Thursday, September 19, 2013

The livestock go for a stroll.....

Fancy our huge donkey
Yesterday, I came home from work and a neighbor hustled to the door, panting that they needed help with the donkeys. Fearing the worst,I looked for my vet kit and he said, No! They are loose! Two neighbors and my son had been chasing the donks through the ten acres of brush we have yet to fence.


Molly and Fiona, awaiting dinner





















Well, someone (ahem) managed to open the gate to our lower pasture and all the girl goats and girl donkeys were roaming the countryside. Goats are easy-- shake a little feed in their direction and they're yours. Donkeys, well, a little more challenging



My three jennys have had very little training in any consistent manner. They do loves hugs, the dears, and will allow brushing, hoof picking, and haltering. I eventually want to teach them to lead and pack, maybe even ride Fancy. But right now, their main job is discouraging predators like coyotes and bobcats from eating the baby goats, and, boy, do the jennys love baby goats!

Anyway, I hightail it to the barn for halters and leads and returned to find my grown son with his arms around Fancy, the largest donkey (super large standard). Reaching around I get the halter on her and a lead rope. She is not happy. Thinking like a donk, I realize that the neighbors are what is spooking her. One of the neighbors had also caught a donkey, Fiona, and had haltered her-- but the halter was upside down, with the throatlatch over her eyes! Oh, boy.  (Note: Sadly I had no camera handy...)

Fancy had some glue on her hooves (that's donkey-speak for "I ain't movin'"), but I took the time to allow her to decide to be led and I did not allow the neighbors to whoop and wave their hands (obviously not familiar with equines at all). Eventually, I got Fancy ambling over the field towards the pasture gate. Fiona, blinded by the halter, came reluctantly behind us, praying, I'm sure, for release from the blinders.

We get to the gate opened wide and Fancy calmly walks in, followed by Fiona. The third jenny? Well, that's Miss Molly, who is the mother of the other two. Being a bit older and some wiser, she came with the other two, unhaltered, and had a little grin, her lower lip trembling. Maybe a clue to who opened the gate? Nonetheless, all three were safely returned the goat herd, excited over their adventure.

There was no danger of the donkeys reaching a road or danger, thank goodness. Good lessons all around. Although they do not have good lead manners yet, the donkeys do trust me, and trust and patience won the day.
 
 
In other news, Danny has a functional bathroom in his house, we still need rain, and we got a water well on the 4041 property.

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