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NFU Says"Relax" With Turkey chill out music Experiment

It won't just be your granny doing the funky chicken at this year's Christmas party - this season the turkeys themselves will have some tunes to chill out to.

The NFU is sending turkey farmers a "relaxation" CD to see if playing music gets the birds shaking their tail feathers.

The NFU has drawn up the experiment after consultation with animal behaviour experts from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

Farmers involved in the NFU's Turkey Hotline, a dedicated number to put shoppers in touch with their nearest farm selling fresh turkeys for Christmas, will take part.

The "turkey top 10" contains a range of tracks aimed at having a positive calming influence on the birds:
* 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 affect on the turkeys' behaviour. There won't be a Birdie Song in sight."

All the farmers signed up to the Turkey Hotline have been sent the CD with a survey form to fill out. Last year 114 farmers signed up to the scheme after paying a £20 subscription. It received 1,400 calls and generated an income of £50,000.

Mr Bailey added: "By choosing a turkey straight from the farm, shoppers are assured of buying good quality and value fresh local meat raised to high animal welfare standards."

The hotline number is 0870 060 3436. It will operate from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, ending on Christmas Eve. Calls are charged at the national rate.


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