#1668: Flockeeper

Sheep naturally adopt a flock configuration when threatened, which is why a small number of sheepdogs can be used to round them up.

Today’s invention is a way to ensure that a flock stays together, when required -thus reducing demands on the skill of the shepherd and his dogs.

During that part of the year when sheep aren’t supposed to be lambing or being shorn, they would each have several plates attached to their fleeces.

These would have small hooks on both sides, which could be withdrawn in response to eg a mobile phone signal. The plates would attach themselves to the wool on each sheep’s flanks.

When the animals were herded into a funnel eg for dipping, they would come close enough for the protruding hooks to attach each sheep to its neighbours.

This would keep the flock bonded together and facing in the same direction until a phone call to the plates caused them to withdraw their hooks and fall off (for reuse later).

This would make sheep easier to manage without restricting their normal functions significantly. It would also protect many animals from attack from outside as well as from hypothermia.

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