MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Has anyone researched what music calms down guinea pigs?

Date: Mon Mar 29 06:38:11 2004
Posted By: Janet Hoff, Staff, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1080176106.Zo

Whenever considering using animal/s on a research project, please understand that there are 10 guidelines set up by the Nationl Research Council which should be followed when using animals for a project at the precollege education level. For a copy of these guidlines write:

National Research Council
2101 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20418
or call 202-334-2590
ask for: Principales and Guidelines for the use of Animals in Precollege Education

You may visit the author's web site at: ilar/

Guinea pigs are often chosen for research projects involving the ear because their ears are very similar to our own.

What I would recommend is to first condition Little Scotty to eat at a certain time, then add the music and see how it affects his eating habits.

I was not able to find any articles which looked at guinea pig behavior using a variety of music, but I am a member of a group of laboratory animal care-takers who have discussed this issue, here are the results of that discussion:

1) We bought a radio for our rabbit breeding colony, and experienced a 10% increase in conception rate (from 85% to 95%), and 30% increase in litter size (from an average of 8.5 to 12). By consensus, its kept on either one of the Oldies stations, or one of the "Listen at Work" stations.

This is entirely anecdotal, and there's probably other contributing factors, but we aren't gonna argue with success.

John Duktig
BD Biosciences

2) I can report briefly on one non-peer reviewed, unpublished study that my son did for a science fair project. The project was to determine the effect of rap music vs. classical music on the feeding behavior of crickets. Actually he wanted to use cockroaches but crickets were easier to manage (and more acceptable to his mother to have in the house).

Crickets were placed in plastic study chambers and exposed to several sound levels of both rap and classical music. Control crickets were also observed. The data included measurements of the number of crickets counted at feeding stations during the 15 minute study sessions. The project received several California science fair awards. He did not find any literature on mice, music and behavior. The control animals outperformed the two study groups.

For the conclusion, read the following sentence backwards:

"behavior feeding their inhibits significantly it and music rap hate crickets"

PT Robinson, DVM

3) Hello-

At my last job, we implemented a music program for the rabbits. Soft, relaxing music was played throughout the day in each room. I haveheard of this being done in primate rooms as well (jungle sounds is one recommendation). Some rabbit suppliers also recommend music to soothe excitable rabbits, such as Dutch-belteds. The right music does seem to relax the rabbits. Hope this helps.

4) Anaesthesia Volume 58 Issue 7 Page 699 - July 2003
A comparison of intra-operative or postoperative exposure to music - a controlled trial of the effects on postoperative pain. U. Nilsson, N. Rawal, and M. Unosson

Summary: The effect of intra-operative compared to postoperative music on postoperative pain was evaluated in a controlled trial. In all, 151 patients undergoing day case surgery for inguinal hernia repair or varicose vein surgery under general anaesthesia were randomly allocated to three groups: group 1 listened to music intra-operatively, group 2 listened to music postoperatively and group 3, the control group, listened to 'white noise'. The anaesthetic and postoperative analgesic techniques were standardised. Pain was assessed using a numeric rating scale (0-10) and patients requirements for postoperative morphine, paracetamol and ibuprofen was recorded. The effect of music on nausea, fatigue and anxiety was also investigated. The results showed that patients exposed to music intra-operatively or postoperatively reported significantly lower pain intensity at 1 and 2 h postoperatively and patients in the postoperative music group required less morphine at 1 h compared to the control group. No differences were noted in the other variables. This study demonstrates that there is a short-term pain-reducing effect of music therapy however, the beneficial effects do not differ if the patient is exposed to music intra-operatively or postoperatively.
Yours sincerely,
Eric Troncy

Here are a couple of web sites dedicated to the Guinea pig. It is important to understand the animal that you are studying. If you donít know what is normal, it can be difficult to note when the animal does something that is not normal. ~seagull/Guineas/behavior.shtml guineapigworld/bdylnge.html

Hope this helps!

Good Luck.

Janet Hoff
Certified Horse Farm Manager
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Research Associate II

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