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Soothing stressed out turkeys

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LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Britain's farming union has released a chill-out album to help turkeys keep calm in the understandably stressful run-up to Christmas.

Geoff Hemus is one of 300 UK farmers who will be playing recordings of Gregorian chants, whale calls and rustling forests to his 3,500 birds.

"At first they seemed rather bemused and started gobbling more. They didn't chill out, lie down and cross their legs. But then they got their confidence back," he told Reuters.

Farmers have long believed drowning out the crash and bang of farmyard life is good for birds.

"If they are less stressed, they eat more and put on more pounds," Hemus said.

His turkeys only have 2-1/2 weeks to relax before they have to face the music for Christmas.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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