Graze Anatomy: Using Aversion Therapy on Sheep

We love organics, but grape farmers have to get rid of the weeds somehow. One can do it manually with lots of labour; one can hose them with herbicides. Or, thanks to research by Morgan Doran at the University of California at Davis, One can let sheep loose in the vinyards. Says Morgan: "Sheep are really good at what they do, and what they do is eat."

Unfortunately they also eat the vine leaves and grapes, which is a problem; nothing that a little aversion therapy won't solve. Doran doesn't get all Clockwork Orange, tie them down and make them watch Sideways; he just gorges them on vine leaves and then gives them a dose of lithium chloride; "a mildly unpleasant sensation in the stomach was sending a message that apparently lasts a lifetime." Doran likened the sheep's reaction to humans who take that first puff on a cigarette or down too much tequila and come away with their own personal cautionary tale. And it worked; nine months later the sheep still wouldn't eat the grape leaves. ::Sacramento Bee;, University of California; Punny title stolen from ::Globe and Mail

Tags: Wine

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