Adele and Coldplay top of the farmyard charts
Farmers claim music makes their animals more relaxed, calm and content.
A new survey published today by RSPCA Freedom Food - to mark its Farm Animal Week - revealed that 77 per cent of farmers either play music, radio, sing or chat to their animals.
Freedom Food’s survey revealed that nearly half of farmers play music or the radio to their animals. With Adele, Bon Jovi, Coldplay and Eminem named as the most popular farmyard artists.
But it’s not just music ringing out in our farmyards. Over 60 per cent of all farmers - and an impressive 75 per cent of dairy farmers - surveyed said they also talk to their animals. Hot topics of conversation include the weather, how they or their animals are feeling and general idle chit-chat.
Pop music promoting animal welfare
This follows latest research by Essex-based Writtle College which found that playing a radio tuned into a pop music or chat station can have a positive effect on sow and piglet behaviour, by increasing sow suckling and causing piglets to be more playful.
Freedom Food farmer, David Tory, and his cows couldn’t agree more with these findings:
"Put simply, a stressed and unhappy cow won’t drop her milk but we never have that problem with our girls.
"The secret to their happiness and good production is not only giving them the best care we can, under the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme, but tuning into the local radio or Planet Rock at milking time.
"The cows love a bit of Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones. It makes them chilled out and relaxed and that’s what produces great milk."
RSPCA farm animal scientist, Dr Marc Cooper, added:
Chatting to farm animals may sound daft but there is a clear welfare message behind Freedom Food’s survey. The farmers said that their animals are more content, relaxed and calm when they interact with them in this way.
RSPCA launches unique ‘welfare tool’
Not only are farmers talking to their animals but we are now looking at ways of how we can better ‘listen’ to what animals have to say. This is as part of a pioneering new ‘welfare tool’ to help further improve farm animals’ lives.
Dr Cooper explained:
This is about going back to basics and doing what good stock-keepers do best – looking at and listening to their animals to measure how well and happy they are.
Of course many farmers already do this and those on the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme work to a strict set of welfare standards. But we are using science to develop a unique, quick and simple set of measures to assess animal welfare.
It’s a bit like a 'welfare tool kit’ and the results will help farmers see how well their animals are, better understand what they need, and identify what more they can do to help give them a really good life.
Freedom Food assessors are already using these new measures on egg-laying farms and will start using them on dairy farms in July.
Farm Animal Week
This week is Farm Animal Week (18 - 24 June) and Freedom Food is asking people who care about the lives of farm animals to choose higher welfare food, such as Freedom Food.
The more people that do, the more animals will be reared to high welfare standards and have a better life.
Find out more about Farm Animal Week.