While discussing something with a colleague today, I stumbled upon a crucial gap in my vocabulary. Is there a dedicated word for the small olive-like pieces of sheep manure? Or goats' manure, which is the same, to my inexpert eye
I don't know if it is a dialect word (East Midlands) but to me, sheep droppings, (and also rabbit droppings) are 'kittles'. The essence is that they are small, individual, and roughly spherical in shape.
We seem to enjoy using “sheep poo” in Australia. A TV gardening show has a recipe for “sheep poo tea” and a museum has a story about, “How sheep poo can help us defend threatened native plants”:
So, time to get our hands dirty- what can the poo tell us? We sampled poo from 24 individuals, split between Merinos, Dorpers (and goats as a control), from sheep stations between Broken Hill, Mildura and Ivanhoe.
Wow, what an array of fantastic answers. Thank you all, dear friends.
Look, my initial inclination was to use 'droppings', for lack of a better word (or describe them as 'pellets') but that sounded to me way too unspecific and euphemistic (as Orble says), like an inferior substitute of the 'real thing', whatever it was. The things we are talking about are so specific and unique in shape (less so in composition ) that I felt they ought to have a word of their own. Indeed, as is the case in my language, the word we use is not really a word, so I checked dictionaries but had little hope of finding anything. And, unsurprisingly, did not.
So, special thanks for the 'kittles', Paul, and the 'raisins', Ewie*. Excellent suggestions and, undoubtedly, just what I was looking for. I understand, of course, that those will not be readily understood out of context, but we hardly ever converse without context and, in any case, the same could be said of the word I use in my language - it is standard in some parts of the country and unheard-of in others.