A New Zealand vineyard has discovered that playing classical music to its resident hens has made their eggs noticeably larger.
The Yealands Wine Estate 's owner, Peter Yealands, initially started playing classical music on his estate in an attempt to make his wine-producing vines stronger and less prone to disease, but he discovered that it actually made the estate's resident hens lay larger eggs instead.
He told Stuff.co.nz: "There's a line of thought among a few cranks like me that plants respond to music." But when he began playing the works of Mozart, Bach and Strauss in the hen houses, he noticed a remarkable change in the size of eggs they were laying.
"I've weighed the eggs singly and by the dozen to compare them and there is a 19 per cent difference," claims the vineyard's resident bird expert Peter Funnell. "I've never seen anything like this. Apart from the music, I really can't explain why these chooks are producing such big eggs."
According to the estate, eggs produced in hen houses with no music played into them tended to weigh 52 grams each, while eggs laid in the house with classical music were closer to 62 grams each.
Suggestions for more hen house repertoire include Oeufenbach, Beethoven's Eggmont Overture and the complete works of Pecktor Berlioz.