Thursday, March 29, 2007


It was 28 degrees here this morning, with ice in the water buckets...! I hope this isn't a new trend. Right now the sun shining & it's warmed up....... we've even had hummingbirds for the last week or so, using the feeders, so I assume it's spring. But we could do without the below freezing nights. Snowy is still wearing her blanket & boots every night, she even seems to appreciate having them on. Last night it was after dark when I went out to "dress" her. She actually walked across the pen to greet me, which is very unusual for her.

Honcho's mom Jacquie, sent this picture of him "helping" with the laundry. I don't know if he is hanging it up or taking it down, but knowing his past history, I would imagine taking it down is lots of fun from his point of view.

She hasn't ridden him yet, said probably within the next couple of weeks, she'll give it a try. The first time she tried to get on him, he reached around & nipped the backside of her jeans.......!!!! I'm sure he thought that was great sport, & I'm also sure she was pretty surprised........!!! Knowing him, he probably wasn't being mean or anything, it just seemed like something fun to do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


John had a cowboy friend look at a flake of the hay to see what he thought. He said it looked to him like it had laid in the field too long before it was baled, & was sun bleached. All in all he said it was lousy horse hay. Cows aren't particular about their hay, so a friend is going to buy it for her cows. Whew! we weren't looking forward to loading it on the trailer & hauling it back to the farm. But we will have to go next week & get some replacement hay. I think this time I will take my hay corer with me, & use it to see what the bales look like inside before we load them.

Had some visitors today. The donkeys always enjoy seeing people. They don't enjoy having to stay in their pens until the people get here though. If they weren't in the pens, after breakfast they would wander off, in a dozen directions. They might or might not, come up to the people when they got here. Since the people come to see the donkeys, we try to make sure they are available, so in the pens they stay. Usually when they see the van drive up, you can almost see their little minds working, "OH! that's why we're in the pens"............people = food & pets......!!! But the time they spend in the pens between breakfast & the people showing up, is lost as far as they are concerned. Every time we walk out of the house, they yell at us, like they think we have forgotten them.

Monday, March 26, 2007


In the past we have had hay that was dirty, long & stringy, compacted to the point that it would take a gorilla to tear it apart, no good grass smell, & no color. We just opened the first bale of our last load today, & I can now say we have had all those problems at once. Tonight when I put the hay out, I got dirty looks & Sha'ba yelled at me, when I left his pen & didn't offer something better. This time of year the hay available usually isn't as good as it was last year. But this is really bad. I opened a different bale tonight when I weighed out the hay for tomorrow morning. But it looked about the same. They all need to lose weight, but not this way. We will get in touch with the hay farm, & see what we can do. In the meantime, nobody's happy..............!!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I got a call this morning about a donkey that had been sick for days, & was down. I was given a name & phone number. I called & the situation sounded very bad. The donkey probably had foundered & coliced. The man said he wasn't moving around & he thought the donkey was drinking but not eating.

John had to go to Tucson today, so I called TJ the assistant director of the Oasis Exotic Bird Sanctuary to see if he could help. The donkey was about 40 miles from here. When TJ & I got to the area, I called & the woman that answered the phone, said the donkey had breathed his last about 10 minutes earlier. We turned around to come home, & the man caught up with us, to thank us for coming. All I could think of was what this poor donkey went thru because of lack of care, days & days of being in pain & nothing done to help him.

Give your animal friends an extra hug tonight in memory of a little guy who wasn't wanted enough to be taken care of when he needed it most.

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace"
~Albert Schweitzer

Friday, March 23, 2007


We're getting some rain today, which we need badly. The donkeys certainly don't think much of it though. Donkeys "really" don't like to be wet. I might feel sorrier for them, if there weren't 7 shelters on the place. As soon as the gates are opened they leave the pens & I guess the thought doesn't occur to them, that if it rains it's dry in the shelters. Jack the mule & Max the horse both will go back to the shelters, but not the donkeys.

Yesterday we had a nice family come to visit. They are thinking about getting a couple of donkeys, & had a lot of questions, which is great. Shiloh was really friendly. He was even leaning on the man at one time. Considering when he came here, he had no interest in anything for over 2 years, he's made great progress.

