Ciborowska, P., Michalczuk, M., Bień, D. 2021. The effect of music on livestock: Cattle, poultry and pigs. Animals 11(12), 3572.
The welfare of animals, especially those kept in intensive production systems, is a priority for modern agriculture. This stems from the desire to keep animals healthy, to obtain a good-quality final product, and to meet the demands of today’s consumers, who have been increasingly persuaded to buy organic products. As a result, new sound-based methods have been pursued to reduce external stress in livestock. Music therapy has been known for thousands of years, and sounds were believed to improve both body and spirit. Today, they are mostly used to distract patients from their pain, as well as to treat depression and cardiovascular disorders. However, recent studies have suggested that appropriately selected music can confer some health benefits, e.g., by increasing the level and activity of natural killer cells. For use in livestock, the choice of genre, the loudness of the music and the tempo are all important factors. Some music tracks promote relaxation (thus improving yields), while others have the opposite effect. However, there is no doubt that enriching the animals’ environment with music improves their welfare and may also convince consumers to buy products from intensively farmed animals. The present paper explores the effects of music on livestock (cattle, poultry and pigs) on the basis of the available literature.