Posts Tagged ‘Sheep’

Sheep’s Sex Determined By Diet Prior To Pregnancy

June 17, 2008

Maternal diet influences the chances of having male or female offspring. New research has demonstrated that ewes fed a diet enriched with polyunsaturated fats for one month prior to conception have a significantly higher chance of giving birth to male offspring.

This study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri and led by R. Michael Roberts. Roberts explains how diet at the time of conception is the most important factor when it comes to influencing the sex of the offspring: “Our study ruled out body condition, ewe weight, previous births, time of breeding, and likely dominance as reasons for the gender skewing. Rather, it was the composition of the diet consumed in the time period around conception that was responsible for this sex-ratio effect.”

Click here for the full article.

New Zealand seeks to curb livestock’s gas emissions

June 10, 2008

Over thousands of years of evolution, sheep, cattle and other cud chewers developed a nasty habit. They burp and break wind a lot.

That gives New Zealand a distressing gas problem.

The country’s 4 million people share two islands in the South Pacific with 40 million sheep, 9 million beef and dairy cattle and more than a million farmed deer, all producing the methane that many climate scientists say is one of the worst culprits behind global warming.

It may be a small country on the edge of the world, but New Zealand has big ambitions in the fight against climate change. Last year, Prime Minister Helen Clark set a national goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral country.

Click here for the full article.

Extreme Animal Rights Groups: Do They Really Help Animals?

May 28, 2008

More than half of US households own a pet. Most are too busy to research the current politics behind the animal rights versus animal welfare movement.

Animal welfare, AW,  movement wants to improve the conditions of animals, animal rights, AR,  movement, in the long run, is against any and all animal use, even as pets.

The problem is, many animal rights groups are wolf in sheep clothing, pretending to be animal welfare. But upon close inspection it is clear they don’t do anything for the animals, most money is spent in high salaries, fancy offices and lobbying.

These sneaky groups use anything for their agenda to separate honest animal lovers from their money…

Click here for the full article.

Larger Horns A Gamble For Young Soay Sheep

May 23, 2008

When it comes to winning mates, larger horns are an asset for male Soay sheep. But those that grow them may be putting their young lives on the line, according to a study published online on May 15th in Current Biology.

The new findings show that allocation of resources to horn growth can spell the sheep’s premature demise if the environment takes a turn for the worse.

“We find that large horns decrease males’ first-year survival when environmental conditions are poor,” said lead author Matthew Robinson of the University of Edinburgh. “Therefore, in an unpredictable environment, high allocation to early horn growth is a gamble, the pay-offs of which depend on the environmental conditions an individual encounters during its first year of life.”

Click here for the full article.

With animals living longer and advances in medicine, Fresno zoo handles special needs

May 21, 2008

It’s survival of the less-than-fittest at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

Sheep and goats are on Celebrex. One sea lion is blind and another is half-paralyzed. A hedgehog-like critter is so old it must eat mushy food.

At nearly 20, “it’s like a 170-year-old person,” said zoo veterinarian Lewis Wright.

Advances in medicine mean animals are living longer in Fresno – and in zoos nationwide – even if they have maladies that could make them dinner in the wild.

“It’s a relatively new phenomenon, where zoos have gotten so good at what they do that we are surpassing median life expectancy,” said Andy Snider, the zoo’s director of animal care and conservation.

Click here for the full article.

Screw Worm Outbreak In Yemen

May 8, 2008

An outbreak of the insidious ´screw worm´ fly in Yemen, is threatening livelihoods, in a country where rearing livestock is a traditional way of life. In recent weeks, a Ministerial delegation was at the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, to turn to the international community for emergency assistance to fight the deadly pest.

The menacing fly lays its eggs in a cut or open wound of a warm-blooded animal. The maggots then feast off the living flesh, and can kill the animal if it´s not treated in time.

The outbreak hit the country´s coast late last year. Veterinarian, Mansoor AlQadasi, General Director of the Central Veterinarian Laboratory, says it´s the first official outbreak of ´old world´ screw worm in Yemen.

“There are about 20,000 cases of livestock affected. Most of these are sheep and goats. We have also found some human cases — mainly in children and older people,” Mr. AlQadasi said.

Click here for the full article.

