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November 8, 2010

Farm Stores

I think farm stores should be open 24 hours a day, because when your new calf is hungry and the barn cats have chewed up the nipple on his bottle, you are up a creek.

Or else the 24-hour WalMart should sell calf bottles.

Hubby wasn't home so I was in charge of the evening calf-feeding. After searching for the bottle in the house and then outside, I finally found it in a corner of the barn, with the nipple about half as long as it is supposed to be. Then followed a spell of crying (me).

My solution was to cut the hand off of one my extra rubber gloves (I use them when making soap), stretch it over the mouth of the bottle, and cut an X in one finger. I forced the ring of the bottle back in place with difficulty. Chuck got most of his bottle, the rest went all over me, his head, and on the cats who were gathered under his head licking up the spilled drops as fast as they fell. The improvised nipple kept collapsing under that powerful suction though, so I had to stop often to let air into the bottle, all the while being headbutted by the calf which is very strong.

When hubby got home he took my idea one step further and stretched the glove finger over the chewed nipple. The morning feeding went much smoother, until he set the bottle down "just for a minute" and the cats got it again.

We now have a new nipple and a spare. Hopefully it won't be set down in the cats' reach again.

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