Monday, March 29, 2010

CHICO CRISIS,....!!!! (at least from his point of view)

Lupe & Chico did real good on their first day out yesterday.  When it came time to come in for evening feeding, they were hanging around the feed room with the others.  Rather than lead them in or run them in I decided it would work out best to have them follow me in.  It took a few minutes for Lupe to figure out what I wanted her to do, but she followed me in & of course Chico followed her.  

They did so good I saw no reason to keep them in last night, so John let them out with all the rest.  He came in & said Chico was lost.  Lupe had gone one way & he the other & by the time he missed her she had disappeared.  So he was standing in one place, squawling & bawling.  I think every other donkey on the place brayed back at him, all except his momma.  John came in, got me & we headed out to find momma.  Chico was willing to follow us & we actually didn't have too much trouble finding her.  She was over on Burroland being quiet.  Ha!  She good naturedly greeted her little boy & he was really happy to say the least.  

This morning they were in Jack's pen when John went out.  Chico was taking a nap & Lupe was watching over him, so I guess she hasn't totally given up her motherly duties.  

I'm sorry to say I haven't seen her pay any attention to the geldings or them to her, so I assume she is probably pregnant.  I hope this one is a jenny, it will make everyone's life a lot easier. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010


We let them out before the others, so they would get a chance to look around without having to put up with a bunch of "nosies" in their business.  So far we've only had one crisis, Chico was down at the end of one row of pens, &  Lupe came back to the middle to get a drink out of the stock tank.  I guess he looked around & didn't see momma.  Here he came running as fast as his little legs would move.  She doesn't seem to care if he is there or not.  She also isn't paying any attention to the geldings, which isn't good.  If she continues to ignore them, I would imagine she is pregnant.  They seem to be enjoying being out, even with a trail of donkeys following them everywhere they go.  And of course the dogs are running in their pen & barking like maniacs.  Any time a new donkeys comes on the property the dogs act like they've never seen a donkey before for the first couple of days.  Some people were here the other day & asked if the dogs are ever out to play with the donkeys.  I told them as much as the dogs have teased the donkeys thru the fence & the donkeys have teased the dogs, I think someone would get hurt.  

If they get along OK today, which it looks like they will, we'll probably let them out tonight too.  Right now everyone is on just the 10 acres, but tonight we'll open up Burroland, so they'll have more area to explore.  

Well I guess old Pepper has made it thru another year.  Blanket season is over & he's actually eating & moving pretty good, so I think he will be good until next winter without too much worry.  I wish I could get some weight on him, he looks like a walking skeleton & has for a couple of years.  He eats good although he does go thru times when he doesn't.  Right now he's eating really good, so I try to up the ante on food.  He seems to have a built in gauge, he'll eat only so much.  If I try to add extra he leaves it.  Before the day is over he will probably be trying to "woo" Lupe, he really likes the ladies.  

We had visitors yesterday & when they called to come out the donkeys were already out, & all over the place.  I told the people we'd have to go root them out of the brush, which they seemed to think sounded like fun.  We found a group down below the house & Sha'ba was hanging out with them.  Anytime we go find him he will start following us.  He latched onto us, & followed us into Burroland & all the way over to the farthest fence.  He very rarely goes into Burroland & if he does it's usually just inside the fence.  John had to go back & rescue him after the people left.  I guess he forgot how to get back.  John went over & he was still standing in the same place, but as soon as he saw John he followed him back to this side.  

Everyone else seems to be doing pretty good, although Jenny isn't walking as well as I'd like.  Her feet are so nasty inside, who knows what's going on.  I am going to start her on some  high powered hoof supplements to see if it helps.  I will also have to soak her feet, although I think our recent rain probably had something to do with the changes in her feet.  But soaking is only for an hour or so, rather than day after day. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Board of Directors by Maggie Polen

Checked Chico again this morning, & nope..........nothing there.  I talked to Mae today & we decided that we'll keep both of them for awhile & see what happens.  Sunday we plan on letting them out with the herd, there's no reason to keep them in a pen & Chico will get a chance to interact with other donkeys.  He'll have lots of uncles & aunts to teach him donkey manners.  Mae thinks that Paladin might have bred Lupe before we picked him up, so this will be a good opportunity to see if she reacts to the geldings at all.  If she thinks they are kinda sexy, she isn't pregnant.  But if she ignores them & they ignore her, Mae is probably going to have another little bundle of joy in July or August. 

I haven't heard from Linda yet, I assume Paladin is settling in with his new friends.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

THIS ISN'T GOOD...............!!!!

