Why these sheep have been fitted with nappies

Researchers observe sheep taking part in the study.
Researchers observe sheep taking part in the study. Photo credit: Epagri/Facebook

A team of Brazilian researchers have fitted sheep with diapers as part of a study to help maximise farm production.

The Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Company is carrying out the study, in which the sheep's pasture intake rate is measured in a range of different grass lengths.

The sheep are fitted with a microphone which monitors pasture eaten, while the nappies are fitted to measure the weight of the animal's faeces to see how much grass has been ingested.

It's hoped the research will provide information on the best amount of feed to give sheep for maximum milk production.

Researcher Fábio Garagorry told the Daily Mail that pasture management is one of the factors that define the animal's weight gain and milk production per day.

 "The intention is to tell breeders the best height that the grass should be as part of the management of their livestock," he said. 

"Knowing this will help them increase the weight gain of the animal, the kilogram of live weight per hectare and the daily production of milk," said Garagorry.

He said optimising the height of the grass could increase the animal's efficiency and productivity by up to 30 percent more in the same pasture.

The study is expected to be completed in October.