Hens have discerning ears when it comes to music, preferring the dramatic symphonies of Bach and Beethoven to commercial pop stars such as One Direction and Beyonce.
Lincolnshire-based free range egg brand, the happy egg company, which sources eggs from a number of Yorkshire farms, commissioned academics at Bristol University to spend over two months testing how hens responded to different types of music - including tracks by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Queen, Bach and Mozart.
Although they did not lay any more eggs overall, the hens laid six per cent more eggs in the boxes playing Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ than anywhere else.
Research leader, Isabelle Pettersson, said: “The study shows that chickens have the ability not only to hear music but to discriminate between different genres, as shown by the fact that some of the birds switched nest boxes, choosing to lay preferentially to the accompaniment of classical music. We already know that hens are sensitive to noise and that loud noises of 80 decibels or more can have a profoundly negative effect on them, but it would seem the soothing tempo of classical composition may have a more positive effect.”
On the back of the findings, the happy egg company is releasing ‘Top of the Flocks’, an album of tracks produced by renowned British composer Jack Ketch to help boost hen happiness, relaxation and productivity. Copies of the album can be downloaded from the company’s website.