NFU mails "relaxation" CDs to help calm tense turkeys

November 26, 2003, just-food.com:November is understandably a tense time for turkeys, especially in the US where they serve as the centerpiece of the end-of-the month holiday Thanksgiving, it was possibly with this strain in mind that the Nation Farmers Union decided to distribute “relaxation” CD to help turkeys “chill out.”

The experimental approach to calming nervous turkeys was drawn up by the NFU after consultation with animal behavior experts from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

The “turkey top ten” contains a range of tracks, with names such as “Wind chimes”, “Gregorian chanting” and “Happy turkeys”, aimed at having a positive calming influence on the birds.

“It is well known among farmers that a background of constant sound calms birds, probably because it drowns out unexpected noise,” said NFU turkey spokesman Mike Bailey said. According to the NFU, stress-free birds have a more tender taste.

The farmers taking part hope to get a definitive answer on the subject to help turkey producers in future years.