12 August 1998
Chicks rock to top of the pops
ABOUT half of Britains poultry farmers play music to their chickens because they believe it makes their birds happier, healthier and more productive, a survey for the National Farmers Union discloses.
Simon Rayner, a spokesman for the union, said the survey of 100 chicken farmers showed that pop music was favoured listening in 70% of musical chicken sheds. “Easy listening” tunes such as those sung by the late Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett are also popular.
Mr Rayner reported: “Some 96% [of farmers] said the birds were calmer, 50% that they were less aggressive, 20% that they suffered less illness and 16% that they laid more eggs.”
Bryan Jones, an animal behaviourist at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, said all animals welcome anything that makes their environment more stimulating. “Chickens panic easily and the music may help them to realise that new noises are not something to worry about,” he said.
- The Times 12/08/98 page 3
- The Independent 12/08/98 page 9
- The Daily Telegraph 12/08/98 page 3