Choosy Cows and Buttercups – June 1923

To-day I was watching the cows feeding in a meadow golden with buttercups. One of them was lightly flicking off the flower heads into her mouth. She continued to do this for a minute or two, then settled to the serious business of munching the more substantial grass at the edge of certain islands eaten close in the ocean of yellow.

Then I observed another cow pausing in the pursuit of the solid course to snatch lightly in the same way at the buttercups. The cattle evidently include these delectable flowers in their meal as we do mustard or a piquant sauce, their acidity imparting a relish to the sweet smoothness of the grass.

But that they are not fond of too big a mouthful of their bitterness is evident from the grass being almost untouched in parts where the yellow is most abundant.

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