Monday, November 27, 2017

OK Donkeys, I Hear You!

This morning at roughly 7:30 a.m., there appeared a cacophony of noise coming from 250 feet down the driveway.  Yes, four donkeys were demanding breakfast.  Loudly.  I could hear them quite clearly with the windows closed. 

It's not always a delight.

I trudged out.

Here you stinkers, just be quiet.

Luigi and Gabby settle down to some serious eating

Sugar and Spice enjoy the deluxe pool accomodations.

Peace now reigns.

Since the hens are allowed to frolic in the donkey yard during morning clean-up, Jo enjoys the solitude of the coop.

But the moment I mention mealworm treats, she's johnny-on-the-spot.  And it's butts to you.


Round two for the girls -- morning banana and seed treat

Ahhh,  serenity.  But wait...  Is that the evil eye?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Teeny Tiny Farm Expansion Continues

We've doubled our donkey herd.  And now on to the chickens.
Friend and chicken mentor, Debbie, is raising a dozen mixed breed chicks.  Three have been earmarked mine.  These cuties will be joining us in January.  Ooh-la-la.

Here's a peek at their growth:

September 2 
Only a few days old and cute enough to melt any heart

September 8 
A wee bit bigger and stronger

And, November 11 
Hey, what happened to October!

We tagged this cutie as one of my three; she's an Amberlink, a new breed to us.  Two Amberlinks and one Australorp (black) will be joining our current crew of four. I'll have to have a talk with our girls to make sure they understand the agenda - no fighting.  Of course I did that with Luigi and Gabs and a lot of good that did.  There is still donkey posturing all the time, but all four will now eat together and they'll congregate in the barn without too much strife. 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sugar and Spice Join the Party

It's time to bust out with the big news.
Two more donks have joined the teeny tiny farm.  

Moments after their arrival.

Meet Sugar (foreground) and Spice.

I was in contact with Crossroads Donkey Rescue in Michigan (same rescue through which I adopted Alice) and was told of Sugar and Spice, who needed to be rehomed.  The girls arrived October 29 and the integration with Luigi and Gabariella has been excrutiatingly slow.  I know I know, it's only been two weeks, but I was spoiled by Alice's almost immediate acceptance.  Thankfully we're seeing inch by inch daily improvement.

The girls had never been exposed to other donkeys previously, so it's been an interesting dynamic on all sides.  

First day scenario above:  S&S (far right) were wary, Gabs (far left) a little indifferent, and Luigi has his ears back.  

Luigi accepted Alice with open arms, but this has been different.  Particularly around food.
Often the comedian, Luigi photo bombs the eating scene.

  For about the first week, they had to be fed separately.  It was easier to bring Luigi and Gabs into the barn and keep S&S outside.  Try mucking out a barn through gate bars!

We didn't think Gabby and Luigi were allowing the two newbies into the barn (or Sugar and Spice were too wary to even attempt going in).  So, within a few days of their arrival, Rick and I were out in the dark, trying to blanket Sugar and Spice.  The forecast for the night was cold and rain.  We couldn't let them stand outside and get wet and cold.  Clearly the girls had never been blanketed.  What should have taken 10 minutes took over an hour.

Slowly they are settling in now.  It's common to see Sugar, Spice and Gabby eating together.
And, more importantly, it appears all four will settle into the barn at night.  A huge relief!

Interestingly, the two girls accepted the chickens immediately, but are a little skittish around the wheelbarrow as I go around the yard cleaning up, and find a moving bicycle quite alarming.  Thankfully, they have accepted Gunner the dog.

Overall, they are sweet, mild-tempered donks with Spice being a little more reticent.  She definitely follows Sugar's lead.  Oh my, I forgot to mention they are sisters!