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Chickens Enjoy Clucking Good Classical Music

Beethov-hen’s first symphony: New Zealand orchestra puts on a live show for chickens.


A rather peculiar audience gathered on a peaceful morning at a beautiful Hawke’s Bay farm in New Zealand to witness an unusual performance. Members of the prestigious New Zealand Symphony Orchestra gathered in a lush farm field and as they began to play their instruments, the crowd that gathered was not made up of your typical classical music enthusiasts - it was a flock of a couple of thousand chickens.


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Credit: YouTube

You are no doubt wondering: why? Well, according to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, animals respond very well to music. Chickens, it transpires, enjoy classical tunes, particularly those from the baroque era. The Bostock Brothers farm in New Zealand has been serenading their chickens with classical music in order to create a peaceful and joyful atmosphere. Not always, it should be said, with a live orchestra.


The goal is to provide music that enhances the lives of the farm’s residents. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the feathery aficionados prefer soft tunes, and when they respond positively to the music, these free-range chickens move around more freely among the trees, indicating a sense of contentment.


The ultimate objective of this musical endeavour is to spread a sense of calm elsewhere too. Ben Bostock, one of the farm’s owners, hopes to see chicken farmers all around the globe use music to provide a peaceful environment for their livestock.


What began as a frivolous idea turned into a profound link between soft baroque music and the well-being of chickens - highlighting the beauty of unlikely partnerships.

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