Woodbridge: Farmers claim playing music to their pigs helps them grow

WE know that talking to plants is meant to help them grow.

But now farmers claim playing music to their animals helps them thrive.

A survey carried out by RSPCA Freedom Food found that 70% of farmers in the east of England play music, radio or sing to their animals because it keeps them calm and settled.

The theory is backed up by research carried out at Essex-based Writtle College which suggests 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 making them more playful.

Suffolk pig farmer Mark Hayward of Dingley Dell Pork in Woodbridge has taken it one step further and has his own house band the Broadside Boys, which plays live music to his pigs.

He said: “We often sit on the hay bales, singing and strumming to our Freedom Food pigs and i’m convinced they love it. And when the bands not playing we have music on all the time, coming from the tractors or my truck.

“It’s really important to be relaxed and calm around farm animals because they respond to your mood and in turn become more chilled out too. Music and also talking to our animals is a key part of that. I chat away to my breeding sows all the time, although the piglets are often too busy to stay still long enough to listen.”

Most Read

The survey found that Radio 2 was the most popular station choice to play to animals, while six farmers said they sing hymns, Rugby songs and Bon Jovi tracks to their animals.

RSPCA farm animal scientist, Dr Marc Cooper, said: “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. Like our pets, farm animals are intelligent, sentient beings and respond well to positive interaction.”

Here’s a list of pig farm favourites:

Brawn to be Wild – Steppenwolf

Twist and Snout – The Beatles

Swilling Me Softly – The Fugees

When the Going Gets Trough – Billy Ocean

Trotter round the Clock – Bill Haley & The Comets

For Pork Pies Only – Sheena Easton

Love is a Boar – Barbara Streisand

Lucy in The Sty with Diamonds – The Beatles

Chop in the name of Love – The Supremes

We have all the Swine in the World – Louis Armstrong

From Rasher with Love – Matt Munro

The Loin Sleeps Tonight – Tight Fit

Bacon the USSR – The Beatles

Gammon Baby Light my Fire – The Doors

Add your own suggestions below: