Pig farmer plays live music to animals

A Suffolk farmer has taken the wonderfully bizarre step of playing music to calm his drove of pigs. Fans of Virginia based grindcore, look away now!

Mark Hayward, of Dingley Dell Pork, near Wickham Market, claims that the live music makes his pigs more relaxed and content.

As well as playing his favourite rock tunes while driving his tractor around the farm, Mr Hayward has also invited local band The Broadside Boys to rock out in the farm’s pig pen.

There’s no news on whether the band’s set includes the Black Sabbath classic, War Pigs.

Mr Hayward claims that animals pick up a vibe from those around them and said that music and talking can play a key role in an animal’s wellbeing.

“When the band isn’t here we have music on all the time coming from the tractors or my truck,” he commented.

“This creates a great working environment for the stockmen too as it’s really important to be relaxed and calm around farm animals. I chat away to my breeding sows all the time although the piglets don’t seem to want to stay still for long enough to listen.”

Mr Hayward’s claims have been backed up by the RSPCA, which said that while it may seem peculiar, conversing with animals is a worthwhile exercise.

Dr Marc Cooper, a farm animal scientist at the RSCPA, said: “Chatting to farm animals may sound daft but, like our pets, farm animals are intelligent, sentient beings and respond well to positive interaction.”

The news comes after the RSPCA commissioned a survey of 249 farmers as part of its freedom Food Campaign.

Data from the survey showed that the majority of the farmers asked believed that music and talking greatly improve the welfare of their animals.

In other musical animal charity news (how often do you get to type that out?), Paul McCartney has received a birthday card from animal protection group PETA.

Macca, as he is affectionately known, turned 70 years old yesterday and the group marked the occasion with a card recreating artwork from the Beatles Abbey Road work.

What’s the oddest audience you’ve ever performed to?

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