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Last Updated: Monday, 24 November, 2003, 16:35 GMT
Chill-out CD aims to calm turkeys
Music will be played to turkeys
Turkey farmers are being sent a chill-out CD aimed at stopping their birds getting in a pre-Christmas flap.

The music on the disc has been compiled with help from animal behaviour experts at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

It is hoped that the 10 tunes will have a calming influence on the turkeys.

The music includes Gregorian chants, wind chimes, trotting horses and whale noises - as well as the sound of happy turkeys.

The relaxation CD will be sent to farmers involved in the NFU's turkey hotline, which puts shoppers in touch with their nearest farm selling fresh turkeys for Christmas.

The experiment is being carried out by the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

Wind chimes
Happy turkeys
Gregorian chanting
Dawn chorus
Sounds of the forest
Sounds of the seaside
Wind on the moors
Trotting horses
Farmyard sounds
Whale sounds
NFU turkey spokesman Mike Bailey said: "It is well known among farmers that a background of constant sound calms birds, probably because it drowns out unexpected noise.

"British farmers care about their animals so now we want to put this theory to the test and get a definitive answer which will help turkey producers in future years.

"Our 'turkey top 10' includes many naturally calming sounds that we hope will have a positive Effect on the turkeys' behaviour.

"There won't be a Birdie Song in sight."

Change needed

However, campaigning group Advocates for Animals said the initiative would do little to improve turkeys' lives.

"It has got nothing to do with trying to help the birds through music," said director Les Ward.

"It is the conditions and the system that the birds are being kept in that is important and they need to change that."

He said the birds only needed to be soothed with music because they were stressed in the first place.

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