We have three bottle babies and two sometimes bottle babies. The more bottle babies you have the crazier it is.
Two are little butterballs. They love their Land O’Lakes Milk Replacer. I always feed them first as they are bigger than the others and can shove their smaller counterparts away. I hold a Coke bottle in each hand, they latch on, make eye contact, and the chugging contest is underway. All the other lambs in the barnyard stand around chanting, “Chug, chug, chug, chug!” The contestants are intense chuggers. The boy chugged so hard OFF popped the nipple and it took him a dozen slurps to realize no bottle was attached.
He dropped the nipple, I made note of where it landed, and popped another bottle in his mouth. Contest over! The girl is the winner! And…the nipple is gone; no longer on the ground, nowhere within three feet of me.
Who took the nipple? Great detective that I am I shortly narrowed the suspect list to 75. The chickens are pastured. The chickens are everywhere. The chickens like milk replacer. A chicken has taken the nipple. When a chicken gains a prize, (anything from a big bug to a stolen nipple) she runs as fast as she can so no one can take it from her. Chickens run fast, chickens run far. That nipple could be anywhere on the 28 acres. How far would she get before she realized it was not edible? I estimated ten feet, well truth be told, I was only willing to search a ten foot radius around where I was standing.
X marks the spot. Using the heel of my boot I marked where I was standing and began my search spiraling out. Around and around looking for a black nipple in the black dirt. Around and around until I completed the ten foot circuit. No nipple. They cost a little over a dollar. Just not worth looking any further. I gathered up my bottles and headed back into the barn. Lo and behold right in the entry way there it was.
Bon Appetite Sheep, Bon Appetite Chickens