Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It's "First Day of Pasture" Day !!

 I perused the pasture about 10 days ago and was not happy with what I saw.

The donkeys were pleading with me to let them onto the pasture and I promised them the gate would open on Sunday.  But it just wasn't looking tall enough so I promised them Wednesday (today) and, yes, it was the best day ever (!) according to Sugar.  When my former horse barn let out 50 head of horses on the summer pasture for the first time in the season, the thundering herd racing for that green grass was pretty dramatic.  Not quite so dramatic with three mini donks walking through the gate with heads down. 

So they'll get to contentedly wander the pasture for part of every afternoon until it gets eaten down and then they'll have to take a week's break to allow for some re-growing.  But that won't be until early July.

Now that we have the red letter day news out of the way, let's back up to old business.

The bird nest.
Come to find out it was a wren's nest, not sparrow as we initially thought.  But that's kind of neither here nor there.  A few days ago there was a flurry of activity in the rafters of the barn with two wrens -- mom and dad?  -- bringing food to the nest.  Or at least that's what I surmised.  And I got divebombed one day.   
But now, no sign of activity.  So I dared peek in.  Nothing.  Rick did a better examination this morning and saw no eggs, no broken egg shells, nothing.  How very strange.
Any guesses?

And finally, I feel like I'm back to square one on the issue of chicken euthanasia.  The administrator of  a chicken group on FB told me my method was inhumane.  What?!!  I almost fell off my chair.  
I spent a great deal of time talking to vets about four years ago and finally thought someone from the poultry "department" at Michigan State University offered the best solution.  
So what to do.
I've started talking to vets and farm sanctuary caregivers about this specific question, again.  Not sure yet what the answer is.  But that threw me for a loop!  I would never ever do anything that remotely smacked of being inhumane.

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Say Yes  

I tried out a new recipe last night and it got two thumbs up.  Of course I didn't think to take a photo until after dinner was over, but let me give you the recipe.  I recommend it.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing


  1. Oh Janet, I know and so must lots of other people, that you would never do anything inhumane towards any animals. I don't know what your method of euthanasia is, but you have obviously done so much research into this subject and must be more clued up than most of us chicken keepers. The only thing that shouts out to me from your wonderful blog is your dedicated compassion for animals. That is why I find it so interesting to converse with you. I have always taken my chickens to the vets to be PTS and have broke my heart many times. I am struggling now with my old girl Violet. She is so sleepy and wobbly now but I believe it is just old age. I will let her be and just take one day at a time. Oh the worry of it all!! So glad the donks enjoyed the pasture - what a great day for them.

    1. Thank you Louise. I've spoken to my cousin who's a small animal vet and to our dog vet about the issue. The articles provided by the FB person talked about cervical dislocation. My cousin said it could be easy to botch it if you're not experienced. No thanks to that method!

  2. Janet, just to let you know I lost my beautiful Violet this morning and I am absolutely devastated. I will mist her so very very much.