When Tuberculosis Hits Cows

April 22, 2008

Bovine tuberculosis is a progressive wasting disease. It affects mainly cattle but also sheep, goats, pigs and other animals. People who get bovine TB have to take strong antibiotics for up to nine months to cure them.

Humans can get sick from infected cows by drinking milk that has not been heated to kill germs. Another risk is eating meat that has not been cooked to seventy-four degrees Celsius.


In the early twentieth century, bovine TB probably killed more animals in the United States than all other diseases combined. To control it, the government launched a highly successful testing program. Historians say animal doctors ordered the destruction of about four million cattle between nineteen seventeen and nineteen forty.

But currently, the state of Michigan in the Midwest is fighting an outbreak of tuberculosis in cattle. Experts identified wild deer as the source of infection. More recently the neighboring state of Minnesota has also had to deal with TB in cattle and deer.

Click here for the full article.

Microchips Could Speed Up Detection Of Livestock Viruses

March 31, 2008

Some of the worst threats to farm workers and farm animals such as bird flu, foot-and-mouth disease and other emerging viruses could soon be quickly identified by using a simple screening chip developed by scientists from the Institute for Animal Health, scientists will hear March 31, 2008 at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting.

“The last major SARS outbreak — severe acute respiratory syndrome — which started on the border of China and Hong Kong was identified using a microarray chip. Fortunately, because of the rapid identification of the virus it was brought under control, and in spite of its seriousness caused relatively few deaths,” says Dr Paul Britton of the Institute for Animal Health in Compton, near Newbury, Berkshire. “We need a similar way of quickly identifying viruses that attack chickens, cattle, pigs, sheep and other farm animals.”

The scientists have developed a microarray, called a chip, which contains specific small regions of virus genes that react with any viruses in the samples being tested, showing up as coloured spots on glass slides. The method can also be used to see if a sample contains two or more viruses.

“At the moment the common methods for detecting viruses rely on some previous knowledge, such as recognising the clinical signs of a disease,” says Dr Paul Britton. “A system that can be used by almost anyone, and that can quickly and accurately be used to identify the particular virus early on is vital to control these diseases before they spread, and will have much wider applications.”

Click here for the full article.

S.F. Art Institute halts exhibition showing killing of animals

March 29, 2008

 Citing threats of violence by animal rights activists, the San Francisco Art Institute said Saturday that it is canceling a controversial exhibition that included video clips of animals being bludgeoned to death, as well as a public forum it had scheduled to address the controversy.

“We’ve gotten dozens of threatening phone calls that targeted specific staff people with death threats, threats of violence and threats of sexual assaults,” said Art Institute President Chris Bratton. “We remain committed to freedom of speech as fundamental to this institution, but we have to take people’s safety very seriously.”

The exhibit that sparked the controversy was a one-person show by Paris artist Adel Abdessemed called “Don’t Trust Me,” which opened March 19.

Along with a variety of other elements, the show included a series of video loops of animals being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in front of a brick wall. The animals killed included a pig, goat, deer, ox, horse and sheep.

Animal welfare groups had attacked the video clips as degrading and cruel, and accused Abdessemed of killing animals for the sake of art.

Click here for the full article.

Animal rights in China: A small voice calling

February 28, 2008

Human rights, or the lack of them, have long been a focus of China’s critics at home and abroad. But a new rights movement—complete with idealistic local and foreign campaigners—is stirring: animal rights.

Animals are treated dreadfully in Chinese farms, laboratories, zoos and elsewhere. There are grim factories where thousands of live bears in tiny cages are tapped for medicinal bile. At safari parks, live sheep and poultry are fed to lions as spectators cheer. At farms and in slaughterhouses, animals are killed with little concern for their suffering.

According to Zhou Ping, of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, few Chinese accept that animals have any rights at all. She thinks it is time they did, and in 2006 put forward China’s first national animal-welfare law. Her proposal got nowhere, and there is no sign of progress since. “There is so far”, she says, “only a small voice calling for change…”

Click here for the full article.

Dogs set on school’s sheep

February 24, 2008

Police are looking for several people who set dogs on sheep at a western Sydney college on Saturday night.

Officers say the group cut a lock to the gate at the Bidwill college and allowed several dogs to enter the paddock and kill two pregnant ewes and a ram.

