Livestock encountered during agricultural experience in France

Hello! My name is Inosho.
In this article, I would like to introduce some of the livestock I encountered during my farming experience in France (WWOOF).
The article is full of the history of domestication and trivia, so I hope you will read it all the way through.

Livestock encountered during agricultural experience in France


The first animal is the goats. The domestication of goats began in 10000~7000 BC.


In Japan, goat meat and goat dairy products are rarely seen. I don’t recall eating any goat products in Japan, but when I was in France and England, I had a pizza made with goat cheese.

It is a “goat cheese pizza” so to speak. In France, I was allowed to eat it at a farmhouse where I stayed during my farming experience, and in England, I bought it from a regular supermarket.

Goat cheese has a unique habit and aroma, and I personally think that once you get used to it, you will become addicted to its flavor.

By the way, it is said that goats can attack and lunge at strangers if they are not used to being around people.

Goats  in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Goats in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Once, while hiking in a farming village in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a domestic goat approached me.

I remember I passed by it with some trepidation, fearing that it might lunge at me because it seemed unafraid of me and had unexpectedly strong horns.


The domestication of cattle is said to have started a little later than other domesticated animals such as goats and sheep. One theory says that it started around 6000 BC.

Although the aurochs, the ancestors of cattle, were mild-mannered, their large size may have been a factor in the delay in domestication.

This is a picture of a dairy cow we met during our farming experience in France
Cow in France

This is a picture of a dairy cow we met during our farming experience in France. In Japan, cheese, milk, and other dairy products are mostly obtained from dairy cows, so they are very important.

Dairy cows produce milk for a while after giving birth. When they get old and stop producing milk, they are shipped for food.

The inexpensive Australian beef you see in Japanese supermarkets is a typical example of this.

Dairy cows are not originally raised for food. However, if you can eat beef at such a low price, I personally don’t mind eating beef from dairy cows.

Domestic chicken

Domestic chicken in France
Domestic chicken in France

Now, here is a chicken. According to information on the Internet, some say that the domestication of chickens started in 8000 B.C., while others say it started in 3000 B.C.

By the way, the most eaten meat in the world is chicken. After chicken, pork is the next most eaten meat, followed by beef and lamb.

Some even say that pork, not chicken, is the number one meat consumed in the world. However, since pork is rarely eaten in Muslim countries, I personally think chicken is number one.

When traveling in the countryside in foreign countries, you will see chickens here and there in large gardens, not only on farms. They are truly “garden birds,” aren’t they?

Eggs (unfertilized eggs)
Eggs (unfertilized eggs)

In the farmhouse I visited in France, all the chickens were female. The female chickens produced eggs (unfertilized eggs) through ovulation without mating, and these eggs were harvested.

Incidentally, the nutritional value of eggs produced by mating with a male (fertilized eggs) and those produced by ovulation (unfertilized eggs) is said to be almost the same.

The hen is eco-friendly in that when she gets old and no longer produces eggs, the eggs are used for food. It is the same as the aforementioned dairy cows.


Donkeys are powerful and are mainly used to help carry loads on farms.
Donkeys are powerful and are mainly used to help carry loads on farms

During the farming experience, we also met a donkey. Donkeys are the smallest animal in the horse family. It was first domesticated in Africa around 5000 BC.

Donkeys were considered inferior to horses and cattle because of their mild-mannered but stubborn nature. Because of its character, the donkey has an image of “donkey=stupid” in foreign countries.

Donkeys are not common in Japan, but they have been widely domesticated in Africa, Europe, Central and South America, and China.

Although small in stature, donkeys are powerful and are mainly used to help carry loads on farms. By the way, donkey meat is said to be delicious. If I have a chance, I would love to try it.


Sheep grazing in pastures
Sheep grazing in pastures

It is said that sheep were domesticated around 1000~7000 BC, the same as goats. In other countries, it is common to see these sheep grazing in pastures.

Accommodations where you can experience agriculture
Sheep are famous in Japan for Genghis Khan in Hokkaido. When I was in New Zealand, I once ate mutton. The taste of mutton is rich and has a peculiar flavor, but I personally find it delicious.

Incidentally, the meat of sheep less than one year old is called lamb, and the meat of sheep two years old or older is called mutton. Lamb meat between lamb and mutton is called hogget.

There was also ice cream made from fresh cow and sheep's milk sold on the route near the farm.

Lamb is not widely distributed in Japan, although it is well known in books. However, it is the most commonly eaten meat in the world after chicken, pork, and beef.

In the Middle East in particular, lamb is often eaten in place of pork because of the Islamic rule against eating pork. Kebabs made with lamb, to be honest, look very tasty.

Wild duck

Wild ducks
Wild ducks

Ducks were originally wild ducks that were domesticated. In Japan, ducks are known as pets and popular animals in zoos, while they are also recognized as foodstuffs, such as duck soba noodles and Peking duck.

Accommodations where you can experience agriculture
Although they look cute, to be honest, duck soba and Peking duck are delicious….


The pig is the result of the domestication of the wild boar
The pig is the result of the domestication of the wild boar

Although pigs were domesticated at the same time as sheep and goats, I was surprised to learn that their ancestors were wild boars. In other words, the pig is the result of the domestication of the wild boar.

Despite some differences, wild boars are biologically almost the same as pigs, and I heard that wild boar meat is very tasty. If I have a chance, I would love to try it.

Agricultural experience changed my thinking about livestock

I was able to see many livestock during my farming experience in France. I also became interested in the history of animal domestication and gained new knowledge through my research.

Accommodations where you can experience agriculture
By the way, before I had the farming experience, I thought that eating animals was somehow a pity. However, that thought changed a little when I actually stayed at a farm.

When I saw the livestock, which were not bothered by the food and were just chomping at the bit, I realized that the only time they feel pain is when they are being processed for meat.

I hope they will continue to eat all the food provided by the farmers until just before they are processed.

Please refer to “A casual street in a French city is stylish and simple” .

See you tomorrow!