One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wingless louse fly, especially one that is a parasite of sheep.
Several species in the family Hippoboscidae, in particular the sheep ked (Melophagus ovinus)
- ‘It is the only deer ked currently found on white-tailed deer in the southeastern United States.’
- ‘At Lethbridge, female sheep keds have been found to excrete xanthine and hypoxanthine as well as uric acid.’
- ‘The areas of the sheep that sheep ked are most commonly found on are the neck, shoulders and stomach.’
- ‘If you see any sheep keds at shearing time this year, plan to treat the animals, preferably before lambing.’
- ‘Treatment for sheep ked is easily applied and is often the most effective following spring shearing.’
Late 16th century: of unknown origin.
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