The dogs then moved to other paddocks and killed chickens.

A staff member called police when he found the dead animals yesterday afternoon.

Click here for the full article.

Playlist for “Farm Farm Animals Animals,” Feb. 17th’s episode of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo

February 18, 2008

I hope you all had a chance to listen to my special episode on animal cloning! Special thanks goes out to Lee, who happens to be the first caller in the first call-in episode of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo. I had a lot of technical difficulties during show – especially when I was trying to put Lee’s call over the air.  I’m out of practice, I suppose.  Three weeks off from DJ duty will do that to you, sometimes.  Anyway, here’s the playlist. I’ve provided music videos, when possible, to help you recreate the Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo experience on your own. Stay tuned for more!

Organized by Song Title, then Artist Name, then Album Name.

  1. The Goat Strings, The High Llamas, Gideon Gaye
  2. Black Sheep, Martin Sexton, Black Sheep
  3. Who Kept The Sheep, Johnny Cash, The Christmas Spirit
  4. Sheep, Pink Floyd, Animals
  5. Piggy, Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral
  6. The Pig War, Minus The Bear, Menos El Oso
  7. Pigmeat, Leadbelly, Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
  8. Pig, Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets
  9. Piggies, The Beatles, The White Album
  10. Pigs in Zen, Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking
  11. Three Little Pigs, James Duncan
  12. March of the Pigs, Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral
  13. Bull Rider, Johnny Cash, The Essential Johnny Cash
  14. Cow-Call from Halsingland, Garmarna, Garmarna
  15. Jersey Bull Blues, Charley Patton, Pony Blues-His 23 Greatest Songs
  16. Milk Cow Blues, The Kinks, The Songs We Sang for Auntie- BBC Sessions 1964-1977
  17. Milkcow’s Calf Blues, Eric Clapton, Me and Mr. Johnson
  18. Cowbell, Tapes ‘n Tapes, The Loon
  19. Cow-Cow Boogie, Ink Spots Feat. Ella Fitzgerald (this video is a different version of the song, but it’s still one of my new favorite Animal-esque music videos!
  20. For All the Cows, Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters
  21. Ode To The Brown Cow, Einstein’s Creation, Cheese Alfred Pickles Spam: The Worst of Einstein’s Creation
  22. Walking The Cow, Daniel Johnston, The Late, Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered
  23. Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, Brian Wilson, Smile
  24. Return to Hot Chicken, Yo La Tengo

Village quarantined after animals perish en masse in Uşak province

February 14, 2008

A village in western Uşak province has been quarantined over fears of an epidemic after dozens of animals died due to an unknown cause.

The sudden deaths of about 80 sheep and numerous wild animals in the village of İnay in less than one month prompted officials to quarantine the village for fear of an outbreak of an epidemic. Officials from the Provincial Department of Agriculture said the reason behind the animals’ deaths could be poisoning, whereas villagers asserted that their animals died of cyanide used in gold prospecting activities near their village.

Ulubey Deputy Governor Mahmut Nedim Tuncer said: “We banned the entry and exit of animals. We sent samples taken from dead animals to the Bornova Research and Control Institute in İzmir. The initial results of analyses conducted on samples point to intestinal infection caused by poisoning as the reason behind the animals’ deaths.”

Click here for the full article.

‘Stop live animals exports for slaughter’

February 12, 2008

A worldwide campaign aimed at banning the long-distance transport of live animals for slaughter has been launched in London.Animal charity workers shot secret film footage during a two-year long investigation of the global trade in live animals which they say is cruel and unnecessary.

The Handle With Care coalition is using shock pictures of animals being shipped around the world in overcrowded and filthy conditions before they are finally slaughtered.

They hope consumers will be so horrified by the images of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and chickens moved in horrendous conditions in journeys that can take weeks they will embarrass governments into finally banning the trade.

Click here for the full article.

Conservation grazing: It’s a maaa-rvellous idea!

January 24, 2008


A rare breed of sheep could be the key to preserving some of Leicestershire’s most treasured countryside.

A group of Leicestershire experts are meeting next month to thrash out a plan which could see flocks of Hebridean sheep being used to turn county scrubland back into rolling green fields and wildflower meadows…

…Hebridean sheep were bred to cope with the barren conditions on the Hebridean Isles and thrive on land not suitable for other breeds.

