Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Bits and Pieces

 My normal posting on Monday was waylaid; Nature saw fit to send a tornado quite close to us on Saturday evening.  No power and then no internet.  We were back up far more quickly than I would have anticipated so I thank all those workers.  Quite a bit of damage to our neighbor community.

 So there was a lot of this

However, let me be clear, I am not complaining about the noise or the lack of full-house use with this little beauty.  Not complaining at all.  We've had the generator about 10 years and I remember very well what life was like without it when out of power.  We're on well water.  So no power = no water.  I won't go into detail on how we managed to flush a toilet.

The other big event for us this week -- little girl chickens were integrated with big girls.  You may smile/laugh but it was kind of a big deal.

   They seem to have picked up the routine a lot quicker than I thought.  Of course they have a crazy pack of wild hens to emulate.

Related to absolutely nothing, I bring you three donkeys who ignore the fact the hay manger is there to contain the hay so it doesn't fall on the ground where they could consume dirt with the hay ad potentially colic. Hmm mmm.

 Now that normal life has been restored, I'll do my best to be better prepared for next week's post.
Probably.  Maybe.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Tools of the Trade - Use what You've Got

 I got so tired of walking in ick in the donkey barn.  For quite some time the three hooligans have decided the primary place to relieve themselves of bodily fluid is the dirt entryway.  A few years ago we tried putting drainage materials there, but we're back to muck.  I said to Rick, "can't you find a couple of board to use as a cross walk"?

 Basic, yet effective.  Mostly.  The hens like to use it too and often when I'm doing morning chores and they're roaming around, traffic jams erupt.  My guess is the donkeys ignore the boards.

After we found our brand new chicken waterer was empty entirely too soon after filling, I said the darn thing was leaking.  Rick said the base wasn't level and it was slopping over the edge.  Turns out Rick was right, darn it.  So he removed the wooden base, leveled the dirt floor and placed two cement blocks as the new base.  

It may need to be raised higher to avoid debris, but so far it's not been too dirty.

Of course we've talked about fans, fans, and fans.  The big girls have a fan in their side of the coop, as do the little girls.  And the donks' fan not only provides a slight breeze, but helps shoo-fly shoo the pests.

  I tend to feed the donks in the barn in front of the fan after their afternoon pasture time so they can cool down and get a brief reprieve from the flies.  I've read other chicken people complain about flies in the coops, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for us.

Finally, not a tool, but just because this never fails to amuse me, I give you the "donkey water is elixir from the gods, while chicken water is icky" scenario.

* * * * * * Say Yes * * * * * *

After a quite recent trip to one of the local farmers market, we now have a 10 pound box of delicious blueberries.  This has become an annual tradition after friend Mary clued me in to the farm that has "the best" berries around.   I always end up freezing a portion but a significant number of bluebs remain available for pop-in-the-mouth deliciousness.  My second favorite (vanila) yogurt pairs perfectly with the berries and I don't hesitate to indulge.


Monday, July 12, 2021

Donkey Behavior -- Grit your Teeth or Smile

 Sometimes when one encounters resistant donkey behavior e.v.e.r.y single day, it's easy to lose a little patience.  And one's (no names mentioned here) voice reflects it.

Usually when I open the gate in the morning to bring in the manure wheelbarrow I let the donks graze the grass in the area just beyond the gate.  With all the rain nature has recently bestowed, it's nice and lush -- and oh so tasty.  I accidentally discovered that the donks would come back in to their hay by voice command.  When I start calling they kick up their heels and race in.  Except the day I try to get it recorded.  Of course.  

And then there are the days they are not quite so cooperative and I use the stern voice.   

I've also had to gather my patience with little Miss Sugar.  Suddenly she has decided she does not want to be fly sprayed.  The flies are at their peak right now and can eat a donkey leg raw so spraying is imperative.  But I've grown tired of chasing the Sugar Booger round and round and it's not good for either of us on a hot and humid day.  So I've turned to trickery.

The donks love love love getting brushed.  They'll choose brushing over food.  And squeeze in between me and the donkey I'm brushing to get another turn.  So now I've learned to put down the fly spray bottle and pick up the brush and give Gabs and Spice and little once over. Then sweet talk Sugar over.  When she's feeling nice and relaxed, bam I throw the lead line over her neck and hold the whipper snapper while the legs get thoroughly sprayed.

For those wondering how the little (chicken) girls are doing, a funny story.  Last night when I went out to tuck everybody in for the night, the big girls were in their assigned roosting spots and making their settling in for the night noises.  Well the little girls were in the porch drinking beer, playing rock n' roll and not at all ready for the good times to be over.  Wouldn't you know.

*  *  *  *  *  *  Say Yes  *  *  *  *  *  *
Oh my golly, I just found this deliciousness at the grocery store last week and have used tremendous will power not to eat the whole box.

Non dairy "ice cream" treats.  Simply decadently wonderful.