Monday, February 19, 2024

Dem Devilish Donkeys

 Just to set the record straight.  Donkeys can be a pain in the neck.  Allow me to tell you what happened last week.

I've shown you how we wrap baling string from the hay aisle latch to a wooden post to keep the door closed during certain times of the winter.  Apparently the donkeys worked their little noses to the grindstone prying that door loose until they achieved access to the hay aisle.  Were they after hay?  Of course not.  It's what's inside those glorious garbage cans that is the ultimate prize. Chicken feed and Equine Senior.  Both are too delicious for words.  Thankfully they were caught before too much had been consumed.  When Rick and I say "it's always something", we mean it.

And here are the precious angels, taking a sun nap.


For this next video, you'll want sound up to catch the first few seconds.  This vocalizing is mild
compared to the earful I get when dishing up their Senior.

The little darlings love to forage in the woods outside of the donkey gate nibbling bark, sometimes leaves.  

And then there are the chickies.

They are quite partial to the sweet fruit food group -- bananas, blueberries.  Apples not so much.
So I was surprised to see how much they enjoy a couple handfuls of the salad starter bags I've been buying.  What makes it a bit curious is they don't enjoy all greens.  The times I've provided baby spinach, they turn away and ask for the "real" treat. 

And, of course, water from the donkey trough is gobs better than their own.  Of course.

Monday, February 5, 2024

The End of an Era

 Yesterday I lost my nine-year old matriarch of the chicken flock, Sweet Pea.  

No one will ever be able to take her place.

She had been feeling her age this winter, and in fact, I wasn't sure she'd survive another winter.  But of course didn't want to consider her death, she'd live forever. 
However, much as I didn't want to admit it I could see her slow decline.  Every evening for the past couple of months she was unable to hop/fly up to the sleeping area and would wait for one of us to pick her up and put her with the rest of the girls.

This is an older photo but there's my girl third from the left.

Last evening I went out to lock up and once inside the coop lifted Sweet Pea up to the shelf.  She flapped her wings as she always did when I set her down.  Then made an odd noise and collapsed.  I thought she had lost her footing so tried to set up upright but in hindsight think she was already dead.  It happened so quickly I just held her thinking she'd revive but no.  She was gone.

Long time readers will remember:
She was always my helper girl while I cleaned up donkey doo.  Always stepping onto the manure fork to help and I'd have to shoo her away.
She knew her name and would come when called.  I'd call to alert her to a new flake of straw just thrown for the girls, for she loved digging in to retrieve the good stuff. 

 I'd call when treats were thrown so she wouldn't miss out.  And in recent years she'd be on the far side of the pasture and would come (maybe after 3 or 4 tries).
She had a distinctive voice; I always knew when she was in the area and would say hi even if she wasn't in view.
Most recently she showed Sharone who was boss, getting in his face, puffing up and flapping her wings.  He bowed to her position in the flock.

She was one of the first three chickens we got in 2015.  Little did I know then how easy it would be to love her.