I have good news & bad news..........the good news is, Chico & Lupe have settled in nicely.  The bad news is.........I checked Chico & he has nothing in his "purse".  Since he is here to get gelded, we need to figure out a plan B I guess.  I checked him the night we brought them in, so hopefully he was just scared & sucked them up.  I haven't checked him again, thought I'd give him time to get use to the place.. He wasn't real impressed with being groped & let me know it as fast as his little hind feet could kick.  We plan on worming everyone tomorrow morning, so I'll put him in the squeeze & see if anything has dropped.  

He would still like to nurse, but for all practical purposes Lupe has let him know the free lunch is over.  She is a rather authoritative type mother, &  makes her point very clear, so he's about given up on that particular past time.  

Mae & a friend of hers had put a halter on Chico.  I thought it looked too tight, & took it off as soon as we got them in their pen.  Poor little guy, it was so tight it had rubbed both cheeks, under the jaw & over the poll raw.  In fact behind the ears was indented about 1/2 inch into the skin & bloody.  I asked Mae & she said they both put 2 fingers under it.  She said they only did it a few days ago, so he didn't grow that much I don't think.  I'm sure he feels a lot better, I haven't tried putting another halter on it, until he heals.  I won't be surprised if he isn't thrilled at the idea of having one put on again.  But we'll go slow & make a game out of it.  

Courtney came out & trimmed Sunday.  Jenny has a foot that is falling apart, Courtney said it might be because of the wet weather we've had.  I hope so, her feet are so lousy inside that it's a wonder they don't look worse I guess.  I've soaked it a couple of times, & Courtney said probably ought to soak some more. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lupe & Chico

It was getting dark by the time I had time to take a picture, so their eyes look a little shiny in the flash.  Once we got Lupe in the trailer, Chico jumped right in, guess he wanted to make sure momma didn't go without him. 

We stopped to eat lunch at a truck stop before we picked them up.  Before we left John decided he'd make a "pit stop".  I went to buy a newspaper & after a few minutes I saw him headed out the door.  I ran to catch up & he asked if I had seen what happened.  It seems when he came out of the bathroom, one of the employees was trying to move a stack of containers with a dolly.  The containers probably had sodas or something in them, John isn't really sure.  With perfect timing, he walked out just as the stack of containers that were about shoulder high, fell over on..............guess who.........???   As he went over he grabbed at some scales for people to weigh on & it went down with him with glass breaking on the way.  He said people came over & helped extricate him from containers, scales & whatever else was involved.  He's lucky that he had on steel toed boots, (what he wears when going donkey wrangling) & that his recently operated on shoulder was clear of most of the carnage.  From what he said it's probably a good thing it wasn't a small person, like me or it might have been worse.  As it is one of the first things some of the people said was, "you better fill out an accident report".  

Lupe & Chico seemed to settle into their pen just fine.  I was afraid since they have been running loose on acreage, they might get spooky being in a pen, but it doesn't seen to be a problem.  They like attention & being petted although Chico is a little squirrely & stand offish.  Of course one of the first things I did was check him to see if he had the 2 little things, that are the reason we brought them here.  He didn't appreciate me getting that friendly maybe that's why he's squirrely.  Anyway I didn't find either one, I hope because of all the excitement he's sucked them up & once he's more comfortable they'll show up.  We'd like to get him gelded as soon as possible, so they can go back home.  But we have to have something to work with.

Friday, March 19, 2010


This is Paladin with his new mom, being watched by his new friends, Mr. Hershey the donkey & Comet the horse.  They were very excited to see Paladin, him.......not so much.  I think he was rather overwhelmed by everything going on.  

I had worked with halter & leading, but only in his pen.  There was no way for us to unload him directly into his pen, so it was time to see if he would lead.  I put a halter on him, & 2 lead ropes.  The idea  being 2 people could hold him back if he bolted.............I don't think so.........!!!  Fortunately we didn't have to find out.  Linda & John manned the ropes & I went in front with clicker & animal crackers.  He was hesitant, but willing & it didn't take too long to get him where he needed to be.  What a good boy he is & hopefully Linda will have more time to work with him.  He's like a piece of clay & more than willing to meet you half way.  Hanna & Quilla will miss him, they were his play buddies. 

We will go to Dos Cabazos tomorrow to pick up Chico & his mom Lupe.  I'll have to call the vet Monday & make an appointment for his "brain" surgery "i.e." gelding. 
We'll be leaving in about an hour to take Paladin to his new home.  He has been so good lately about being out with Daisy & Frijolita, that we decided last evening we'd let them out for the night.  About 11:30 the dogs started barking & I heard the sounds of thundering hooves.  Sure enough the dust was flying everywhere as the girls tried to stay ahead.  

