When his son started singing a tune in the barn during a sluggish insemination session his sows seemed excited and started wagging their tails, he said.
"I thought this is too good to pass up, we should try that with the other pigs too," Paesmans told a reporter.
He has a playlist for different times of the day 0 energetic when he wants them active and lullabies when he wants them to sleep.
"Jolly dance songs are the biggest hits. They really start wagging their tails and when it's really dynamic they even start dancing around and frolicking. Rock music is too strong, they don't like it," Paesmans said.
The European Union has provided about $90,000 for a research project under coordinated by Sander Palmans who said not much is known about pigs' reaction to music but Paesmans' experience chimes with existing knowledge of the effects of sounds in general on animals.
"There is without a doubt an effect of specific noises on animals. So it's really possible that music can have the same effect," he said, adding that it could help relieve boredom which has been linked to stress.
The findings could have practical impacts for the industry as meat quality is affected by stress in animals, Paesmans said.
Many dairy farmers in Ontario have use music and radio stations to provide background to mask noises that might upset cattle.