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BS: How do you milk a rat?

Flash Company 20 Nov 07 - 11:06 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Nov 07 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Cruiser, Holstein/Guernsey Milker 20 Nov 07 - 11:19 AM
Liz the Squeak 20 Nov 07 - 11:22 AM
MMario 20 Nov 07 - 11:37 AM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 07 - 11:41 AM
Donuel 20 Nov 07 - 12:01 PM
Rapparee 20 Nov 07 - 12:10 PM
MMario 20 Nov 07 - 12:37 PM
EBarnacle 20 Nov 07 - 02:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Nov 07 - 02:17 PM
Big Phil 20 Nov 07 - 02:50 PM
Rapparee 20 Nov 07 - 03:01 PM
topical tom 20 Nov 07 - 03:08 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Nov 07 - 03:53 PM
Tweed 20 Nov 07 - 04:24 PM
Don Firth 20 Nov 07 - 05:20 PM
robomatic 20 Nov 07 - 05:27 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Nov 07 - 06:12 PM
Little Hawk 20 Nov 07 - 06:16 PM
TheSnail 20 Nov 07 - 08:36 PM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 07 - 09:01 PM
Little Hawk 20 Nov 07 - 09:28 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Nov 07 - 03:27 AM
Flash Company 21 Nov 07 - 09:58 AM
Tweed 21 Nov 07 - 10:37 AM
robomatic 21 Nov 07 - 03:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Nov 07 - 05:10 PM
Flash Company 22 Nov 07 - 11:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 07 - 12:42 PM

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Subject: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Flash Company
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:06 AM

Just wondered!
Heather Mills McCartney during one of her days off from trying to sort her divorce settlement has suggested that the way to solve the Global Warming problem is to get rid of all the cattle, thereby reducing the amount of methane generated.
'If you must put something in your coffee, why not try dog's milk, or even rat's milk.'

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:18 AM

It was stated on the radio today that farming emits as much greenhouse gas in the UK as does the aviation industry. Yet they still subsidise farmers.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: GUEST,Cruiser, Holstein/Guernsey Milker
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:19 AM

I've milked cows, goats, women, etc. but I will confess to never having milked a whelping bitch dog or a whelping rat. I would suggest that without hormone treatment, you are going to have very black coffee if you rely on rat's milk. You will also find that the milk fat percentage is likely that comparable to non-fat skim milk from cattle.

Ms. Heather is a feather brain...


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:22 AM

Q: How do yo umilk a rat?

A: With a very very smalll stool.


Someone had to.

I saw the article and immediately thought - why doesn't she get out into the real world one day...

Then I thought of the series 'Red Dwarf' which discussed drinking dogs' milk in the first series.

It's full of nutrition, it lasts for ever - because it tastes the same fresh as it does when it's gone off... and there's always plenty of it because no bugger else will drink it!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: MMario
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:37 AM

When I was at the Ag school at Cornell University they did have milking machines for rats.


BTW - rat milk runds from 12% to 4.5 % fat depending on where in the lactation cycle they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:41 AM

Some US waste management companies are doing a good job of publicizing how they are managing and harvesting methane into green industries in their areas. Don't see why it couldn't work with large farming operations. Yes, I know that cowflop lands where it lands and emits from there, upon landing as well as at the time of transmission. But a significant amount of cowflop is collected (in US dairy farming for example) in the barn and then spread on fields; it must sit somewhere until there is enough to haul out to spread it as free fertilizer and soil amendment (which in our area accounts for land being farmable at all). Now, it would be nice if a large organic-dairy concern could publicize how they harvest methane, spread antibiotic-free and pesticide-free cowflop on poor land to reclaim it, etc.

One of these waste management programs is in our area; the harvested methane runs power to operate a hydroponic lettuce operation, as I understand it. No, not lettuce grown in sewage-- a complicated series of steps results in good, clean lettuce coming from the garbage dump people.

Then on TV this weekend I saw a program describing a recylced-paper operation that involved greening a LOT of different processes around a local geographic area that reduced all KINDS of consumption and emissions.

So it's happening, slowly, but I wish we could hear more about it.

