Friday, 19 February 2010

The sheep-pig reaction.

I've known this for a very long time so should have known better, but it's seriously cold these days.

So I was all wrapped up in a thick woollen jumper today, when dealing with large quantities of pig crap.

The thing about wool and pig-crap stench is that you don't actually need to get any on you. Not one tiny morsel of pig crap needs to touch that wool. You just need to be in an enclosed space with it. Wool absorbs the stink and releases it at rate that makes you check yourself over and over again for accidental spillage or spontaneous trouser malfunction (I'm not yet old enough to worry about that, but I'm getting closer).

Third hand smoke be damned. I'm suffering third hand pig defeacation here.

They should be banned from doing it indoors. And I need a much more powerful extractor fan. Tomorrow it's thick cotton shirt, no wool, and probably two passes through the washing machine for that pullover.

I wonder why wool is so efficient at absorbing pig stink? Could it be some kind of adaptation that allows sheep to pretend they're pigs, in case of attack by a short-sighted wolf? Or, a sheep-repellent adaptation by the pig, maybe.

Anyway, if you ever have cause to visit a piggery, don't wear anything made of wool. You'll regret it.


JuliaM said...

"I wonder why wool is so efficient at absorbing pig stink?"

Try something made of non-natural fibres - nylon or the like.

Anonymous said...

Wool is used to absorb odours and noise - for instance, on piano hammers.

Seems to be hold odours when the temperature drops. Perhaps use a nylony fleece instead?

And apparently: "Wool has a complex internal chemistry that potentially allows it to bind acidic, basic and sulphurous odours."

Sue said...

What are you doing with the pig crap or was this a day out to visit some piggies?

J said...

Try merino wool. It doesn't absorb smells (or at least not nearly as much as other fabrics). I wore a top to the gym for a year without washing it and it was better than most shirts that I've worn for a day.

Leg-iron said...

JuliaM - Too cold for nylon. These temperatures demand wool or thick cotton.

Fausty - Odd that I've never had complaints about smelling of tobacco. Then again, pig crap, chicken crap, even sick human stuff sometimes, is likely to overpower a little bit of smoke.

I have to deal with a lot of crap in this job.

Leg-iron said...

Sue - it's from a trial to find whether the Stuff can prevent pigs getting sick. It's a tougher sell than humans because pig farmers are on narrow margins. So it has to cost less than the antibiotics they're sneaking in now.

Ἕκτωρ - It sounds expensive. I'm not keen to wear anything too expensive to the lab. I have some lambswool and cashmere that never gets to visit!

I'm careful never to spill anything, but the more expensive the clothing, the more likely it becomes!

Sue said...

Sounds interesting, although I do worry about the amount of chemicals that farmers have to use these days.

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