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!
Oh Janet they are absolutely gorgeous and I am so glad that they have found a very good home with you and your husband. I think you have done marvellously to integrate so well in only two weeks. These things do take time and can be stressful (for us humans). I am sure they will all settle down, given time, into a nice little herd. They have certainly landed on their hooves to have such a caring mother and a nice forever home. BTW how old are Sugar and Spice? Talking about integration, off subject I know, but our rescue cat is still chasing our small female when he sees her. He is fine now with the older male cat. I can't understand it and I have tried everything from Feliway spray (that is meant to calm them down) to spraying him with water when he chases to lots of love and affection to show him he is well loved and wanted. We have had him 10 months now so things should have settled but we don't seem to be able to change his mindset. Any ideas, would be greatly appreciated. Anyway, back to the subject in hand, so glad you have got the girls and I look forward to an update on their settling in progress.ReplyDelete
Louise, I sure wish I could advise with your rescue boy's situation, but I don't have much cat behavior knowledge. I assume you've asked your vet? I have a friend who is involved in cat rescue, I'll ask and report back if I get some good leads.Delete
Thanks very much Janet. Our vets just recommend Feliway (which I have bought lots of and it's pricey). We will carry on monitoring the situation. Luckily there have never been any fights, just chases. Thanks again and give my love to the donks (and chicks).ReplyDelete