Secret Life of Farm Animals, BBC 4, 8pm Thursday 6th December
We all think we know about farm animals; that sheep are stupid, pigs are smart and that cows lie down when it’s going to rain. But there’s a lot more to them than that.
This series brings together some of the country’s best farms to create one sun-dappled ideal where animal intelligence is tested, unlikely relationships discover and a side of farm animals you’ve never seen before is uncovered.
The programme was filmed in Wales over spring and early summer 2018 as the countryside awakened from winter. The animals on each farm were filmed using wildlife documentary techniques giving a beautiful new insight into life on some of Wales’s organic farms in spring.
In the 3 part series the programme follows the first 12 weeks of the lives of a new born lamb, pig and calf. We see how Hereford cows form a social hierarchy in the herd, watch a lonely goose search for company, meet a ram that thinks he’s a cow and translate what chickens are really saying to each other in the hen house. The show meets many other comical and loveable real life animal characters along the way and displays the wonder of life on some of Wales traditional organic farms.
About the farms that feature
One of the farms that feature in the programme is Treberfedd Farm near Lampeter in Ceredigion. Over several weeks the crew filmed at the stunning location overlooking the Aeron Valley. We see the herd of rare breed original population Hereford cattle to look at cow families and how they interact. A cow gives birth and we follow ‘Harry the Hereford’ and his Mum as he is introduced to the rest of the herd in the early summer meadows. We also meet Floss the sheepdog, a very funny rabbit and find out interesting facts about sheep behaviour by painting some of the flock of Llanwenog sheep.
At Dolgoch Farm in Carmarthenshire the show features farmer Nick Fordham’s much loved dairy cows. A healthy herd he has nurtured since the age of 12, we see the bond between Nick and his cows, how the cows can learn new tricks and how they enjoy live music with an impromptu performance from Aberystwyth silver band. Penyrallt farm in Carmarthenshire and Caerlan farm near Tonypandy are other Welsh farms which feature in the making of the show.