Monday, January 21, 2008

Chicken Music

The same hoary old story appeared for the umteeth time in today's Clement Crabbe column of the Daily Mail. Much amusement was being derived from reports that a poultry farmer kept his laying hens content by a non stop diet of Classic FM. Without being specific about the actual station, it is entirely practical to 'entertain' laying hens in this way. During the early years of my farming career, we maintained a laying flock of several thousand hens, and always had the radio on at full blast in the battery houses.

It may be that some hens do have specific tastes in music, and today have progressed to music a touch more highbrow than my taste - but ours had to put up with what I wanted to hear. I'm sure some became expert on ball by ball cricket commentary, of which I was an addict for many years. The only point of practical importance was that there was dominating background noise - so that all the hens didn't panic when the door opened, or something was accidentally dropped - leading to cracked eggs, damaged hens and reduced profits.

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