Saturday, March 14, 2015

Protecting the Nipples!

I must be very careful to protect these nipples.  They are filled with rich, juicy milk replacer and everybody with teeth on this farm wants to bite them.  I have to carry the bottle around in my vest pockets and make sure nobody nips off the tips from behind me - yes, grown sheep have done this.  I can't put them down on a barn beam while I do other chores.  Kitties will chew off the expensive rubber teats in an attempt to get at the delicious milk, even if it's a drop or two.  These are Pritchard's Teats, which have to be ordered by mail or they are even more prohibitively expensive at the local feed store, where I only go in desperation.  Pritchard's Teats are soft, small and more like a mother's teats.  I've had more success with them than the hard round rubber nipples that don't fit easily into a newborn's mouth. They can be screwed on to soda pop bottles.   I'm very lucky to only have four on bottles.  Out of 32 that's not bad.  I am supplementing the triplets but they are getting something from mama, too.  The cost of milk replacer is ridiculous and much higher than four years ago when I had a big lambing.  I don't understand why considering it is powdered whey, a by-product of cheese and yogurt making.  We'll have green grass in two months and the lambs will be outside.  I enjoy sitting in the dark, with a lamb on my lap, listening to the rhythmic sucking of the tiny mouths on the bottle and mama munching on grass next to me.  It is a sound as ancient as time itself.  It is life.

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