This morning, in between rain showers a woman came to get the chickens & 2 rabbits, even all the roosters. After she got here, she decided to take all 5 rabbits also & will make pens for them so they can dig dens & act like normal rabbits, rather than being in wire cages. She said there will be a separate pen for the "boys & girls" though. Boy is her 6 year old son going to be surprised.......!!! A friend of hers will take care of them until Easter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The Vet called about Belle's jaw "rock". We now have a name for it. It is a Sialolith Cyst . A rather unusual occurence according to the Vet. In fact she checked with other Vets & only found one that had seen one.

Foreign matter gets caught in a saliva gland.....maybe a piece of hay. The body reacts & starts coating it with calcium, sorta like a oyster does with a grain of sand to make a pearl. Rather than wait until it becomes a problem for her, we have made an appointment to have it removed in May.

We had some visitors show up today from Glendale. It's spring break, so Grandma was taking her grandkids around & showing them southeast Arizona. They came in & groomed on the donkeys & Max for awhile, & were going to Kartchner Caverns this afternoon. What a wonderful grandma, to spend time with the kids like that.

The rabbits & chickens have settled into their new, hopefully temporary home. One of the rabbits was quite dehydrated yesterday & very lethargic. We gave her some electrolytes last night, & she's running around like the others today. Found out one is a little boy, so he is in a pen by himself, for now. We also went over after dark last night, as planned, & "captured" Mr. High Flyer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Our neighbor died last week, & there was no one to take care of his rabbits & chickens. We got ahold of the woman that is representing his affairs, & she was thrilled that we would take them. We found 5 rabbits, 6 hens & 5 roosters. That's not counting one rooster that is obviously smarter & more agile than we are. We will go back tonight & see if darkness will give us an advantage. We would like to find good homes for them. We just moved our chickens over to their new pen last week, so we could build some more corrals in the old chicken pen area. Good thing John hadn't gotten around to taking the old pen down. They didn't seem to be overly upset about their lifestyle change, I think everyone of them has already had a dust bath. I'm sure we can find homes for the rabbits & the hens..............but roosters aren't easy to find good homes for. Paul let his hens set clutches of eggs, & the roosters became supper.............!!!!! Anyone that knows us, knows we're not going to do that........!!!!! Ha! So we might have to build a permanent "rooster" pen.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

VISITORS TODAY.........!!!!

One of the tour companies from Tucson came out today for the first time. Everyone seemed to have a good time, & the people really enjoyed seeing the donkeys. Sha'ba seemed to be their favorite, although all the donkeys work real hard to get the people's attention. They don't understand why they have to stay in the pens, until they see the people show up. We use to have them out for the people, but a few of them get a little pushy. Not with the people, but with the other donkeys, & someone might get hurt. It's not quite as much fun, but we do let the people go in some of the pens, to get up close & personal.

They also toured the house. Since it is rammed earth & we have no heating & cooling, it's usually interesting for the people.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Belle & her little girl Vanessa, at her previous home

We took Belle to the new Vet Clinic in Tucson today to see if they could tell us what is going on with her jaw. They took x-rays & sure enough, she has another smaller "jaw rock". Surprisingly to me, her jaw bone isn't deformed, which would be the case, if she had gotten kicked when she was younger. The Vet thinks maybe some of her teeth cells got misplaced when she was an embryo, & her body is encapsulating those cells & covering them with calcium. Equines can have a "rock" formation in their intestinal tract called an enterolith . This isn't the same thing, but has all the same qualities.

The Vet tried pushing it out, but this one is in a different position than the 1st one. It also isn't as large. We opted to watch it for awhile, & see if it grows, or moves, before we decide to have it removed. It may never bother her, so no reason to put her thru surgery.

The Vet also looked at her front legs, & agreed with my earlier diagnosis, she bowed the tendons in both front legs, when the neighbor's dogs chased her & Nina. She is sound on her front legs now & as the Vet said she isn't going to be a hunter, jumper or cutting horse, so they shouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


We moved a friend's animals today. Besides Sammie the goat & Brownie the calf, there were 4 horses. Our stock trailer is a large one, but we still had to make 2 trips. That was with the goat riding behind the last seat in the van. She isn't the first goat to ride back there. John found out a few years ago, if you put a goat behind that seat they can't move around enough to get any speed or height. So all they can do is, vocally complain for the whole trip. And she did....!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


This morning John was finishing up the chicken shed, so we can move the few remaining chickens over there, & use their old pen area for a new corral. I had raked the chicken shed yesterday & filled up a large cart. John dumped the cart & the next thing we knew, Buddy Brat, Cisco & Buster Brown were in it, EATING.........!!! YUCK! Where he dumped it was right under a mesquite tree, we couldn't burn it, without damaging the tree. So he had to get the tractor, & bury it. The whole time he was working they were standing around looking like we had ruined their whole morning. I know if we had put that nasty stuff in their bunks, they would have looked at us like we were crazy..................!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007


It's been warm enough the last couple of nights that I didn't put Snowy's blanket on her. Unfortunately the warm weather means fly season is here. I put up fly traps yesterday & sure enough, the flies are moving in. Hope they aren't just catching the dumb ones.....!!!!

