Rosamund Young tells a touching tale of observation on her farm in her story The Secret Life of Cows.

At Kite’s Nest Farm, the cows all roam free, along with the other animals. 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 will seek out willow when they are injured and stinging nettles when pregnant. They babysit for one another, invent games and take umbrage and grieve.

The reason most do not know about this is because modern farming leaves no room for the natural behaviour celebrated in this book, which shows the domestic cow in an entirely different light.

Rosamund and her brother Richard Young run Kite’s Nest Farm in the Cotswolds in south central England. They are widely acknowledged as the nation’s first organic farmers.

Readers also enjoyed this book review of mystery Sapphire Falls.