“Pigs respond to music”: Is it true? Check it out now!

Belgian researchers have been looking into a farmer’s allegation that his pigs’ behavior is influenced by the music he listens to.

Piet Paesmans first became aware of the phenomena when his son began singing in the barn during a laborious insemination procedure and the sows began to act delighted and wag their tails.

"Pigs respond to music": Is it true? Check it out now!

“I thought this is too good to pass up, we should try that with the other pigs too,” Paesmans told the media.

Since then, he has made a playlist for each hour of the day, playing upbeat music to keep the pigs moving and lullabies to get them to sleep.

“Jolly dance songs are the biggest hits. They start wagging their tails and when it’s dynamic they even start dancing around and frolicking. Rock music is too strong, they don’t like it,” Paesmans said.

The farmer informed a group of researchers who have obtained funding for their investigation of the claims for 75,000 euros ($76,770) from an EU grant and the Belgian province of Flanders.

Little is known about how pigs respond to music, but Paesmans’ experience fits with what is already known about how sounds affect animals in general, claims project coordinator Sander Palmans.

“There is without a doubt an effect of specific noises on animals. So it’s possible that music can have the same effect,” he said.

According to Paesmans, the stress in animals has an impact on meat quality, thus the findings may have applications for the industry.

“A top athlete needs to be completely fit physically, but also mentally. And that’s just the same for pigs. When they are slaughtered, you can see when they’ve had too much stress … It’s really important for the quality of the meat.”

By the end of the year, the study’s findings are awaited.