Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Make It Five Dingbats

I almost started this little story by saying I have four dingbat donkeys.  But, alas, it is probably me who is the dingbat.  Sad, isn't it.

Here's the backstory.

About the beginning of October, I decided it was time to keep the donks off the pasture until snow falls.  This is an annual routine that helps the pasture thrive in the spring.  While the pasture is off-limits they get extra hay, and, walkabouts in the acre or so fenced around our house.  They eat grass, wander through the woods, investigate our bocce court and recently, ATE MY MUMS.

Here's why I was foolish.  They hadn't touched the marigolds or roses, or clematis, (alright, they did eat the dianthus)  so I didn't give much thought to the three mums when I opened the gate and said, "Run free you hellions".

A  (former) white mum with the bedraggled marigolds

This is what I came back to:

One of these was the white one you saw above, plus two newbies.
Eaten down, not quite to the nub.  

I debated whether to purchase substitutes and because I love seeing the color, found a reasonably priced roadside stand and bought these.

I carefully removed them from donkey lip height before letting the dingbats loose a few days ago.

Can't fool me twice!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Post Vacation Greetings

A couple of weeks ago, Rick and I returned from a Utah tour of National Parks.  It was decidedly hot for hiking, but the views were spectacular.  We toured Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion.  Pictures will have to wait; I had a hiccup with the "real" camera.  Hopefully, I can retrieve them. 

But I'm not going to sweat it.

Upon our return I asked the donks and the hens, "Did you miss me?", expecting some demonstration of affection.  Not so much.  Although the clucks may have been a little more attentive than usual.  The donkeys on the other hand... 

Is Luigi saying hi or giving me the rasberries.

On a side note, I think all chickens should have donkey poop to play around in.  They think it's kind of wonderful.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cobwebs Be Gone

This past weekend was designated "get the cobwebs out of the barn and coop" holiday.  A better time could not have been had.

Haul the shop vac out to the barn, trying to avoid the mucky mess at the doorway.  My memory says I didn't partake of this holiday last year because of my knee.  Two years for the spiders to spin out of control.

Was it necessary??

Then, time to move on to the coop.

Usually the girls like to help when I clean out the bedding, but they were not drawn to this vacuuming business. 

When I had finished and Rick came out to take a look, he foolishly said the barn was probably cleaner than the house.

Foolish indeed. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Release the Raptors!

Certain aspects of Facebook are a great asset in taking care of the donks and clucks.  I belong to one group devoted to the care and feeding of chickens.  Recently someone asked the group how they call their hens in from their walk-abouts.  Many many many people responded.  I actually sifted through most of them and found three to be gems.

We'll start with the G-rated ones first.

From Victoria:   "I sing skidamarinky dinky to mine and they come running and sing with me..."
Now, of course, you have to be old enough to recognize the song (I have no idea how to actually spell it), but this brought a smile and a chuckle. 

This comes from Ernest:  "Release the raptors!"
They truly are like little dinosaurs (and my Lily sounds like one) so this also was in my save list.

Now this one is rated PG so reader beware.

Amanda says:  "I go out the back door and yell...”where my bitches at?” They come running in hopes that I’ve brought them blueberries."

All right, my crude nature has been revealed.  I find this to be the funniest of the lot.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Watermelon for Everyone!

The experiment.

To be honest, I'm not certain this was truly the first watermelon introduction for both the donks and the chickens.  But I am certain it was the first time I had cut up a whole melon and offered chunks to all.
At first blush, the donks said no thanks.

Actually I continued to find if they were offered hay prior to the fruit, they chose hay each time.  But then they decided it was OK to gobble the watermelon after their main course.

The juice is running off of Spice's lips.  Pretty funny.

Luigi's tongue is saying, "yummm".

The girls check on remnants. 
Did those darn donkeys leave anything at all?? 

And then they discover they have their own delectable portion.

Official experiment conclusion:  Donkeys greedily gobble, rind and all.  Girls pick off every sweet morsel, but leave the rind.  Everyone votes thumbs up!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Slow But Sure Wins the Fly Spray Race

Slow but sure wins the race.
With donkeys.

Using fly spray on Sugar and Spice has been an interesting process, but halelujah, I think we've won the battle.

Wait, I think I'm mixing metaphors.  Oh well.  Be patient.

When fly season began, it seemed clear they had never been sprayed. If I so much as appeared with the bottle in my hand, they'd hightail it outta Dodge.  So the step process began:

1.  Entice everyone into the barn with a "treat" (actually a supplement but they gobble it up).
Spray Luigi and Gabs (who have never been a problem for the past 8 years).  Put a halter on S&S with leadline.  One person holds the donk while the other sprays.  Release the beasts.

After a couple of weeks -- 
2. Repeat Step 1, omitting the halter.  Spray Luigi and Gabs.  One person throws the leadline over Sugar/Spice holding securely and the other sprays.  Release the beasts.

After a few days --
3.  Repeat Step 2, omitting the leadline.  One person puts a hand on Sugar/Spice's back or neck to steady them while the other sprays.
It was critical to always spray Luigi and Gabariella first to show S&S they didn't die from the procedure and, in fact, didn't pay much attention.  Release the beasts.

After a few days --
4.  Repeat Step 3 omitting a person.  The procedure requires only one person .Spray everyone in the correct order.  Release the beasts.

After a few days --
Spray Luigi and Gabs in the donkey yard.  Next spray Sugar (just a wee bit of verbal reassurance needed.  Spray Spice with extra verbal reassurance and hand pressure.

Piece of cake!

The beasts (in order of cooperative attitude):





Proud as punch of my two little girls!

Friday, July 13, 2018

New Coop Addition, almost almost almost done!

We are ever so close to having the new coop fully integrated.  But not quite.

The last time you saw it, we had pieces lined up outside the donkey yard.  Well, just take a look now.

The "porch" has not been secured completely, but other than that, we're ready to roll.  Let me give you a tour of the construction process -- my husband needs a huge bow of recognition for all the hours spent integrating the two structures.

Yes, part of the package was a stained glass window - pretty swanky

Because the new roof is metal, Rick thought the heat build-up could be offset by insulation

Nesting boxes in and ready

Here, we're standing in the new coop looking through the old outside door to the old coop

Always loving a new project, Rick said, hmmm, what to do with the leftover roofing pieces (because we're cozied up to the old coop, the other half of the roof wasn't necessary)  And voila, a new shade area for the donks. 

Pretty darn nifty, don't you think.  Rick is one darn handy guy to have around.  Guess I need to thank him properly!