Seaweed-fed sheep belch less methane

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/14/seaweed-fed-sheep-belch-less-m.html

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Not just sheep.

Don’t tell my significant other - a seaweed diet may be introduced here if this news gets out!

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Is “burp” a new word for fart?

I wonder what the mechanism for lowered methane eructations is.

“Darn, I’ve washed my new Orkney wool sweater in Woolite three times, and it still smells like fish.”

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“ Researchers looked at more than 1,000 cows on farms throughout Europe, and found they had a large proportion of their gut bacteria in common. By inoculating calves with targeted probiotics, the scientists suggest the mix of microbes could be altered, and the volume of methane produced limited. By eliminating the worst-offending gut bacteria, emissions could be cut in half, they say.”

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Their stomachs (plural) are different from ours. So, it’s actually both a belch and a fart, or technically neither. And they do it constantly.

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Not in my book. Different ends of the body!

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Seaweed-fed sheep belch less methane

And for their dessert? Blancmange!

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Glad others have linked to these articles as well, the sheep in question have specifically adapted to a seaweed only diet very well but they’re not the only domesticated animals that can benefit from the introduction of seaweed into what they eat :slight_smile:

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Great, we just need to teach sheep to swim in the ocean and graze. Wait, how will this affect their wool/?

Maybe we can just start farming manatee instead?

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With kelp forests and seaweed beds being threatened by climate change, ocean acidification and other man made imbalances, I don’t believe this approach will be scaleable without sustainable seaweed farming. Harvesting wild seaweed won’t supply enough for large scale livestock feed.

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Laver cakes!

I’ve eaten them, and they are pretty tasty. Vegan too, if you sub vegetable oil for the bacon fat.

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I think that’s also something that plays a role, making sure the seaweed farming is sustainable. Wild seaweed will not be the solution, but other projects have had success setting up farms.

We need a new one syllable word, that suggests both. A “Trump” comes to mind.

Every little bit kelps.
(I’ll see myself out now) :sunglasses:

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This makes me wonder what changes were made in farming to support widespread use of corn and soy in feed. Hopefully, if seaweed is a better choice they’ll find a way to produce it.

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It’s also an onomatopoeia.

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