As soon as he saw me, he took off for Burroland, he's certainly not stupid.  The girls were going to follow but I managed to get to the gate first.  Sure didn't want to have to round him or them up on an extra 20 acres in the dark.  Since I had them on this side of the gate, they were going to be the ones staying  in for the night.  I had to put a halter on Frijolita & lead her to the pen with Daisy following but they went quietly.  Both of them were sweaty from running around. 

This morning he was still playing only this time it was with Hanna.  She was giving as much as he could handle rearing & pushing.  He doesn't understand why he didn't get out after breakfast, so I placated him with some clicker training.  He really enjoys it & picks up quick.  Of course Buddy Brat was outside the pen & figured out Paladin was getting treats.  So I worked with him a little bit when I came out.  I've never worked with him, but donkeys are so smart it only takes them a minute or two to figure out touching the target gets you a treat.  And Buddy's life revolves around food, so he was a very willing victim. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It certainly looks like it.  Sha'ba hasn't had a blanket on in about a week.  Pepper hasn't had one the last 2 nights & is feeling frisky enough to try to jump Hanna last night when John let them out.  Now I have the problem of figuring out how to effectively wash the dirty blankets.  I tried washing some in the washing machine a couple of years ago.  They came out clean but the buckles tore up the soft inside covering,. Rinsing them off doesn't do a very good job.  But they really need to be cleaned.....maybe soaking in a tub?  Or maybe use the gentle wash cycle, & take them out before they spin. 

We were going to haul Paladin to his new home this Sunday, but Courtney wants to come out to trim, so I'm trying to juggle things around.  

It also looks like we're not going to be able to get a vet down to Dos Cabazos to geld Paladin's son.  I've been working on it for over 2 months & have really hit a brick wall.  Sooo, the plan now is, for us to bring Chico & his mom Lupe here (he's still nursing), get him gelded & give him a couple of days to recuperate & take him back home.  It's a lot of hassle for us, but in the long run it will be good for Chico.  Jacks do not have a good opportunity to get a permanent long term home.  Although he is in a stable home now, the chances of him staying in that home for the next 40 years is slim.  It's not unusual for a donkey to be in 7-8 homes in their lifetime.  We had one little girl that was in 5 homes before the age of 2.   

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Did Paladin's home study as planned, although I managed to get lost & was late getting there.  I think it will be a good home for him, he will have Mr. Hershey to play with & also a horse.  Mr. Hershey is smaller than Paladin, but now that Paladin seems to be "finally" acting more like a gelding it shouldn't be a problem.  A couple of days ago, he came in with Daisy & Frijolita as his little herd.  I guess they have finally stopped running from him.  We still won't leave him out if we aren't here, just to be on the safe side.  

Everyone else is acting like a bunch of  love struck boys & girls.  Some of the "relationships" are very interesting.  John caught Hanna & Jack the mule grooming each other again.  And for the last 2 or 3 days, BlackJack has decided that Jenny, "big girl", is his type.  BlackJack was a 10 year old intact jack when we got him about 11 years ago, which means he's getting into middle age.  Of course one of the first things we did was have him gelded.  He has never shown any interest in the girls at all.  But I guess something clicked in his brain, because he is a very loyal subject right now following her around like a puppy dog.  This morning when John was putting everyone in their pens, old rickety Pepper, went in with Jenny & wanted to show her what a wonder old boy he is.  John had to intervene to keep him from getting his silly old head kicked off.  

Right now they are really gnawing on the trees & the greasewood, or creosote bush.  John thinks he saw them eating some of the wild mustard that is coming up everywhere right now.  We didn't think they eat mustard, but maybe they do. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

GUS UPDATE.........!!!

Heard from Gus's new family this morning.  He's busy running with the geldings, & hitting Chief with a Jolly Ball when he can.  He's already got the family trained to pay attention to him when they come out of the house by bellowing & they think he is just great.  Sounds like it will be a wonderful home for Gus-Gus Goofball.  He couldn't have gone to just any home, he would have been bored, & turned into a pest.  The reason we originally got involved in his life was because he was eating the garden & flowers on a ranch & they wanted him gone.  But it sounds like Joe & Amy will enjoy his antics.

