back to article Feed curry to sheep, boffins suggest

Tests by scientists from the University of Newcastle have suggested that spices commonly used in curry could cut methane emissions from flatulent sheep. Research student Mohammad Mehedi Hasan and Dr Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry probed the possible beneficial effects on ovine guts of cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and turmeric. …


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  1. tony 33

    hot air !

    sound like a load of hot air

    and how come it has the opposite effect in humans? or is that the 10 pints that go with it

    also those names sounds rather foreign, not a family busuness in spices is there?

  2. Stuart Elliott

    Curry to sheep?

    If my botty is anything to go by after a hearty Lamb Madras, I'm guessing it's not going to work..

    Flame, well, because you wouldn't want to strike a match..

  3. Matthew Anderson


    So why do I fart so much the morning after a spicy curry? :-/

    1. A J Stiles

      Obvious explanation

      Perhaps you're farting something other than methane.

    2. Liam Johnson

      Curry and ...

      So, have you tried the curry without the traditional side dish of 6 pints of fizzy lager?

    3. I didn't do IT.

      Re: More Flatulance in Humans

      Perhaps because we are not ruminating mammals? We only have one stomach, after all...

  4. Paul Williams

    Easting curry reduces flatulence?

    I mean, really? Are they sure?

    Maybe they had the experimental thingummys connected the wrong way round, or something?

    1. oolon

      Hot air

      They said it reduced methane production - a fart is mostly hot air so you can easily fart more but produce less methane.

      • On average, a fart is composed of about 59 percent nitrogen, 21 percent hydrogen, 9 percent carbon dioxide, 7 percent methane and 4 percent oxygen. Less than 1 percent of their makeup is what makes farts stink.

      • The temperature of a fart at time of creation is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

      • Farts have been clocked at a speed of 10 feet per second.

      • A person produces about half a liter of farts a day.

      • Women fart as much as men.

      • The gas that makes your farts stink is hydrogen sulfide. The more sulfur rich your diet, the more your farts will stink. Some foods that cause really smelly farts include: beans, cabbage, cheese, soda and eggs.

      • Most people pass gas about 14 times a day.

      1. frank ly

        @ oolon re. hot air

        "...21 percent hydrogen.."

        So that's why they burn well with a blueish flame.

    2. Gill Bates

      it would do..

      ..if we didn't insist on drinking 15 pints with every curry

  5. Code Monkey


    Maybe it would give the lamb a nice flavour as well - a pre-mortem marinade?

  6. Alpha Tony


    As the day after a curry my emissions are definitely not reduced. Quite the opposite in fact!

    Also did they factor in the impact of the 9 pints of lager the sheep would drink to balance the curry?

  7. Fizzl

    What will the sheeps responce to the morning Ring o' Fire be?

    Scorched wool anyone?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Learn what goes into curry!

      Ah, I think the "ring of fire" is probably caused by the the chilli and pepper, nothing to do with cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and turmeric, which are all rather less, um, active. And the flatulence may well be a result of the large amount of protein in the meal, as well as the lager already commented on.

      If my wife's ponies are anything to go by, something with a little more flavour than grass may well go down well with the sheep. Garlic (which keeps the flies away) goes down a treat, and they like dried stinging nettle a lot.

      Not sure about dairy cattle, though. I've had milk from a cow that ate raw onions. Not good on cornflakes!

      1. Chris Collins

        unique wife?

        Does your wife have her own unique style of shitting? Do you have them stored around your house in tupperware pots? Or are you married to a horse?

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          @Chris Collins

          Don't understand your comment.

          The ponies belonging to my wife, written as 'My wife's ponies'. I'm fairly certain that my apostrophe usage is correct. Or are you thinking that I should have capitalized wife? I don't think it is a proper noun in this context. My grammar is not good enough for me to be certain that I have capitalized it correctly here, but then whose is nowadays (damn, that's probably wrong too).

          The comment had nothing to do with the toilet habits of my spouse, who is definitely human, and I cannot see how you could think it did.

          Anyway, the ponies live, quite properly, in a field. The comment switched track from the ring of fire, to what ponies (and possibly sheep) might consider palatable. Sorry if you could not keep up. Try some coffee to wake you up.

          1. Baskitcaise


            I think Chris was thinking along the same lines that I did when first reading your post:

            Pony & trap

  8. mittfh

    Radioactive cheese?

    "Quality Evaluation of Sliced and Pizza Cheeses Treated by Gamma and Electron Beam Irradiation".

    No doubt the irradiated cheeses give you a (not so) healthy glow... why use carrots to help you see in the dark, when eating irradiated cheese results in you lighting up the room without needing to worry about torches?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Good idea?