It won't be long until they start bothering the donkey's eyes & faces. Then it will be time to drag out the fly masks for the season. We have 5 that get allergy meds, because of watery eyes. Donkeys have allergies just like people do. I don't know what they are allergic to, hopefully not hay. Actually there are equines that are allergic to hay that have to be fed pelleted feed. John & I both swear we are allergic to bermuda hay. We both sneeze when we mess with it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


This has been an interesting morning. I noticed a few days ago, that Cisco's feet looked a little ragged. Our rocky gravelly ground out here, usually keeps their feet good without having to trim them, if they walk around enough.

I got out all my "toys"..... nippers, rasp, hoof pick, knife & determination. Actually Cisco is pretty good, although he does have a tendency to walk off, with me trying to hang onto a foot. I could tie him up, but would rather have him cooperate because he wants to. After we negotiated the 1st foot a few times, he was just fine with the others. I wish I knew more about trimming their feet. But even I can tell when the bars are too high. That's about all I did was take a little off some of his bars.

Then I cleaned the chicken pen, where we will be moving the chickens in a few days. Whew! that's going to take more than one session. I'll have to wait until John is home to help me move some boards in there. He said there are mice nests under the boards, so I hope they can find another home before the chickens find them. A lot of people don't realize that chickens can be hunters, & I have seen them kill & dismember quite a few mice over the years. Once the chickens are moved, then work on the new corral area can start.

Belle has her appointment for next week.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yesterday I went to Tucson to the 3rd annual fundraiser for Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary for PMU mares. It's actually between Green Valley & Tubac, but Karen does her fundraiser in Tucson, where there are more people. Had a good time, saw some friends & even got Karen to promise she is going to come out & visit the donkeys. She's been promising for a long time, but she stays busy with the rescue. When she gets in horses, it's usually by the truckload.......!!! She also told me about a donkey that the neighbor thinks is being used for roping. I talked to the neighbor & gave her a card. The Animal Cruelty Task Force had a booth there, so Karen & I told her to ask them what can be done. Until laws & regulations are changed to give equines status as companion animals rather than livestock, they can be kept in very poor circumstances & nothing will be done.

Snowy is doing pretty good, although you can tell she is fragile. As long as she is comfortable & involved in what goes on around her, we'll take one day at a time.

There is a new Vet clinic on the east side of Tucson, I just learned about. They have 4 Vets, which means a 24/7 clinic........!!!!!! YEA! And they advertise for all types of animals. I'm going to make an appointment for Belle next week, to have her jaw x-rayed. Where that rock or whatever it was came out, there seems to be another " ? " floating around. We had planned on taking her up to the equine clinic at Gilbert, but had been waiting until her bowed tendons healed. She's walking good now, but rather than haul all the way up there, almost 200 miles one way, we'll haul her a shorter way, about 48 miles, & meet new Vets. And in the process check out their operation.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This is Max trying to get the feed room door to open & dispense supper. Believe me, if concentration worked, he'd have that door open immediately.

John is gone today to get a load of hay. When we built the hay barn last fall, we didn't know it was going to be such a problem to get hay delivered. We live off the beaten path, & our road isn't exactly wide & smooth. So to get a big truck & equipment to unload the hay in here is giving us quite a challenge.

John & I have been hauling hay 48 bales at a time on the car trail. Then we have to unload it by hand. Needless to say, we don't need to go to a health spa..........!!! John is going to talk to the owner of the company today, to see if he will be willing to at least try to bring a load out. It's over 100 miles one way, so it isn't a casual deal for us or him.

Everybody is doing good right now. We will move the chickens hopefully next week, so John can get started on dismantling their old pen, & changing it into a large donkey pen. We need to get ready for mesquite bean season, when the donkeys with insulin resistance have to be kept in a pen, much to their disgust.