Monday, June 10, 2024

Heartbreaking Scene With the Donkeys

 Two days ago, a little before 4:30, I heard the donkeys making a very odd sound.  After all these years around the beasts I know the hungry, angry, scared sounds.  But this one was new.  

Then I heard it again.
I went out to investigate.

As I approached the gate I saw the donkeys (not sure if it was two or all three) alternatively shaking and head nudging something.  To my horror I realized it was a fawn.  Earlier in the day Rick had seen mom and baby in the driveway.  

I have never seen the donks behave this way.  They were totally absorbed, focus intense.  
Clearly the baby was dead.
I quickly walked back to the house to get Rick.

When we arrived back at the donkey yard, we saw the same behavior.  Rick approached and I warned him to be careful; would the donkeys be aggressive to us?  He was able to get them to back away and he scooped up the deer.  Rick laid it out in the field behind the pasture so mama could find it.

Clearly they saw the baby as a predator and that instinctive protective behavior kicked in.  But damn!

Yes, I yelled at them.  And yes I know it was pointless.  But it was a purely emotional response.

What we don't understand is how the baby got into the yard.  The only way was over the four foot fence.  I would not have thought such small a fawn could have leapt so high.

Definitely new territory with the three beasts.   


Monday, June 3, 2024

Managing Chicken Pain

If I'm not in a hurry, morning breakfast with the chonkeys is one of my favorite times with the critters.
Hens will come trouncing back into the coop telling me they're hungry and then they really attend to their meal with gusto.

And who could not find the slow methodical donkey chewing peaceful.

What I didn't mention last post is JoannieLu's behavior is a bit off.  When the girls gladly fly out into the pasture for free range time, she often hangs out in the barn alone.  Or I'll find her in a corner of the coop.

But she doesn't act lethargic.  She's eating, although won't get in and scrabble for treats as the other girls do.
Lo and behold I was flipping through the recent chicken magazine yesterday during a car ride and  skimmed an article on pain management.

It specifically mentioned signs of pain as isolation and standing in a corner or staying inside during the day where it's safe.  One of the suggested plans of action is to combine a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in a carrier oil and administering to feet and legs.
So that's what we did today.
Other options cited are using clove oil or arnica, both items in my tool box.  
Let's see if we can get JoannieLu feeling better!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

DIY Donkey Waterfall

 The donkey water trough.  Debris can float at the top and gather at the bottom. So from time to time we don't fill it every day and allow the water level to lower so it can be dumped, scrubbed and refilled.  Even if the level is low when dumped, a lot of water spills into the yard.  And the chickens like to paddle around in it, drinking from the puddles.  

So much better than their clean waterer.  Of course, when it comes time to fill the trough, one tends to turn on the hose and continue chores in the vicinity.  Time and again we miscalculate.  And our cup runneth over.

At one time I wanted to create a flow of water down the small hill at the side of our house to a small pond.  I guess this donkey waterfall will have to suffice.

Let's turn to Sharone, the rooster, for a moment.  He does not find it necessary to awaken the world at daybreak (there is a god), but when he hears (human) voices approaching for morning chores he begins to sing his song.

I always thank him for his music.  Such a good boy.

Changing subjects, how many of you have seen the quite cute videos of people giving their dogs a spa day.  Often this includes the dog on its back getting paws oiled, massaged, and lotioned.  Our vet was out recently so I asked about this.  His quick response was "don't do it".  You want your dog's paws to be tough so running or walking on rough surfaces isn't painful.  So there you have it.  Don't do your dog a disservice by duplicating the cute videos.

I'm thinking it might be fun to incorporate a "What are you reading/watching" section if readers would participate.  Let's give it a whirl.  I'll start.

I just finished "The West Wing".  Shown on network television 1999-2006.
I loved (almost) every minute.
Created by Aaron Sorkin (he also wrote the first 3-4 seasons) with a wonderful cast (Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, John Spencer), intriguing storylines, and sensational opening and closing musical themes.  Sorkin also created "Newsroom" with Jeff Daniels.  I have watched that one twice and may go for a third time.  I find it that good.
I did find I had to get DVD copies of The West Wing from the library as the streaming service that offered it wanted to charge me a fee in addition to the monthly fee I was paying. No thank you.
I think I would definitely put The West Wing in my top 10 best TV shows.

I'm also watching Northern Exposure (1990-95) on Netflix.  I'd give that a Very Good rating. 
And finally let me throw in The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2000, but only 3 seasons).  British and always made me smile.  The characters were so eccentric but endearing.  I really wanted more after the last episode.

 So let's hear what your thoughts are on an outstanding show, not just good but outstanding.  

* * * * * * Vegan Delights * * * * * *

Like a thick and creamy pudding.  And oh so good.


Monday, May 13, 2024

This and That On the Teeny Tiny Farm

What an odd spring.

Donkeys have been out on pasture since the beginning of the month -- unheard of so early.  Usually the grass isn't ready until late May.  The donkeys aren't bothered by the odd timing, they couldn't be happier.