Their ability to eat coarse grasses and young tree seedlings make them ideal for “conservation grazing” – a system where animals are grazed on land specifically to return it to its former glory.

Click here to read the full article.

Now scientists create a sheep that’s 15% human

January 10, 2008


Scientists have created the world’s first human-sheep chimera – which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.

The sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells – and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.

Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep’s foetus.

He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.

Click here to read the full article. 

Of Gay Sheep, Modern Science and Bad Publicity

January 10, 2008


Dr. Charles Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has searched for the past five years for physiological factors that might explain why about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes. The goal, he says, is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep. Other researchers might some day build on his findings to seek ways to determine which rams are likeliest to breed, he said.

But since last fall, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals started a campaign against the research, it has drawn a torrent of outrage from animal rights activists, gay advocates and ordinary citizens around the world — all of it based, Dr. Roselli and colleagues say, on a bizarre misinterpretation of what the work is about.

Click here to read the full article.

Sheep Day at Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo! …also, Animal Vocabulary, Day 3

January 10, 2008

 Hello Animal Expo readers,

Today’s vocabulary word inspired me to devote a large portion of today’s postings to sheep.  Therefore, I declare today to be Sheep Day at here at the Expo.  Enjoy!

-Kitty Mowmow


sheep’s eyes (sheepz eyez) noun

Shy amorous glances.

[The origin of the term is uncertain. Various theories attribute the term to Gaelic or any of the various Germanic languages. It has also been suggested that the term refers to the docile appearance of a sheep’s eyes.]

-Anu Garg (words at

“When office temp Carolina Santos developed a crush on a man at the Brazilian oil company where she was working, she did rather more than
merely make sheep’s eyes at him.”
David Randall; Fatal Attraction; The Independent on Sunday (London, UK); Jan 29, 2006.

Animal Vocabulary!

January 8, 2008

Hello Animal Expo readers!

I’m a faithful subscriber to A.Word.A.Day, a vocabulary-building newsletter from This week they unknowingly obliged me by sending out words related to animals, and I’ve decided to pass them along to you. I’m a day late in posting them – hopefully you won’t mind. 🙂 Enjoy!

Your host,

Kitty Mowmow


A few weeks ago we featured terms in the “x’s y” pattern — descriptive phrases that can be called Whose whats. Going by your comments, it was one of the most popular weeks in AWAD’s history. This week we’ll reprise the theme with five more such terms, this time from the animal kingdom.

The English language is filled with everyday terms based on animals, from the lion’s share (largest part) to the dog’s chance (slim chance) and the snail’s pace (very slow) but there are many unusual terms too. For this week’s parade we have selected five mammals: mare, dog, sheep, donkey, and cat.

mare’s nest (mairz nest) noun

1. A confused mess.

2. A hoax or an illusory discovery.

[The original sense of the term was a false discovery since clearly a mare doesn’t have a nest. Nowadays the term implies a confused situation. A term with a similar origin is the Greek calends meaning a time that doesn’t exist: ]

Today’s word in Visual Thesaurus:’s+nest

-Anu Garg (words at

“The previous two sheets of this piece are a mare’s nest of scratched out half sentences, words replaced and replaced again and clauses arrowed in or arrowed out.”
Gary Covington; Learning to Write; Sun Star (Philippines); Dec 30, 2007.

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Animal waste: Future energy, or just hot air?

January 7, 2008


Manure, when properly processed, can provide a reliable and clean source of electrical and heat energy. And as there is so much of it, many are pinning their hopes on it as the latest new renewable energy source, leading the New York Times to recently suggest it could be “the ultimate renewable source of fuel.”

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), there are about 1.3 billion cattle worldwide (one for every five people), slightly more than 1 billion sheep, around 1 billion pigs, 800 million goats and 17 billion chickens.

Between them, they produce a lot of fecal matter — around 13 billion tons of it a year, according to various estimates.

Within that matter is 55 percent to 65 percent methane, which when released into the atmosphere is bad news for us (it traps heat at 23 times the rate that carbon dioxide does) — but when burned is another matter entirely. It gives us energy.

Click here to read the full article.