Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter is here........!!!!

It was 11 degrees this morning when we got up. Needless to say all the water buckets were frozen, so we spent all morning getting rid of ice & hauling hot water. Many of our donkeys are older & we worry about colic if they don't drink enough.

On this day last year we woke up to Muriel the mule being down with colic. After 2 1/2 days of round the clock doctoring, with no improvement, we had to make the hard decision to let her go. The Vets seemed to think she might have lipomas, a type of fatty tumor that can strangle the intestines of older equines. I know getting equines to drink enough water in the winter, when the weather is cold & the water icy, is sometimes a problem & have wondered if that might have been part of Muriel's problem. We'll never know, but we are very diligent about them having access to water at all times, no matter how cold it is, or how thick the ice gets.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hopefully fly season is over!

Last night we had our first fire of the season. We have no central heating in our house, only a wood stove. Arizona has nice enough weather, to get away with "alternative" heating. But the cold nights certainly cut down on the fly population. This morning we decided to leave the fly masks off, which means the donkeys could have access to the 20 acres of Burroland during the day for the first time in months. When they got thru eating, they didn't realize the gate was open, & followed their usual routine.........go up to the hay barn & see if there were any scraps of hay they could pick up. I put a halter on Lucy & used her as a Judas goat. Sure enough, they followed us across the wash to the open gate. Once they all figured out the gate was open, it was almost like a stampede. Really really, silly because they had been over there all night, until John called them in this morning for breakfast.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

BlackJack is getting ready for the Christmas Fair!

We're all busy getting ready for the Cascabel Christmas Fair next week-end. We have no idea how many folks will come to visit with the donkeys, but it should be a lot of fun. I wonder if 2 days of petting & hand fed timothy pellets by lots of people will make Monday seem like a bad dream to the gang........!!!!!! Probably!

Shiloh won "Picture of the Day" at this week. You can send an equine picture, & they have 4 pictures every day to be voted on by anyone that wants to vote. There is a woman on the internet, that always tells the donkey & mule people when there is a "longear" that needs a vote. So between her putting out the word & everyone I e-mailed to vote for him, HE WON! We don't win anything except bragging rights, but it's still a lot of fun.

The 2 girls that were chased by the neighbor's dogs are doing good. Nina had cuts & scrapes that are healing just fine. Belle is still on "corral" rest. I assume she is feeling better, although she is still limping. She seems to think I've lost my mind, because I won't let her out of the corral. Today we are letting her have access to another pen, so she has about twice as much room, but she still wants out with the rest of the herd.

Animal control is coming out this week to confiscate some of the dogs. The owner has agreed to give some of them to the county. Notice I said "some", not all. None of them are spayed or neutered, so we will probably have the problem again in a few months as more puppies are born. I'm sure they will be euthanized, because of lack of socialization. Another man made problem, where the animals pay the price............!!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dog pack

Last night the neighbor's dog pack, ran some of the donkeys. These dogs have been a problem for years, the last count we had was 16 dogs. But since then John has heard new puppies over there, so I guess there will be more to add to the pack, in the next few weeks. Animal control hasn't been much help. Their answer is, this is a livestock state, so shoot them. I'd rather shoot the people, that allow the dogs to run loose as a pack, & breed at will. They also don't have shots, so rabies is always a possibility.

The donkeys that have been here for awhile have learned that even as a pack, the dogs are cowards, so they don't run. Two of the new girls, Belle & Nina obviously ran. Belle has a swollen leg above the fetlock & Nina probably bounced off the barbed wire perimeter fence, ending up with cuts on her chest, ear & across her face.

A friend was going to bring 3 mini donkeys out to be put on diets. It seems they are getting a little too "short" for their weight..........!!!! I e-mailed her today to seriously think about it. These are large dogs & could easily take down a mini. She has already written back & agrees, it wouldn't be a good idea at this time. We were looking forward to them coming, they would have been our first minis.

Both BlackJack & Pepper for years have teased the dogs to get them to come into their space. So the dogs stay away from them & some of the others, but these girls weren't prepared for being attacked on their own property.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A visit with Mirage

Yesterday we spent the afternoon visiting with Mirage. He spent over a year with us, till he could be gelded & mature. His "mom" didn't have any way for him to get the exercise a growing boy needs, & he loved to play. So he spent his misspent youth, out here playing with Max the horse, & having great fun making the donkeys scatter.
Last month his mom took him home & he has been in training about 3 weeks. Delford is a mule trainer & I was hoping that he wasn't the "mule-skinner" type of trainer. Mirage, loves people & has a lot of curiosity, which could all be destroyed in the wrong hands. I am pleased to report that Delford has done a magnificent job with Mirage. His ground manners are beautiful, & for all his spirit, he is a dream under the saddle. No bit, just a homemade rope hackamore. Delford even said he's one of the best horses he ever trained. He was a horseman before he discovered mules.........!!! "LOL" Mirage's mom has ridden him twice & her only complaint is, "he's so big".........!!!! He is going to be a pretty good sized Missouri Fox Trotter, & she's about my size, which isn't very big. So she's thinking of selling him. If she does, I hope he goes to a wonderful home that recognizes what a special horse he is, & treats him accordingly.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Insulin Resistance

A problem with equines, especially ponies & donkeys. This link has some really good information & is well worth reading, even if you don't have an equine friend with insulin resistance...................yet!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Enjoying company

Well, the donkeys are getting ready for the open house. We've had quite a few visitors the last few days, friends from long ago & also new donkey friends. The donkeys really enjoy company, especially when the company thinks donkeys are there to be petted & fed timothy pellets. Even Shiloh, who is usually hesitant to come up to people, actually walked up behind Rick a long time friend & "asked" to be petted. Rick seems to have a way with animals, Buster also wanted his attention. Rick should stay around here awhile, maybe Tula would enjoy his attention. She sees no reason to be "pals" with people. We wanted her to decide to be friendlier on her own, but don't know if she will ever take that last step, which would be to stand & be touch. She had 2 owners in the last 4 years & wasn't required to be touched, so as far as she is concerned , this works for her.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fly Season is "ALMOST" over.......

The last few mornings have been very chilly & consequently we've noticed fewer flies each day. Hopefully within the next few days we can dispense with the flymasks & consider summer is officially over........!!!! Once the donkeys no longer have to wear fly masks they will be able to have the use of their "beloved" Burroland, 24/7.....!!!

With the cooler weather we also should have to do less doctoring for summer sores, jack sores, habromena larvae or whatever you want to call them. These sores are caused by a misplaced stomach worm larvae, that hitchhike on flies, & can cause horrible & irreputable damage to these guys. Actually the larvae doesn't cause the damage. The itching they cause when trying to find a stomach to attach to, is so intense, the donkey will literally destroy themselves scratching & trying to gain some relief. We had to have Cisco I put down years ago, because he had literally destroyed his sheath.

This year wasn't too bad for habronema, thank goodness. Belle came to stay this summer with sores on her face & one leg & with a few weeks of intensive treatment, has been clear for almost 2 months. Sha'ba has a very bad area on the front of his nose, that I have been treating constantly for weeks. The cold weather will cause the remaining ones to go dormant, only to return next summer. Yuck! I wish they would just go away, permanently.