The Secret Life of Cows

Rosamund Young

The Secret Life of Cows
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The Secret Life of Cows

Rosamund Young

Charming, wise and illustrated with beautiful line drawings, this farmer’s observations of her herd is a rediscovered gem. ‘Delightful … it alters the way one looks at the world.’ - Alan Bennett


At Kite’s Nest Farm the cows (as well as the sheep, hens, and pigs) all roam free. They make their own choices about rearing, grazing and housing. Left to be themselves the cows exhibit personalities as diverse as our own.

Fat Hat prefers men to women. Chippy Minton refuses to sleep with muddy legs and always reports to the barn for grooming before bed. Jake’s vice is sniffing the carbon monoxide fumes from the Land Rover exhaust pipe. Gemima greets all humans with an angry shake of the head and is fiercely independent.

In this affectionate, heart-warming chronicle, Rosamund Young shows that cows love, play games, bond and form life-long friendships. They’ll seek out willow when they are injured and stinging nettles when pregnant. They babysit for one another; invent games; take umbrage' and grieve.

The reason most of us don’t know about this is because modern farming leaves no room for the natural behaviour celebrated here. This charming, gorgeously illustrated book shows the domestic cow in a entirely different light.

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