Here’s an article that claims that chickens grow better if provided with music.
Is it true? Do chickens do better if they have the ability to put on an impromptu hoedown anytime the mood strikes them? Beats me, but no doubt there’s been research on the subject. Any poultry question that (a) comes up over and over and (b) can be researched cheaply has been looked into: our Extension Service is like that. And it’s not like putting a radio in a chicken house is very complicated.
I do know that chickens make noises to communicate with each other, and a contented flock sounds different from an unhappy flock. They also react to noises in their environment. So it seems reasonable that appropriate background music will mellow them out.
Of course, chicken farming has always been plagued by stuff that “seems reasonable” but doesn’t work. For example, people still believe that you can tell the sex of a baby chick by the phallic symbolism of the egg: long skinny eggs hatch males. And others still believe in the irritant theory of medicine, and think that cayenne pepper in the diet will force a hen to shoot out eggs like a machine gun. It’s always the Middle Ages in some people’s heads. But then again, some of these wacky ideas work. Maybe I can dredge up some research the next time I find myself in the basement of OSU’s Valley Library.
I’ve noticed that anecdotal reports of music for chickens rate rock and roll higher than you’d expect if the music is supposed to be a lullaby. Of course, since we don’t know what the music actually does, it’s hard to guess what the best playlist is going to be.