Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chickens Veto Snow

In Michigan, we are accustomed to quick changes in weather, but yesterday's changeroo was abrupt even for us.  Balmy temps had been hanging around... until yesterday when we were walloped with a foot of snow in about 12 hours.

This is the chickens' first snow and, they are politely saying "no thank you".  Even in the early morning when there was only a dusting, they refused to step foot outside.  I've seen them in the rain (while the donkeys hunkered in the barn), but this snow business was an entirely different matter.

They're bored and whiny.

 Particularly Ruby Dee.  But Ruby does have a little pathetic whine in her normal conversation.  So maybe she's not as dismayed as she's leading me to believe.

In the afternoon hens were allowed in the donkey barn while I cleaned up.  They were so relieved to be out of the coop.  And when they found the remains of Alice's oats, they acted like they had hit the jackpot.  All four were in the bowl, excitedly diving for gems.

The donkeys took it in stride.  This morning when they had to trudge through the deep stuff, my original three were at the gate as usual, while Alice just bellowed from the shelter of the barn.  Have I told you she sounds like a foghorn?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Little Compulsive

Stronger than normal winds have been blowing through southeast Michigan for the past week.  And when I hear the forecast I get a little compulsive.  Or maybe you could say realistically thorough.  Yea, that's it.

We've lived in this house for over 29 years. Semi-rural.  Ten acres.  Well water.  Let me repeat that last part.  Well water.  When you don't got no electricity, you don't got no water.  Only five years ago or so a portable generator made it's way to our home.  In spite of that, when I hear the windy forecast, I start filling up water receptacles.

Dog water dish, my two drinking glasses, donkey water, teakettle.  Got the picture?

I'm only too well aware of that sinking feeling when the lights go out and, oh yes, you have no drinking water.  In my defense, I ask you, what if the generator fails?  Best to be prepared!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fuzzy Faces

I'm sure you can guess that the sleek summer donkey look is long gone.  That look I love the most and is so short-lived.  Sigh.  When they finally shed their winter coats about mid-summer, that sleek sexy look is utterly alluring.

And there is an in between time when winter hair begins growing but is not at its lushest.  And that's where we are now.

Franny bananie

Blabby Gabby, also known as Gabba or Gabs
And yes, she is known as Blabby for a good reason -- the biggest donkey voice on the place

Weegie peegie -- always the ham

Alice Badallas
with Ruby Dee

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Donkey Hole #2 -- You've Got To Be Kidding

Please read previous post.
Then view this photo.  No smirking or laughing or tee-heeing allowed.  Not even a little bit.

Yes, hole number two.  
Mistake number one -- leave town for the weekend.

Upon our return Sunday we find this doozy.  About one week after hole #1.

All donkey barn sides have now been covered in fencing.

No pardners, there'd better be no more chewing in this town.  Or Rick'll have yer hides.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alice Through the Donkey Hole

A couple of days ago I went out for the morning donkey and chicken ritual (which has gotten a lot more complicated by the way with the arrival of sweet Alice) and what did I see.

A nice big hole in the back of the donkey shed.  I do think I stood there transfixed for a few minutes, not quite processing this sight.

The view from the back side

And a nice big fat close-up.

What in the world!  Never before have I encountered this with the donks.  I returned to the house and told carpenter Rick about it. I postulated either the donkeys had done some heavy partying in the shed overnight (with adult beverages), a non-donkey critter had gotten in and they had gone after it or there had been a major dispute and someone had taken out their displeasure on the wall.  After he had viewed the hole with a professional eye, Rick said, no, that hole was eaten.  EATEN!

Let me repeat, in the six years I've had the donks this has never occurred.

On the morning of Day 2 I reported to Rick that the hole was now yet bigger.
That afternoon it was repaired.

Oh yes, with fencing covering it this time.
I do need to add that before the hole was repaired, the chickens were delighting in hopping through on their daily walkabout.

Now, the really funny part was Alice's reaction to the repair.  (And, yes, I think we may have found the vandal.)  I found her standing in the shed just staring at the patch.  Next I saw her outside staring at the patch, then she walked back in.  Luigi joined her and perhaps they were conferencing about this new development.  I didn't stay long enough to check it out.

I took advantage of one of the many Facebook donkey groups to inquire if others had experienced the same thing.  Whoa, you betcha!  There were a few solid suggestions involving supplements, covering the shed with metal, and providing tree branches for chewing.

We may eventually try them all.

One final note.  We now have a blue shed, yellow coop door and big green patch.  Definitely a kaleidoscope of colors.