Chickens mad for Mozart produce bigger, heavier eggs
15-year-old N.S. farmer's science fair experiment involved playing music to hens
A young farmer from Digby County has found a way to get bigger, heavier eggs for his customers.
Thian Carman, 15, has been playing music to his chickens on Meadow Brother's Farm in an attempt to get more bang for his cluck.
Carman, who is Nova Scotia’s youngest registered farmer, heard some dairy farmers play music for their cattle in order to get them to relax and produce more milk.
He thought the same principle could work for his chicken flock and decided to test that theory for his science fair experiment.
He took aside 10 of the 67 Rhode Island Reds he raises for eggs and measured their eggs for size and mass for two weeks.
During the next two weeks, he played those 10 chickens country music and measured the results. After another two-week period without music, he then played the chickens classical music for another two weeks.
"I decided to play two kinds of music, country and classical, just because I figured they're a country animal, they might like country music," said Carman.
The results were interesting.
Carman concluded his chickens were more "mellow" on Mozart.
"It can relax them. Everybody works better when there's music on," he said.
Carman found eggs produced while chickens listened to classical music were significantly bigger and heavier than those that did not listen to music. In fact, the jumbo egg cartons Carman usually uses for his eggs were too small for the “classical” eggs.
Interestingly, the eggs produced while chickens listened to country music weighed more than the control but were not bigger in size.
Carman said his farmers market customers loved the “classical” eggs.
"Once they saw my results, they were demanding to have classical eggs," he said.
At the Team Nova Scotia showcase for the province’s regional winners of the Canada-Wide Science Fair, Carman’s experiment caught the attention of the judges. Carman will be part of the team that represents the province at the national science contest.
"I thought it was a really unique idea to look at specifically the type of music, and how that would affect egg growth," said judge Monique Guilderson.
Carman said he'll continue his experiments with different types of music. Next, Carman said he wants to see what effect playing heavy metal music will have on his hens’ egg production.
The Canada-Wide Science Fair takes place May 10 to 17 in Windsor, Ont.