There are days when I lose all patience with the animals and just shake my head and curse the heavens.
Let's look at this day, shall we?
A beautiful sunny, rather warm, morning greeted me as I pulled the little red sled with water and hot slop (hydrated hay cubes and timothy pellets with some oats and beet pulp for good measure) out to the donks. I open the gate and for the five millionth time this winter am stopped in my tracks as donkeys completely block my way. They will not move.
Finally the crowd thins and they descend upon the slop bucket (still on the sled) before I can proceed two feet. I get through the crowd and try
to get some slop into one of the feed bowls and four donkeys crowd me until I fear for my safety. Again, this has played out so many times I could spit. So you say, well, why the heck don't you try another approach. I have no idea how to get through the gate and get the slop into four bowls without them causing a ruckus.
Finally they are eating.
The scene in the barn is disheartening. Manure from one end to the other. My routine is to clean up manure at the end of chores, but this morning I couldn't walk back and forth from the coop door to the end of the barn without tripping over little frozen manure golf balls. I had cleaned up manure yesterday morning, yesterday mi-day and yesterday evening and there was even more this morning.
I am sick of manure.
Now to clean out the chicken coop. I fling open the door and ten chickens rush out into the barn, pecking, talking, finding their way into the hay aisle. Good, now I can have a little elbow room to clean the coop. No. As soon as I step into the coop and start to clean they come rushing back, sure I am about to spread treats in every corner. It takes several trips back and forth and for each trip I have to take mintsy little steps for fear of stepping on someone. And, this happens e.v.e.r.y morning.
The last thing to do is put some Purina Enrich into each donkey feed bowl. It is often knocked out of my hand before I can get it into the bowl. Patience = 0/
At last morning chores are done and I am outta there.
Rick and I decide to have breakfast out and upon our return I notice the donkeys surrounding the only remaining tree in the pasture. A lovely wild crabapple tree. And they have stripped the bark. It has beautiful spring blooms, provides shade for the chickens on hot days. And it is decimated.
And I ask myself why I have these damn animals.