Witness the Happiest Cows in Sweden—Kosläpp Near Stockholm

Witness the Happiest Cows in Sweden—Kosläpp Near Stockholm

If you’ve never seen cows buck and dance in a field of green grass, then be sure to head to your nearest farm for the annual kosläpp/cow release.

All photos and video by Lisa Ferland

Kosläpp means “cow release,” and it happens every spring on farms around Sweden. Sweden has around 1.5 million cattle of which 320,000 are dairy cows.

For many reasons, environmental exposures and genetic breeding, cows in Sweden are extremely healthy compared to other nations’ cattle populations. They have both low incidences of disease and little use of antimicrobials.

Swedish animal health and agricultural law ensures that all cows are allowed to graze outside in the summer. This outdoor grazing rule is for the animals’ welfare and gives them a life with natural grazing behavior and exercise.

It’s also fun to watch as it means that the cows leap for joy when they run in the green grass for the first time after a long winter.

You’ve probably never seen a happier cow in your life than when it is released into a field of fresh green grass after being indoors all winter.

Every spring, Arla dairy farms host an all-day event showcasing the cow release and giving families a chance to learn about how the farm operates.

What to bring

Farms can be a bit tough if you have a stroller, so bring along a picnic blanket and park the stroller to find a nice viewing spot on the grass.

It’s best to bring your own fika provisions with coffee if you’re looking for something other than kanelbullar and milk (which they have plenty of).

Usually, light refreshments (juice boxes and hot dogs) are available for purchase on site, but that depends on the farm.

Plan for inclement weather, this is springtime in Sweden after all, and wear shoes or boots that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy.

What to expect

The farms usually host some educational events, trivia, or scavenger hunts for the kids and there are often some newborn calves for petting before the kosläpp. Fortunately, there are hand washing stations everywhere, so no need to worry about bringing hand sanitizer with you.

Try to find “high ground” overlooking the pasture away from the actual release point as there will be a large crowd of people all vying for a good picture.

Kids often sit atop their parents’ shoulders which can block your view, so move away from the initial action. The cows continue to dance and buck long after they are released so you’ll still see a lot of action further down the pasture.

The cows are released over the course of 20-30 minutes, so the fun lasts for a while.

If the weather is nice, I recommend arriving a bit early so you can relax and have a picnic before the excitement of the cow release begins.

If you plan to drive to the farm, arriving early means avoiding traffic and long car queues.

Overall, watching the cows prance and bounce around during the kosläpp is one of my favorite spring traditions and I’m sure it’ll be yours too.

Find your nearest farm

The kosläpp events are ticketed (free but you need to indicate that you’re coming) and begin in April 13th until May 30th around the country.

The events at farms around the Stockholm area:

Uppsala:

May 4, 2019: (1 hr by car up E4)
More information: https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/uppsala/lovsta-lantbruksforskning/

May 5, 2019: (1 hr 13 min public transport)
More information: https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/uppsala/svista-gard/

May 11, 2019: (easiest from Stockholm, 1 hr via public transport):
More information: https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/uppsala/yrkesgymnasium-jalla/ https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/uppsala/yrkesgymnasium-jalla/

Vallentuna

May 4, 2019: (already fully booked this year, so head to Uppsala instead)
More information: https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/stockholm/backa-karsta-vallentuna/

For more kosläpp events around Sweden, be sure to visit:
https://www.arla.se/event-sponsring/koslapp/


You might also be interested in:

Welcome Spring with Valborg
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Stockholm
Photos: Easter Feathers in Stockholm

Author: Lisa Ferland

Lisa Ferland is the Assistant Editor of Slow Travel Stockholm and mother to one ninja warrior and one dancing firefly who often trade descriptions regularly. You can find her writing at lisaferland.com

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