Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Icy Dicey Saga Continues

Icy conditions on the driveway path to the animals worsened yesterday.  Yes, I was fit to be tied. Useless energy, of course.  It was with much trepidation I made the morning trip out to donks and chicks.  I vowed, however, to curb my bad humor.

At lunch I feared for donkey safety as well as my own so made a shavings path from the barn to the gate.

Brilliant!  Worked like a charm.
All of us used it with ease. 


Conditions improved today with the second day of warm temperatures.  Moods improved.  Donkeys had more area to walk around in their yard, with sure footing, and I could maneuver more confidently.  Three cheers for the weather, please.

For some reason, though, donkeys wanted to eat dinner inside tonight.  Fickle beasts.

 Francesca stopped munching long enough to investigate the phone in my hand.  She was certain there was a piece of carrot lurking in the vicinity. Absolutely certain.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bovine Beauties

Meet the current set of characters who live next door.  

My oh my, I love the way they come running for carrot treats.

Cute as those faces are, the impudent group has the gall to yell at me (literally) when the daily carrot supply runs out.  I show them empty pockets, but they are not convinced.

I remind them a new supply will appear as a breakfast treat the next day and all is again right with the world.    

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Icy Conditions in Donkeydom

The technical term for conditions at our teeny farm is "icky".  Monstrously icky.

The most recent snow dump was obliterated by pounding monsoon-like rain.  The rain melted the snow, but not the ice below.  So, old ice was uncovered with new ice joining it.

Not the snow, just the god-forsaken ice.  Which we now have a lot of.  Want some?

Once again, I have to strap on my cleats each and every time I go out to tend to the chickens and donks.


Even these beauties are not fool proof.  But they help.

When you're walking on pure ice, nothing helps.  My balance is bad and my knees are those of a 90-year old so I'm doomed.
As I walk up the driveway I have to zig over here and zag over there to try to find some decent footing.  Tomorrow will be another challenge; as I write this I hear the rain coming again.  Below freezing temps do not bode well for an easy walk. 

 And the donkey yard is not much better.  

It's not easy to discern that the dark area and the white area is ice.  Pretty much everywhere.  There's just a bit of slushy snow along the fence line.  I have followed the donkeys' lead to use that route in getting to the barn.

Trying to find a spot to feed the donkeys where the footing is better is challenging.

But through the snow and the rain and the ice, the best dog in the world simply waits for me to finish chores so we can walk back to the house together.  

Yup, that's my boy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Alice, the Perfect Donkey Patient

This donkey nurse appreciates the perfect donkey patient.  Yup, sweet Alice.

At the end of last week's saga posting, I mentioned Alice was having some difficulties.  The vet's diagnosis was white line, a fungal hoof issue.  Treatment:  hoof soaking followed by farrier care.

The girl could not have been more cooperative.

She endured 45 minutes during the first round, followed immediately by another 30-minute feet-bagged-and taped treatment.  Of course, she got the barn all to herself with lots of hay to keep her amused.  Mellow and content were her middle names.

Not so mellow and not so content were the other three hooligans.

Luigi was banging on the barn gate yelling, "Hey you dirty screws.  Let her out, she ain't done nothin' wrong!"  Or perhaps it was more, "Wait one minute, why does she get all the hay?"  Either way, he was quite persistent in trying to jimmy that steel gate.

All the while, Alice simply observed her fellow donkadonks with an unperturbed eye.  She told me confidentially, foot soaking isn't half bad.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Glitches On a Teeny Donkey Farm

Where to start.

How about the hay aisle door.

The structure has done a seasonal shift and the door cannot be latched.  Hmmm...what to do.  Exactly a job for the hay twine that isn't tossed.  Tying the door closed tight enough that inquisitive (and strong) noses do not pry it open.

And then we have holes -- in the walls -- again.

Last summer, if you remember, dear little Alice starting eating her way through the barn.  Rick covered the lower exterior with fencing.  Well what do you know, "someone" is now eating away from the inside.  We know at least one hole was Alice's doing because of the height.  The others, well who knows.

Yup, right about Alice height.

May I now call them devil donkeys?

And then there's the natural forces at work.

We had a snow dump, then we had a big thaw and then we had a cool down.  Voila -- ice.

Doesn't look too treacherous, but it's scary to me.  Solid as cement and very slippery.  Out came the cleats.

Thank goodness the driveway from the house to the horse trailer (probably over half the distance to the donkey gate) is ice-free.

Remember at the end of the last post I asked you to cross your toes and fingers for Alice?  Well someone forgot.  The vet was out today and it's not an insurmountable problem -- hopefully.  
But that's a story for another day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Donkey Snow Trails

Usually when I approach the computer to submit a blog post for your approval, I have a plan in mind.  The story is outlined in my head and the photos have been taken.

However, the overriding thought swirling in my head this evening is not the planned outline, but donkey health.  Every day for the past three days, someone has appeared under the weather.  And each time, I tell Rick to help me keep an eye on the bugger and each time the ailment seems to pass.  And now, it's sweet Alice.  Just a bit ago I fed for the evening and her limp was pronounced.  No discernible problems.  So we wait and check in the morning.

But the story I had intended to tell was that of the annual routine of snow trails.  
Usually the donkeys ask me to blaze the trails, but this year they forged perhaps half of them in the yard.

After the first big snowfall, I shoveled out three eating areas.  Clearly you can see one of them above and there's another northwest of the tree.

From this angle you can see another just above Luigi's back.  And I hear you asking about that milk carton hanging from the tree.  Just an attempt to provide a  little something to amuse them.  Although I believe the attempt was probably an abject failure.  But, still it hangs.

And then, there's Alice.  Actually she's been a big pain in the proverbial ass recently.  The trails are only about the width of my shovel, meaning they're only wide enough for one person or one donkey.  And lately Alice has been a master at blocking the paths.  By just standing.  Still.  As donkeys tend to do.

In the picture to the right, she thumbed her nose at the hay in the feeding area and said she was going straight to the source.  Alice is a pistol to remove from the hay aisle.

Cross your toes and fingers that Alice is back to normal tomorrow.