7 comments on “Magic Grass. 1892.

  1. I’m wondering whether (sorry) New Zealanders have a different meaning for wether since the article seems to define them as crossbreeds. No matter how potent the grass there it would seem odd if the castrated males all grew well defined udders and teats.Since they’d probably be given some dry foods and vitamins as well I wonder if ( see, I wasn’t tempted there) some female hormones were present over a long period.Maybe like me someone gave them a course of steroids? Not that I’m charged with milk ( is milk a crime you can be charged with) but any more steroids and I’m sure I’ll have ‘B’ cup Moobs. (Man Boobs).
    Keep them coming Metan, you’re always interesting.

    • Ewe are correct, the article does seem to define them as crossbreeds, but later it specifies that maiden ewes and wethers gave milk. The only other type of sheep I can think of is mature females and there is no excitement if they give milk!

      I was a little doubtful about the chances of males giving milk but it is possible in mammals (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-males-can-lactate). Strange, but possible…

      The article in that link suggests that starvation can kickstart lactation (as seen in survivors of concentration camps) and the first flush of grass after a drought is not really as nutritious as it seems, stock eating it can die from starvation. I am not sure if the sheep would have been fed too much extra in 1892 if there was grass around, I wonder if this contributed to this strange phenomenon.

      The last bit of your comment gives me the horrible mental picture of a paddock full of male sheep, all sporting huge man boobs, standing around looking embarrassed! Thanks for that (or not ;))

  2. Hmm… isn’t there an old joke about Kiwis, sheep and gumboots? Maybe the grass was a euphemism for something else, although what I really can’t imagine 😉

    • Sorry, I can’t even think of anything smart to say about that, I am still trying to banish the horror of the vision of the man-boob sheep…

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