Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Treat For Three Donkeys -- Fooled Ya

Pictures of horses, pigs and other manner of livestock enjoying meals of pumpkin have been jumping out at me lately.  "Of course!", I said. "Three little donkeys would be thrilled to chomp on a delectable bit of orange treat."

Preparations are made.

Seeds removed.
Pumpkin quartered.
(One for each donk and one for a special horse)


Yea, sure.  Fooled again.
This is the photo of three donkeys having sniffed and rejected pumpkin.  Walked, nay, ran off.

About an hour later it was time for hay and I was pleased to see some interest -- briefly.

And then we were right back to ignoring it.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Intimidating Cranes and Loony Hens

Allow me to digress from donkeys for yet another post to show you the abundance of wildlife in the area.

We have some neighborhood sandhill cranes that wander from house to house and scare the britches off me when they saunter next to a 50-mile an hour road around the corner.  They are stately, single-minded, and a little intimidating.  Yes, they stand between four and five feet tall.  They were in the pasture sharing space with three donks a couple of years ago and I wasn't sure what to do.  I finally chose the path of least resistance and just kept an eye on the situation.  No one was bothered by the new company.

And then there are the guinea hens next door that wander everywhere.  In the road, in our driveway...  A large bunch of babies (yes, bunch is the technical term) appeared this spring and, surprisingly, most seem to have survived cars and predators. They do drive me crazy when I'm trying to get around them on the driveway (as in the photo below).  They're not the brightest bulbs.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn in Michigan

Fall brings... colors that dazzle

...donkeys with woolly coats 

...turkeys by the roadside

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blogging Audience -- A Puzzlement

When one blogs using the blogger platform (did I say that right), one is treated to a statistical analysis of one's readership.
And it's a puzzlement to be sure.

If I examine my audience from the past week, my statistics indicate most readers are coming from the Ukraine, followed closely by the U.S., then France and Canada.

If I examine the past month's audience, my statistics indicate most readers are coming from the U.S., followed by the Ukraine, then France and Turkey.


A blog on donkeys -- the Ukraine?
Yes, a puzzlement.

Now if I examine my all time audience stats, here is the ranking from highest to lowest:
U.S., Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Canada, Turkey, S. Korea, France, Latvia, China.

I'm repeating myself, but really??  Latvia??

This just makes me smile.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Decisions That Break The Heart

Natural, a chestnut Standardbred, came into my life for $250 24 years ago.  The vet who looked him over thought he was six or seven years old.  That makes him about 30.  And I’m about to lose the boy.

It didn’t dawn on me until I was talking to the U.S. Animal Nutritional rep (now known as Vetri Science) that those horse owners who live in warm climes don’t automatically calculate the wear and tear of winter weather on their equines.    (This rep and I have talked at length about our horses and she has been a kind ear listening to my emotional  exercise in coming to terms with putting my horse down.)   And she was the one who fine-tuned that thought. That those of us in cold weather states have decisions to make that aren’t always easy.

Natural will not be able to face the snow and ice of a Michigan winter.  As much as I keep mentally protesting, I’m coming to grips with that statement.

And so, if I lived in Florida, I would probably not be faced with this decision.   At least not right now.  Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.

It has been excruciating  this summer as I have tried modality after modality thinking I can “fix” him.  And nothing has worked.  Not massage, not chiropractic adjustments with acupuncture, not healing herbs, not pain relieving essential oils, not pharmaceuticals.  Nothing.

How can this be, I keep asking myself.

As fall weather has now come into southern Michigan I realize that no miracle is imminent.  While we were experiencing temps in the 70’s, I was able to pretend there was lots of time until inclement conditions.  Not so anymore.  And its breaking my heart.

I’ve thought about which experience is harder – going through a medical crisis and having the decision to put your horse down made for you, or this sad drawn out “waiting”.  I’ve been through the first;  my quarter horse got mauled by dogs several years ago.  This seems harder.  But then again, Natural was my first. 

I hope, dear readers you will continue to lend your support as the time draws nearer and bear with me as I use this blog as a vehicle of remembrance.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cattle > Stall Mat Drilling > Green Hay

As I started my stroll out to the donkeys (well actually I rode my bike), my sole intention was to show you the difference in hay between the old batch and the new bales.  But I got sidetracked.

First I had to say hi to the boys who live next door.  That's Norman in the middle.
The steer on the left, who's name I don't know, is the brand new addition to their menagerie, and  mooed constantly for the first 24 hours in his new home.  Thankfully, he seems to have settled in.

When I got to the shed I discovered Rick had redrilled holes in the stall mats to allow for urine seepage.

We were delinquent this year in not cleaning out the holes in the spring;  I recently pointed out to him that holes were clogged and no draining was occurring.

Rick came up with the suggestion to put holes in the mats two or three years ago and it works quite well if we stay on the ball.

I use the term "we" loosely.  This part of donkey maintenance is always his job.

You can see how three little donkeys always use the right side to do their #1 business.
The area is darker than normal - Rick cleaned the area with the hose before beginning. This makes it look a little grimier than usual.
And, you can see daylight through that back portion of the right wall. Guess who was digging outside of the shed.  Could it be G-u-n-n-e-r?? The prince of doggy diggers...

Three little faces are mesmerized as I move around clicking shots.

Finally, I get to the hay to show you the huge difference in color.

As you can see, the bale on the left is much much lighter.  Same farmer, first cutting as usual, purchased in June.  Could it have been left from 2013?

The donks had been leaving remnants of their hay meals before we brought the new batch home.  Now they consume every sweet morsel.

Yum, yum, yum.  As I've mentioned, its wise to separate a pile for Luigi (in the background) so there's less posturing during mealtime.  Poor Luig always gets the short stick.
Dudley waits for me to finish the photo session so we can get back to the house!