.
It is fun to think about that when you handle them.
Cow society – they ain’t too smart….. good thing because they are tasty.
Bells help us get them fed and to market.