Secret Life of Farm Animals

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Series 1 - Episode 1 Sheep



Sheep have rectangular pupils. Newborn chicks dream. These and other revelations enliven a pleasant look at the biology of animals we have lived alongside for millennia but mostly take for granted. The first programme touches on cattle and chickens but focuses on sheep: the UK has 33 million of them (a quarter of the EU’s total) and they’re smarter than you might think. For instance, they recognise the faces of flock members – and human faces too, experiments show.

But it may not be the science that most absorbs you in the programme: at this time of year, seeing newborn spring lambs gambolling around the place is practically therapy.


Documentary examining the behaviour of farm animals, testing their intelligence, discovering unlikely relationships and uncovering a side to them that may never have been seen before. The first film focuses on sheep, following 12 weeks in the life of a lamb on a Welsh hill farm, and revealing them to be highly sociable with a remarkable ability to recognise each other and human faces too. Other animals featured include a lonely goose looking for company and a piglet that thinks it is a cow.

Cast & Crew

Director Rob Neil
Editor Tim Waymouth
Executive Producer Caroline Hawkins
Documentary Nature