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ATTN: KIWI (Ugly sheep?)

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  • ATTN: KIWI (Ugly sheep?)

    I think the story speaks for itself.

    Farmers called to report ugly sheep.

    Australian scientists have called on the country's farmers to report any ugly sheep found in their flocks.

    A campaign called "Xtreme sheep" aims to study sheep with undesirable wool features to unlock the genetic makeup of the prized merino and ensure production of its high quality fleece.

    The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) said Tuesday its search for "Australia's ugliest merino lambs" may hold the key to securing the nation's A$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) wool industry.

    The institute said ugly lambs -- with uneven wool, strange fibres, clumps of wool that fall out, bare patches, no wool, or highly wrinkled skin -- are usually culled by farmers.

    "Before sending them to the abattoir, we'd like farmers to talk to us first, because studying animals with extreme features offers one of the most efficient ways to find good genes that can impact on certain wool traits," said project leader Simon Bawden.

    "It might seem a paradox that ugly wool may be good, but when looking through a genetic profile, the random genetic mistakes act like a flag, speeding up our search to finding genes critical to wool formation and synthesis," Bawden told reporters

    The institute hopes to the DNA study will lead to improvements in Australia's merino wool, making it stretchier, less scratchy, shinier and easier to spin, and better able to compete against synthetic fibres.

    So far only 10 ugly sheep have been found this lambing season, which stretches from April to September, when statistically there could be hundreds, said the institute.


    Stay Safe
    Last edited by Rayr49; 08-15-2006, 08:28 PM.

  • #2
    At he risk of causing an international incident with our Antipodean friends (and any Welsh people here), I'm sure they've never heard of an ugly sheep!!
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.


    • #3
      Flying Sheep

      (A tourist approaches a shepherd. The sounds of sheep and the outdoors
      are heard.)

      Tourist: Good afternoon.
      Shephrd: Eh, 'tis that.
      Tourist: You here on holiday?
      Shephrd: Nope, I live 'ere.
      Tourist: Oh, good for you. Uh...those ARE sheep aren't they?
      Shephrd: Yeh.
      Tourist: Hmm, thought they were. Only, what are they doing up in the
      Shephrd: A fair question and one that in recent weeks 'as been much on
      my mind. It's my considered opinion that they're nestin'.
      Tourist: Nesting?
      Shephrd: Aye.
      Tourist: Like birds?
      Shephrd: Exactly. It's my belief that these sheep are laborin' under
      the misapprehension that they're birds. Observe their be'avior.
      Take for a start the sheeps' tendency to 'op about the field
      on their 'ind legs. Now witness their attmpts to fly from
      tree to tree. Notice that they do not so much fly as...plummet.

      Tourist: Yes, but why do they think they're birds?
      Shephrd: Another fair question. One thing is for sure, the sheep is not
      a creature of the air. They have enormous difficulty in the
      comparatively simple act of perchin'.

      Trouble is, sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their
      'eads, there's no shiftin' it.
      Tourist: But where did they get the idea?
      Shephrd: From Harold. He's that most dangerous of creatures, a clever
      sheep. 'e's realized that a sheep's life consists of standin'
      around for a few months and then bein' eaten. And that's a
      depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep.
      Tourist: Well why don't just remove Harold?
      Shephrd: Because of the enormous commercial possibilities if 'e succeeds.


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