Documentary series looking at the secret life of farm animals coming soon!
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. In this series we’re bringing together some of the country’s best farms to create one sun-dappled ideal where we will test animal intelligence, discover unlikely relationships and uncover a side of farm animals you’ve never seen before.
This news series starts on Thursday the 6th of December, 8pm on BBC Four. Music by Brollyman!
Episode 1 – Sheep
It’s Springtime on the farm and the focus is on sheep.
We follow the first 12 weeks of a lamb’s life on a Welsh Hill farm.
Along the way we find out that sheep are highly social animals with not only a remarkable ability to recognise each other, but to recognise human faces too. We meet a ram that has befriended a shy four-year-old boy and we take a drone’s eye view of some multi-coloured sheep to show that despite being sociable, flocking is actually all about self-preservation.
Other animals we meet on the farm include Charlie, a lonely goose looking for company in his own reflection.
Episode 2 – Cows
It’s Summer and we follow the first twelve weeks of a Hereford calf’s life as he makes friends and settles into the herd.
We discover that cows are much more than mother nature’s muck-spreaders. They’re highly social animals with complex personalities. They’re brilliant problem solvers with a love of music and given freedom to roam, thanks to the matriarch, they can thrive in the wild just as their ancient ancestors did.
Is it any surprise that Hamish the Ram wants to be one?
But it’s not just about cows. We also discover that chickens use twenty-four different vocalisations to communicate.
Episode 3 – Pigs
It’s harvest season. We follow a litter of piglets from birth as they grow up in the Brecon Beacons.
We test the theory that every piglet always returns to the same teat to suckle; show that pigs love mud to keep cool because they have practically no sweat glands and we show how intelligent they are with a series of puzzles. We also reveal that they are masters at the art of deception. Pigs tell porkies!
Along the way we meet a pair of kunekune pigs raised as domestic pets in the heart of London. We visit a farm that uses llamas to guard its sheep and meet a pet rabbit with a remarkable identity crisis.
Member Richard Hughes was the Shooting Director on this episode.
‘Secret Life of Farm Animals’ by Oxford Scientific Films
Visit www.oxfordscientificfilms.tv and the BBC programme website: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0btyjts
OSF is a BAFTA- and Emmy-award winning producer of contemporary factual, natural history, science and history productions, with a passion for storytelling and they are proud of the company’s heritage as a technological pioneer.
They have earned an international reputation for producing a broad range of high quality factual television from pure and popular natural history to specialist factual and documentary television.
Founded on 8 July 1968, by noted documentary filmmaker Gerald Thompson, the independent film company broke new ground in the world of documentaries, using new filming techniques and capturing footage of never before filmed activities of its various subjects.
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