And today I actually turned on the fans for both the donks and the hens.  To be honest, between you and me, when I powered up the little fan in the coop a cloud of dust to rival the dustbowl flew into the new coop.  Don't worry, I timed it so everyone was out in the run.

A couple of days ago as I walked down the driveway to feed breakfast to the donks, I readied my phone for a video to catch the blast of noise from the three girls - I was 10 minutes late and had heard them yelling at me from inside the house.  Of course, Gabby was a tenth as loud as normal, but you can get a taste.

Let me tell you about Gigi girl.  A couple of weeks ago I saw the early signs of lethargy.  So Rick and I sprang into action and started a 3-day worming regime.  Shortly after she was right as rain.  That's Gig in front.

I'm low on chicken wormer so called our dog vet to see if by any chance I could get some from him.  That started a lengthy discussion about different wormers, how they tackle worms, AND, some info on the so-called chicken vet I went to a couple of years ago.  Let's just say I shan't be returning to him.  Which means now I have no chicken vet closer than an hour's drive.
Anyway, I'm missing my Sweet Pea and am hoping Gigi can become my buddy.

Thanks to friend J2, I have had a radio in the coop and go in spurts in turning it on for the girls.  Most often we listen to news and music during morning chores.

Oddly enough I don't get much feedback from them as to station preference..

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the turkey buddies who usually are gobbling in the vicinity when I wake up.  I spoke to a neighbor recently who lives two properties away and she said the turkeys come up to the back of their house and peck on the patio door.  As much as I delight in them, she wasn't nearly as enthused.  But she loves hearing the donkeys!

I know you're here to read about the adorable(?) little chonkeys but I must step up on my soapbox for a brief moment.  My pet peeve for some time has arisen again.  Please please please do not wear your "I'm so busy" status as a badge of honor.  Really doesn't cut it with me.  I'm not impressed.

Now I'll leave you with pathetic little donkey faces peeking out of the barn witnessing the rain.


Monday, April 22, 2024

It Sucks To Be a Chicken

 One of the books I'm delving into this week.

Let me give you a taste of one of the early pages:

Today, there's never been a worse time to be a chicken. Chickens on industrial farms live their lives in cramped cages or perhaps in cage-free facilities, stuffed together on a dusty floor where at least they can spread their wings.  The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, passed in 1958, requires all animals be "rendered insensible to pain" before being shackled or killed -- all animals except for poultry.

The poultry industry, the dairy industry, the pork industry, the beef industry -- all inhumane.  It's all about the money.  Of course.

At least these seven beauties get to forage in manure and grass -- a taste delight.

As last week's post took a brief look at our inside life, so it goes this week.

Let's take a peek at afternoon naps --

As it happens, morning and evening naps look quite similar.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Turkeys, Orchids, and Eggplant

 Almost every morning, I awaken to the sound of our local flock of turkeys.  I can hear them whether the windows are open or not.  Generally around 6:15 or 6:30 this time of year.  I consider them my morning greeters, although I do not leap out of bed to greet them.  Very occasionally we see them in the back  "yard" wandering through the brush. 

Thankfully most of the time they are outside of the fence, but there's that small percentage of occasions when they've flown inside and we must shoo them out so the dogs can be let out.

Turning briefly to the house interior, my oldest orchid is blooming again!  I don't believe it's ever bloomed two years in a row.  As of today only two blooms have not yet opened.

Don't be fooled into thinking mornings with the donkeys are all excitement and glamour.  On a recent morning when I let them into the compound to wander while I was doing chores, they were as slow as molasses.  Watching this little clip will definitely slow your pulse.

 On the other hand, one can always count on Sharone for a rousing morning greeting.  In fact, usually there are several.

I'm contemplating whether to add two or three hens to the flock.  I've been advised I have a rather small flock for one rooster.  More girls means he doesn't continually pick on the same girls.  No, I haven't conferred with him on this decision. 

*  *  *  *  *  * Vegan Delights *  *  *  *  *  * 

This is a Trader Joe gem.  Before I opened the can I had intended to whip up some rice to accompany it, but I ended up eating the whole thing before the rice came out of the cupboard.  

Monday, March 25, 2024

Three Donkeys in a Snowy Spring

 Three days ago spring was abruptly ripped from us and we returned to winter... with a snow dump and moderately cold temps.

Here's what Friday's lunch looked like.

And I've never seen curvy icicles...

Thankfully since Friday 95% of the snow has melted and today we topped out at 58 degrees.  Yippee!

* * * * * *
Passing on a lemon curd recipe for Vitamix blenders.  If you own one and like lemon, this is the best.  I have to stop myself from just eating it out of the dish.  Not vegan because you use eggs, but you can easily sub a vegan butter (I used Earth Balance).

Vitamix Lemon Curd

It's amazingly easy and quick.  

As one cook stated, "Here’s the trick of using the Vitamix– a high speed blender heats the lemon curd ingredients to a safe temperature for eating. You CANNOT use a basic blender to accomplish the same goal. It simply won’t “cook” the eggs to a high enough temperature for safe eating."

I've schmeared it on english muffins, toast, and pound cake.