One of the reasons these environment improvements are finally happening is that fossil fuel is, nowadays, expensive enough to make expensive alternative energies look better than they did when first introduced.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 12:01 PM

300 yards from my house on the crok creek bike path is a methane leak of such proporations that it takes your breath away.
I wonder if an open flame is dangerous is such conditions.

When people take their infants in strollers low to the ground through that 50 yard area I worry for their health.

I reported it but 3 years later its worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 12:10 PM

Even in the 1970s there were plans (Mother Earth News, et al.) for making your own methane digester. In fact, a bit of research would show all sorts of ideas back then that are still quite feasible and perhaps moreso, given the differences in technology.

For instance: wind generators with horizontally oriented blades; wind powered ships; steam locomotives with computer-controlled emissions, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: MMario
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 12:37 PM

I've seen plans for methane digester published in the '50's; so WORKABLE plans have been around a long time. It is mostl likely that only recently have they become ECONOMICAL


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 02:15 PM

How does one milk a rat?

With care.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 02:17 PM

I thought this was about taking someone you don't like to the cleaners...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Big Phil
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 02:50 PM

How does one milk a rat? .270 from 20 paces.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 03:01 PM

Too much, Big Phil. .22 hollow point or maybe, for a trophy sized one, a .22 magnum.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: topical tom
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 03:08 PM

For all he She) is worth.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 03:53 PM

The basic idea presents multiple quite serious difficulties.

In order to obtain the required quantities of milk and still reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is necessary that the ratio of milk produced to "emission producing byproducts" must be higher for rats than for cows. This is unlikely to be the case for existing ratstock, however selective breeding has produced dairy cattle with much better milk to food efficiencies than is typical for more primitive stocks, so the may be room for some improvement.

An additional difficulty, which would cause significant restructuring of large-scale operations is the difference in required diets for the milk-producing herds. Whereas cattle consume only herbiferous products which are easily grown in large quantities and for which production processes are well established, rats - being omnivorous - likely would require other food sources, and the production of appropriate food quantities might well compete with human foodstuffs.

To the extent that the rat herd can subsist on vegetable diets, the existing breeds consume only grain products and seem unlikely to be selectively bred to subsist on large percentages of the celulosic stems, leaves, and stalks. There is the additional complication that growing and processing protein foods possibly required for "productive" rats would itself contribute unknown amounts of greenhouse gases.

In cattle, it is common to breed the individual cows as a means of inducing milk production, and periods of non-production are intermittently required. The productive period may be expected to be proportional to the normal "time to weaning" for offspring, and for dairy cows can approach at least a year or so. Since rat offspring wean in a very few days, the period of productive milkability would be expected to be quite short. Also, a normal rat litter usually is several offspring, so with frequent breeding and short productive periods, it is likely that a significant problem with disposal (or use) of offspring not suitable for the milk herds would be arise.

Diversion of the excessive numbers of offspring required to maintain productive milk herds likely would require the creation of appropriate slaughter houses where the excess "meat rats" could be prepared for consumption and distribution.

Herd management presents significant difficulties, as roping and branding appears a bit problematical, and the annual movement of herds between summer and winter pastures could require extensive development of appropriate methods, equippage, and skills in large numbers of ratherders. (Note that the productive dairy herds would themselves likely by sequestered at "feedlot-like" milk ranches, but the breeding stock would be more efficiently served by "free-range grazing" if technical requirements for this manner of management can be developed.)

Due to problems of scale, it is unlikely that efficient herding and control of the stock can be accomplished from horseback or even using 4x4 utility vehicles. Most likely it will be necessary to breed and train large numbers of "flock animals" in the same way as dogs are much used with sheep, and to some extent for cattle. Canide herding animals present the problem of potentially eating the herd, although the previously cited problem of overproduction of herd offspring in the management of milk production might offset excessive herd attrition during open-range management.

Other herd control animals should be considered, but there are few immediately obvious choices. While one might envision something like gerbils as the nominal replacement for herd dogs, it is unlikely that existing breeds possess the aggressiveness needed to dominate a rat herd, and likely would be consumed by the herd. The skills required for gerbil-wranglers seem vast and difficult to develop and implement in the numbers required without the development of at least dedicated college-level management courses at our leading A&M universities.