I am doing a home study today for Paladin.  He's settled down quite a bit & is actually behaving himself.........usually.  Right now he is missing a big strip of hair on both ears.  I would imagine Quilla has grabbed ears when they are play fighting & didn't let go when Paladin pulled away.  In the wild a lot of the old jacks are missing ears or parts of ears, for just that reason. Only in that case, it isn't in play it can be to the death.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I had an interesting occurance yesterday.  We had gone to town & when we came home I went out to let Paladin out.  He is still having to stay in when Friolita & Daisy are out unless we're here to watch him.  I had my purse with me & he spooked, which is very unusual for him.  I tried to show him it wasn't a donkey eating monster, but he wasn't having anything to do with it.  I went ahead & let him out, figuring to work with him later.  Today we were gone again.  So when we came home I went to let him out, took my purse, & it wasn't even worth his time to investigate.  Just about the time I think I've figured donkeys out, they throw me a curve.  I thought about sticking it on his head, but it would have taken a long time just to unpack it. John says I need to get a smaller purse or put wheels on it.  

Yesterday, while I was standing at the pen trying to get him to at least look at the purse without snorting, Sha'ba came up behind me & started pushing on me.  He butts like a goat, & we've always let him do it.  It was good to see him assert himself, & he's small enough the chances of it getting out of hand are very slim.  After he pushed & butted on me & wasn't getting the expected results, all of sudden it felt like something was biting my butt.  Sure enough he was trying to up the ante on getting my attention.  He doesn't have enough teeth to really bite, but he was giving it his best shot.  

I guess it's spring, all of the girls & most of the boys are acting silly.  Might be a little early, there was snow in the area last night, just a dusting.  

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I think John owes Gus an apology.  He blamed Gus for tearing the golf cart seat day before yesterday.  Gus went to his new home yesterday & today John caught Frijolita trying to gnaw on the golf cart seat.  Hmmmmm........!!!  I'll admit Gus did his share of getting into mischief, but he certainly doesn't need to be blamed for someone else's mischief.  They are suppose to call in a few days to report on how he is doing.  I'm sure he will get along just fine, but I always worry about them.

Monday, March 08, 2010

BYE-BYE GUS.....!!!!

  We took Gus to his new home today.   This is going to be a good home for him, they have 3 geldings & he likes horses better than donkeys.  When he came back a few months ago, he spent the first couple of days looking for Max the horse that had been here when he left.  Of course Max died in August, so he wasn't here.  He spent some time with the mules, & liked to play with Paladin, but for the most part he stayed by himself.  He spent most of the time after we let him out of the trailer, sticking his nose thru the corral panels, like in the picture.  

He made sure we would remember him, yesterday he took the hook we use to attach the hay wagon to the golf cart out & John had to find it.  He also took a big bite out of the seat in the golf cart.  John said he just want to make sure we'd miss him.  We will miss him, he has loads of personality, if you can channel it. 

Friday, March 05, 2010


When Katie came a couple of months ago, Jenny got moved out of her pen in with Daisy Frijolita & Hanna. Katie needed to eat by herself so we could monitor her food intake.  She's been doing pretty good, losing a little weight.  But I think Jenny is also losing weight, & she is so gangly & bony, she doesn't need to be losing.  Although the hay was there, I would imagine Hanna & Frijolita  were eating faster than Jenny.  We thought about waiting until Gus goes to his new home next Monday, & feeding Katie in his pen.  She is rather feisty, but then again so is Hanna.  We moved Katie into the jenny pen & Jenny back to her old pen a couple of days ago.  It's really went very well, both Katie & Hanna are "ear pinners", but we make sure there are plenty of feeding areas.  Daisy & Frijolita wait until the 2 "kids" decide where they want to eat, & then find their places.  Jenny seems to be real happy to be back in "her" pen.  She & Pepper share a fence & Pepper seems to like having his "big" girl back.  He insists on going out & eating with her & she doesn't seem to mind.  So once we get all the hay parceled out, we go back & let him in with her.  

I haven't been putting Sha'ba's blanket on the last few nights.  It's been staying above freezing & he's got a heavy coat.  When we go out in the morning he's perky, so I don't think he's getting too cold.  Pepper on the other hand will have to be blanketed until the nighttime temperatures are above 50*.  He doesn't have a ounce of fat on him.  When I go out to put the blanket on he stands just as still as a statue, so I think he appreciates having it on at night, even if he has to stay in the pens.  

