Friday, February 20, 2015

Hot Slop Preparation

This morning couldn't have screamed HOT SLOP for donkeys louder.
This is what we faced at 7:00 a.m.

Three donkeys needed a warm-up to defrost whiskers this morning to be sure.

I recently discovered that preparing slop the night before makes the process infinitely easier.
Last night I grabbed my hot slop bucket with lid.
Side bar:  I have raved about U.S. Animal of Vermont (shown on the label).  They saved the day when Natural was diagnosed with ring bone. Now if you would like to investigate their equine supplements you need to go to VetriScience (some company reorganizing).  Cat McKeen was my rep most recently and if you're lucky enough to live in her region, you're in for a treat.  She's knowledgeable and compassionate.

Back to hot slop.
My recipe is embarassingly simple.
Start with an appropriate quantity of hay cubes -- no alfalfa for donkeys, please.

Add boiling water and mix.  Put lid on.
If you let it set overnight the flaking process is much faster in the morning.
See the difference?
This morning I added yet more boiling water and then hot water to really mush things up.
Once a week I'll add bran.  Sometimes if I'm worried about impaction I'll toss in some vegetable oil.  I tend to avoid molasses because of the sugar content.  Of course carrots and apples are always appreciated, but this morning I wasn't as concerned with treats.

I have read differing opinions on the advisability of feeding warm mash to equines and those opinions differ on the use of bran too.  Since I only offer hot slop once or twice a week and bran only once a week I don't think I'm endangering the babies.  I gave hot slop to Natural every week in the winter for 20 years.  He lived to 30.

I had intended to show you little frosty faces but when I took out my cell phone to snap a quicky, found that the phone didn't like glove covered fingers.  And  was not about to remove my gloves, not even for you, dear readers.  Let me assure you that when I left the donkey yard they were doing a fine job of licking bowls clean.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hot Slop for Everybody

"Hot slop for everybody" was the rallying cry this morning.

(oops, please excuse that errant finger)

Denali from next door looks on jealously (I threw him a flake of hay to appease him)

Did a little experiment this morning.  While the three were still in the midst of consuming their hay cube concoction, I threw a flake of hay down next to them.  It remained untouched for at least 5 minutes.  That surprised me.  I assumed they only ate the hot slop because that was all being offered. Four years ago when I first served it, they looked down in disbelief -- "you want us to eat that stuff!"  

Breakfast was served in the driveway so I could get the little hyenas out of the way to clean up.  We only have paths to maneuver inside the donkey yard.  Little legs don't like to climb over, or through, deep snow.  So I am allowed the privilege of shoveling paths to and from the gate, to the water, and eating areas.  

And the paths only allow a single traveler.  No double lane traffic.  That means we frequently hit pile-ups.  I'll say "move!" to one or all three because I can't get through.  And then I'll say "move!" about 12 more times until finally someone takes a few steps out of the way.  Much easier to feed in the driveway if Rick or I aren't leaving soon. 

By the way, I got a huge bag of apples from a farmer's market yesterday so the little babies will be munching on those over the next couple of weeks.  Just in case anyone was worried...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Team Donkey May Lose Position

I introduced you to Team Donkey in a previous post (1/1/14) and I sang their praises.  Please ignore that post.

A couple of days ago I came very close to firing them.

Here's the team looking innocent and perhaps a little angelic.

Gunner on the left and Dudley on the right

Dudley has been on the Team longer and thus holds a superior position.  However, during the winter he has tended to escape the cold and return to the domicile before chores have been completed. Gunner remains to the bitter end.

But back to the other day.

I trudged out to the donkey yard with the Team and beheld a sorry sight.  Donkey poop e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.   Spread from one end to the other.  I knew chores would not be completed quickly that morning.  My mood darkened.

Then Team Donkey flew into action and started pouncing on manure nuggets as if they were gold kibble.  Nothing new, but I hit the last straw of patience (its disgusts me every morning)  and I yelled "get out!!" (probably a hundred times).  Of course they didn't listen.

When I finally got the area and shed clean and returned to the house I told Rick, "That's it.  The dogs are NOT going out with me in the morning ever again!"

So, at this point, in the mornings I have to weigh my options.  Be the good guy, take the dogs out and know I'm going to be grossed out, or tell those angelic faces, no and face the consequences.