Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Bucket List?!

Tea arrived at Hamby Home(in)stead three weeks ago.  Initially she drank only from a bottle, not much different to a two-litre plastic container you might purchase milk in, although hers is slighter tougher and is fitted with a valve (as well as a teat). 

The issue with Tea's bottle is that the valve doesn't operate effectively, so the bottle collapses (because our little calf sucks very enthusiastically).  The milk flow is then compromised  - and whoever is doing the feed is subject to frustrated butting. 

Over the past week, we've been teaching Tea to drink from a bucket.
We were given a demonstration when Tea was first delivered to us - and the theory is simple enough.  Basically, we guide Tea's head into the bucket and let her suck our fingers at the same time as her mouth (not her nose) is immersed in the milk.

It's an awkward exercise, even with a large bucket!  Tea pushes hard against us and sucks so strongly that Erin's finger actually popped under the pressure.   In time our calf will drink the milk without needing the security of sucking - but that achievement seems a way off at this stage (though we've seen her drink puddle-water without any assistance)!

Even after a week of practice, as soon as our fingers slip from her mouth, she butts at the bucket and milk sloshes everywhere!  (It's been a week of new feeding experiences for Tea.  She has started eating a small amount of calf pellets - in addition to the grain mix, straw and hay that she was already nibbling). 

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