From Forbes.com: Training sheep to clean up vineyards.
Call them mutton mowers. University researchers are training sheep to clean up vineyard weeds but stay off the grapes.
Enthusiastic and unpicky eaters, sheep are already being used in some vineyards as a green alternative to tractors. They don’t use gasoline and keep down weeds — a necessary task to deter pests and keep vines healthy — sans herbicides.
Unfortunately, sheep will chew up thousands of dollars worth of grapes if left to their own devices.
That’s why University of California, Davis researcher Morgan Doran and his colleagues are experimenting with aversion therapy and other techniques to turn sheep into better field hands.
Sheep ranchers get a new market for their flocks while vineyard managers get “another tool in the tool box,” says Doran. "It’s a win-win."
But just how do you teach sheep? [continue]