The existing of the numerous problems, not limited to the ones cited in this very preliminary draft, suggests that an immediate assignment of funds is urgently required, so that university and think-tank projects can get started immediately. Publicizing the need should, of course be a first step, so that venture capitalists will see the prospective profits available.

This could be bigger than Google!

John


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Tweed
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 04:24 PM

Yaz, and google comes through again with this tasty tidbit from days gone by:

The History of Rat Cheese (from deedah.org)

The first rat cheese was made in the early eighteenth century by ship-wrecked French sailors. On an uninhabited tropical island in the Pacific the stranded mariners found themselves amid a natural abundance of food. But with no women or large animals, and a repetitive diet of fruit and fish, they soon began to long for the comforts of home.

The ship's surgeon, Marcel Loussier, came up with an ingenious idea. The ship's rats had effectively colonised the island. Loussier put his sailors to work. Traps were set and rats captured. The men with the nimblest fingers were given the job of milking rats.

Fifteen years later, in 1735, a Dutch frigate stumbled across Loussier's island. The Dutch seafarers were astonished to find a tropical paradise inhabited by a band of ragged, bearded Frenchmen, dining on fine cheeses that more than equalled anything being produced in Europe.

When Loussier returned to France he used his naval pension to establish the world's first commercial rodent dairy. It was an immediate success and expensive rat cheeses were soon all the rage in Parisian society. By the mid-nineteenth century the popularity of rat cheese had begun to wane, and in modern times it seemed doomed to become little more than a curiosity.

top of page Home History Today's Cheese Cheese Facts Buy Cheese
Site designed by Deedah

Additional artwork by Natasha Withington


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 05:20 PM

With padded tweezers, using a thimble for a bucket. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 05:27 PM

John, it's simply a matter of selective breeding. Breed bigger and better rats with bigger, um, milk production. Ween the ratlings off and utilize robotic mini-suction milkers from one of those Eastern countries that does that sort of thing well.

Rats can eat what they've always eaten - garbage.

The horse was once knee high. cows once had bags for only their own.

I say where there's a will there's a way.

Not to mention it worked on the Simpsons show years ago!

yr obdnt srvnt
robo


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 06:12 PM

But if you guys make it sound too easy, how're we gonna get the grants for the research?

There's already been progress in producing livestock with a more manageable size; but they should be kept secret until we can announce them as a "discovery," shouldn't they?

John


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 06:16 PM

Rats are cool, and they're smart too. Nice little critters if you get to know them in the right fashion. ;-) Not so nice if it's an informal "relationship" without proper introductions.

The main problem with cows is that people are cutting down the world's largest and most important forests...in the Amazon...to raise more cows! And for what? More HAMBURGERS!

What a travesty. We need those forests a hell of a lot more than we need more friggin' hamburgers. We need them to produce oxygen from the world's oversupply of CO2. It's a disaster that is happening down there.

Quite aside from that, if they are that worried about methane they should do something about Spaw first. To hell with the cows. Spaw must be dealt with! I say ship him off-planet, maybe to Mars. Mars can use more methane. Let's do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 08:36 PM

Tweed, how did the rats make up for the lack of women?

On second thoughts, don't tell me.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 09:01 PM

Methane/digesters are one thing, small-scale, but there are industries using LARGE amounts of methane, profitably, leaving their natural gas lines unused.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 09:28 PM

And then...there's Spaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 03:27 AM

Milk a rat? Isn't that dear Heather's speciality?


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Flash Company
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 09:58 AM

Actually Richard, milking a beetle is probably impossible! Or does that depend on how you spell it?

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Tweed
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 10:37 AM

The French, and all peoples of the earth, were smaller in stature in those days, Snail. I think mebbe the rats back then were larger aslo.

Tweed


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 03:24 PM

Y'know I'm almost positive I saw a chromed rat milking machine in last year's Sharper Image!


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 05:10 PM

carefully, they bite!


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Flash Company
Date: 22 Nov 07 - 11:23 AM

Yeah, give you Weill's Disease too. Knew a girl who caught that, it is horrible, yuor face swells up like a rather nasty balloon.

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you milk a rat?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 07 - 12:42 PM

Yeh I did a gig at an old peoples home years ago and this old lady told me how her husband had been a ratcatcher, and he was killed by that disease - back in the 1940's. But she'd loved him and had never married again.


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