NZ Herald: Counting burps – it’s a gas

Kathy Marks of the NZ Herald reports on an Australian project in which sheep are to have their burp outputs measured.

The project, which is the first of its kind, aims to identify those animals which burp less, potentiallyallowing the breeding of ‘burpless’ sheep.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The world-first study is being led by scientists from the Sheep Co-operative Research Centre at Glen Innes in northwest New South Wales.

“Sheep from 20 genetic lines will be fed, then shepherded into a booth where their belches are evaluated and compared.

“Another scientist involved in the sheep genetics study, John Goopy, said it was a common misconception that the methane produced by livestock was through flatulence.

“”Ninety per cent of the methane that sheep and cattle and goats produce comes from the rumen, and that’s burped out,” he said.”