80 Fun Facts About Farm Animals

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images/FooTToo

Twenty things you ought to know about cows

  1. Cows love each other . . . at least some do.
  2. Cows babysit for each other.
  3. Cows nurse grudges.
  4. Cows invent games.
  5. Cows take umbrage.
  6. Cows can communicate with people.
  7. Cows can solve problems.
  8. Cows make friends for life.
  9. Cows have food preferences.
  10. Cows can be unpredictable.
  11. Cows can be good company.
  12. Cows can be boring.
  13. Cows can be intelligent.
  14. Cows love music.
  15. Cows can be gentle.
  16. Cows can be aggressive.
  17. Cows can be dependable.
  18. Cows can be forgiving.
  19. Cows can be obstinate.
  20. Cows can be wise.

Twenty things you ought to know about hens

  1. Hens sing when they are happy and enjoy listening to music.
  2. Hens chop up food into small pieces for their chicks.
  3. Hens ‘cluck’ constantly to reassure their chicks.
  4. Hens stretch, flap, fly, run, paddle and sunbathe.
  5. Hens are fastidious and preen their feathers regularly.
  6. Hens dust-bathe as part of their cleaning process.
  7. Hens are inquisitive.
  8. Hens are playful and can always amuse themselves whatever the weather.
  9. Hens are sociable and have many different ‘speaking’ voices.
  10. Hens suffer badly from fear and shock.
  11. Hens respond to kindness and attention.
  12. Hens love a varied diet . . .
  13. . . . and clean, pure water . . .
  14. . . . and (preferably) ripe fruit . . .
  15. . . . and meat, raw or cooked . . .
  16. . . . and some hens like brassica . . .
  17. and all like wheat and barley, whole and sprouted.
  18. Hens need grit in their diet.
  19. Hens make friends . . .
  20. and sometimes spurn newcomers.

Twenty things you ought to know about sheep

  1. Sheep can be very companionable and amazingly compassionate.
  2. Sheep can be highly intelligent.
  3. Sheep can be very dim.
  4. Sheep always run uphill if they sense danger.
  5. Sheep are usually gentle and unaggressive.
  6. Most sheep have long, woolly tails to keep them warm.
  7. Sheep can live on grass alone but like other things too such as . . .
  8. . . . tree leaves and apples.
  9. A sheep’s thick coat protects it from heat and cold.
  10. Sheep can stand very cold weather better than cows, pigs or hens.
  11. Some sheep have good powers of concentration and can watch television.
  12. Some sheep have butterfly minds and can cause accidents.
  13. Sheep seem to prefer running water to still water to drink.
  14. Sheep have very long memories.
  15. Sheep play almost continually when they are young . . .
  16. . . . and sometimes when they are old they have pretend fights.
  17. Sheep have several different ways of ‘speaking’.
  18. Sheep like fresh air and wind.
  19. Sheep can be conceited.
  20. Sheep can be delightfully affectionate…. and, of course, you cannot pull the wool over their eyes.

Cover courtesy of Penguin Press

Twenty things you ought to know about pigs

  1. Pigs take life easy, like comfort and sleep a lot.
  2. Pigs like to be waited on.
  3. Pigs like being allowed to build nests before farrowing.
  4. Pigs cover themselves in wet mud . . .
  5. . . . and let it dry and fall off, leaving them clean.
  6. Pigs are very particular about personal hygiene . . .
  7. . . . and always keep their living quarters clean . . .
  8. . . . and are the only domestic animal to make a lavatory outside.
  9. Pigs ‘make’ their beds every day.
  10. Mother pigs make the beds for their piglets.
  11. Pigs need clean water to drink and plenty of water to wash in.
  12. Pig’s tails are curly if they are happy . . .
  13. . . . and straight if they are not.
  14. Pigs hate draughts.
  15. Pigs can get sun-burned.
  16. Pigs are very strong.
  17. Pigs are usually gentle and make very nice friends but . . .
  18. . . . pigs can be dangerous if threatened or hungry.
  19. Pigs need a varied and interesting diet.
  20. Pigs always choose the best, most organic food if given the chance.

Reprinted with permission from THE SECRET LIFE OF COWSby Rosamund Young and published by Penguin Press, 2008, 2017.

Farm Animals

In the first full-color guide of its kind, author and small farm owner Laura Childs reveals exactly what it takes to start raising your own animals, including chickens, geese, goats, sheep, pigs, and cows. Childs discusses what you can expect to harvest from your animals (from eggs to milk to meat to wool) based on her own real-life experiences. Order from the Capper’s Farmer Store or by calling 800-678-4883