    > Spices have long been used safely by humans to kill bacteria

    So adding spices to the fodder might just upset the tummy of a real, live sheep and cause much embarassment. There's much to be said for in vivo experiments....

  10. Refugee from Windows

    Premarinated? Tha's daft.

    Would kind of ruin the flavour wouldn't it? Not every lamb ends up in a curry does it? Trouble is those particular spices don't grow 1500ft up in the Pennines, and it's a 2 mile trek in the quad bike and then the beggars won't touch them.

    Don't even consider doing the same for me cows - any taint t'milk will have 'em reducing the the 3p/1000litres they currently pay me from t'dairy.

    Try that round 'ere and I'll let t'dog off t'chain.

    1. Anonymous John

      Re Premarinated? Tha's daft.

      Sheep raised on mint will be provided as an alternative.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re Premarinated? Tha's daft.

        Mint is good for the digestion. This could totally work.

    2. pyroweasel

      re: Premarinated? Tha's daft.

      Not so daft, if it's already happening.

      Damn fine it is too!

  11. Ally J
    Thumb Up

    On a more serious note

    While I can't stand coriander (ghastly stuff) I do recall that it grows very well in the UK. Admittedly, my experience is based on a herb garden in the heart of Metroland, so I don't know if the stuff will grow just as well in the more northerly sheep-farming areas. Or if sheep will actually eat the stuff.

    But.... if it does work we may have a cheap(ish) method of reducing emmissions.

    Now back to the fart jokes.

  12. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Why Waste...

    ...all that natural gas? Buttplugs and collection bags; Yes, Sir, there's the solution to our energy crisis..

    My Chinese buddy recalls guys on bicycles transporting a garbage bag inflated with methane.

    Immediate recollection, 200 people rushed TOWARD an upset gasoline tanker to steal^H^H^H^H^collect^H^H^H^H^H^H^Recycle all that fuel. FOOMP! Oops!

  13. kevin elliott

    Ignoble Prize Candidate?

    Useless reesearch into a useless topic, possibly well curried out. Must be a prime candidate.

  14. Seanmon


    so-called "scientists" are clearly just farting around.

  15. jake Silver badge

    Epazote *might* help cut back on gas ...

    Works for me when I add it to black beans ... Not sure if your common or garden sheep could handle the rest of the spices in my cooking, though ;-)

    1. BlueGreen

      grew some out of curiosity

      Not really suited to a london window sill though. Didn't really develop the full tarmac[*] flavour. Shame. Still got some seeds, might replant.

      Growing some Trichocereus Pervuianus though... ironically much more successful... Most pleased.

      [*] asphalt to you

  16. BlueGreen

    I'll leave the fart jokes to the comedians here

    I thought that ruminant digestion relied heavily on bacterial action (to break down cellulose?), side-effects of course being the production of schoolboy entertainment. If you suppress bacterial action with an acknowledged bactericides, I'd have thought that digestive efficiency might be curtailed.

    @kevin elliott. You could try checking the chart here <> followed by <>

  17. David Pollard

    Also on a more serious note

    Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Ginger, a member of the same family, is well-known for settling an upset tum. Together they are useful in treating ailments that affect one in five adults: irritable bowel syndrome and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, SIBO. They certainly seem to have helped me where two course of antibiotics didn't.

    1. The old man from scene 24

      Ginger is supposed to calm an upset tummy...

      ...but if it isn't successful, it burns like the blazes coming back up.

  18. MinionZero

    lamb + curry

    Mmmm ... Lamb pre curried. Well that's one more manufacturing step taken care of. Now all we have to do is make them smaller and convince them to sleep in microwaves. :)

    1. BlueGreen

      re: lamb + curry

      I like your thinking, although they come pretty small at the start so that's nature's genius working for you already.

      But if only we could breed them profoundly despairing of life that'd remove my reservations and us veggies could pile back in again, conscience clear. But please start with pig, they taste much nicer.

    2. Chris Hawkins


      Going one further than microwaves, get these ovine-flavouring boffins together with Craig Venter, to genetically engineer "Baaaaaaas" that flavour themselves with appropriate spices during their life time, and then, when their individual "baa-by date" approaches, jump on the dining room table, lie down in a suitable pan and self-immolate!

      Mine's Shaun the Sheep!

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        Or The...

        ...bovine in "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" pointing out his tastiest parts.

  19. Mips

    No need to marinade the meat...

    ..either. Just think marinaded for 9 months. Wow!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    I have stomach and GI problems meaning that I rarely fart. This makes me feel something of an outcast when I'm drinking down the pub with my flatulent mates.

    If only there was some sort of app that could help me out.

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