Since Daisy & Frijolita are the only 2 that Paladin chases with a vengence, the latest game plan is (how many of these have we had?) everyone goes out during the day when we're here.  As long as Paladin behaves himself he can stay out.  BUT, if we hear pounding hooves & see Frijolita & Daisy running towards us or the house, in he goes.  It didn't take the girls long to figure out how to get rid of him, find the people & run past them.  

At night he can go out.  We were keeping all the girls in, at least the ones that make the "jenny" herd, but since he doesn't bother Katie or Jenny & Hanna kicks the snot out of him, when he gets pushy, they now go out at night & Daisy & Frijolita have to stay in.  BUT, they get access to the pens & all the leftover hay, so it's not such a bad deal.  

We've had a couple of people interested in Paladin & will be doing a home study next week for him.  If he goes to a new home I have a feeling we will miss him more than we think we will.........!!!  (G)  Although he is a challenge, that is what makes him special.  He's actually very sweet natured, although sometimes I'd like to pinch his head off.  

That goes for Gus too.  He will be going to his new home Monday.  Yesterday he got ahold of John's sweat shirt that got discarded as the day warmed up.  We saw him shaking it & playing with it.  It was cute, until John took it away from him, & saw the holes that had been chewed in it.  When we work in the back yard he knows we're digging up bermuda grass.  So he parks himself beside the wall & waits patiently for us to bring it to him as we dig.  If he sees you lay it on the ground rather than immediately bring it to him, he tells you about it.  What a goof he is.............!!!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

This morning John came in the feed room & said "you will never believe what I just saw".   Of course I have to play the game, which turned out to be, he saw 2 equines grooming each other & I was suppose to guess which ones.  I guessed 3 or 4 of the more unusual pairings & he finally told me it was Jack the mule, & Hanna.  He's right, never would I have guessed those two.  Jack doesn't even like to have the donkeys close to him, he usually squeals & moves away.  And Hanna is more of a "girly" type, & hangs out with Paladin if she does hang with anyone other than the girls.  So now I'm curious if this is going to happen again, my guess would be no, I can't even figure out how it happened in the first place..........!!!!!   

As far as we know Paladin has been behaving himself.  We went to town this afternoon & he got to stay out.  I noticed Daisy had a little dried sweat on her chest at feeding time, so she probably had ran a little.  But we've seen her run in front of him to get him to chase her, so as long as it doesn't get out of hand, we'll try to let him out as much as possible.  He's been staying in at night, but I think we'll let him out tonight & see how it goes. 

P.S. He didn't make it to 10pm, before the dogs started barking (they tattle) & Frijolita led him up by the house at speed. We went out, he saw us & took off for Burroland............grrrrrrrr!  It actually only took about 30 minutes to convince him that I wasn't giving up & he might as well go back over to his pen.  Well some of the others headed back towards the pens too.  I guess they figured there might be something in it for them, if I was over there stumbling around in the dark with a flashlight.  Or maybe they got tired of seeing the flashlight going everywhere.  I found all sorts of limbs to try to fall over, but actually managed to catch myself & also missed most of the hanging limbs that can really do a number on your face.  He kept turning around looking at me like, "Do I really have to"............and I kept saying "Go to your pen".  So once again, I guess he will have to stay in unless we can supervise him. 

Monday, March 01, 2010

GOTCHA PALADIN..........!!!!

Finally found something to get Paladin's attention & keep it.  Yesterday it rained, all day long & I do mean all ALL DAY.........!!!!!  We were suppose to have a tour yesterday morning, the woman called to reschedule, but John had already went out to pick up the new apples.  We like to have it at least look like we've made an attempt to tidy up for tours, although the donkeys do their best to  make it look like we haven't.  They seem to think a pen without apples is a waste of space.  Anyway, when he went in Pepper's pen, Pepper rammed his way out.  He tries this quite often, & usually we can stop him.  But he caught John off guard & once he gets part way out the gate you have to let him go, rather than take a chance on pushing him off balance.  Believe me he takes delicate handling on a daily basis.  John came in to see what brilliant idea I might have.  Didn't have one, so decided to just let him stay out.  The reason this was a "problem" was he still had on his pretty blue blanket, & it was too cold & rainy to just take it off.  

As he toddled out to join the others, he found out what they think of a blue donkey with flappy sides.  No one would let him get anywhere near them.  Of course he moves so slow, they have to stay put for him to even catch up, which he spent the day trying to do.  Paladin was absolutely not having a thing to do with Pepper, & kept on point all day. So I guess there are two things he has spooked at, a little boy & a blue donkey with flappy sides.  

We're back to slogging mud in the girl's pen again, but today is bright & shiny.  So hopefully we'll start drying out...............again.