Have you ever experienced around 60 cows all running, dancing, and jumping out of the barn after 6 months indoors over the winter?? It is an amazing spectacle to watch. We went along on Easter Day to Kosläpp 2017 at Björketorps Gård for our first experience of this phenomenon. The happy Swedish cows did not disappoint either. We were stood around the perimeter of a field with many hundreds of other people, awaiting what is a traditional marker for the end of winter, and the start of spring, with the release of the happy Swedish cows from their barn after being indoors for the harsh 6 months of winter. However, yesterday the temperatures dropped here, and we had snow. There was still a smattering on the ground, and we did wonder if the cows would turn around and go straight back indoors!!
I have never seen a herd of female cows so active and lively!! They were indeed very happy Swedish cows. With the barn doors opening they raced down the length of the field running, jumping, and dancing around…they have had all winter to practise their routines after all 😉 I have never seen a cow jump, and it is a little amusing. Not only were they jumping, but they were so feisty there was quite a lot of fight action going on too. They would stare each other out and lock heads, and push to and fro. Then there were other cows pawing the ground with their hooves, digging, as well as cows rubbing their noses along the ground (not unlike dogs when they find a smell they like), and one even rolling around the ground on its back (again not unlike a dog!). Watching all these guys racing towards you (even with a small wire fence between you and them) is a little unsettling!
After a lot of excitement and mooing, we headed off to explore the rest of the working farm, which was opened up for us to mooch around. It was so lovely, and a very open look into the workings, life, and smells of a dairy farm here in Sweden. First of all we headed into the cows’ barn, to see their home over the winter. The cows were free to wander in and out after their release into the field, so we saw some come into their private stable area for some food, others were being milked, and we got to see and smell life in the barn. After that we headed over to see a 2 day old calf with his mummy, and then some older calves as well. There were also pony rides to experience, tractor rides in a hay cart, food, ice creams (made with their own milk), and tractors to clamber all over.
We had a lovely day watching the happy Swedish cows see grass again after the winter, and will definitely be making this an annual tradition 🙂