Friday, February 29, 2008


Chester has been walking on his bad leg for the last week. He is still lame on it usually, but before he was using it as a crutch, rather than a leg. I hope this means we are getting ahead of the infection, & his slight chance, will become a long term reality. He's such a good boy, although hanging out with Tula isn't a good idea. When she doesn't come in at feeding time, he is always with her. I guess boys always do like the "wild" girls, don't they?

As for Chili & Gus, I always thought Buddy Brat had a busy little mind & could get in trouble on a regular basis. But these two can find trouble, where there isn't any. I had to put the automatic waterer away, before Chili stomped it to death. I looked out yesterday & Gus, has a traffic cone (good donkey toy) in his teeth, shaking it in Chili's face. I could tell from the set of Chili body, he wasn't going to be suckered into playing with Gus. This morning there was no water coming out of the kitchen faucet. This usually means John or I have left water running somewhere on the property. I ran out to shut off the pump & noticed a large puddle of water by the stock tank. Still thought maybe we had left water on, until I looked closely at the hose we use to run water in the pens. It had been unattached from the faucet in a rather rude manner. They managed to break the end off the hose. Actually I shouldn't be blaming them.............but.......they were the only ones in the area.

Everybody else seem to be doing good right now, & the weather is great. Spring is the best time of year in the desert.

A few days ago, we went down between Elfrida & Sunsites & bought a 1500 pound bale of hay. The bale is 4' x 4' x 8' & is still on the trailer. John parked the trailer in the hay barn, until we can figure out how to get it off the trailer. I'm sure the tractor will be used, just haven't figured out exactly how yet.

Interesting story about urban sprawl, a liberal judge, & a long ear named Gambler

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Tula's little rebel herd has grown from 2 last night, to 8 this morning..........!!!! I got my halter (Pepper or Lucy don't always follow like they should) & a whip (used to point in the direction I want them to go & then swung thru the air, when they don't) & took off for Burroland. I figured they would be up in the high country, but they were in the lowlands so I got my exercise for the morning. When they saw me they took off for the pen area, head to tail, except for the minis. I still don't know where they were, but they caught up before we got there. I'm looking forward to seeing how tonight's roundup goes.

The hay & feed has always been there when they do show up, so I guess from their point of view, there isn't any hurry. That might change to "no hay & no feed" if equines aren't lined up & ready eat, when the "staff" decides it's time. Don't know if I could do that or not. None of them are skinny & it wouldn't hurt for them to miss a meal or two, but there's no way I could come in & eat supper & know they were out there wondering where their hay was.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tonight when it was time for everyone to gather for their evening hay, everyone showed up, except Jenny the mammoth, Chester & their rebellious leader, Tula. We went ahead & fed everyone else, then went over to Burroland to "herd" them back over here. It is always amazing to us how easy it is for them to hide in the mesquite. When we finally found them, you could almost read Tula's mind & body language............ "Rats, they found us". Actually Jenny led the way, & Chester decided he desperately needed to roll in the dirt before coming in for supper. John was herding the girls & I waited until Chester got done with his "toilet". When he stood up, he took off limping, running & bucking. I don't know what that had to do with going to supper, but obviously it was important to him. By the time us "humans" got back over to the pen area, all 3 of them were in their pens eating, & looking at us like, "what took you so long?".

We've really been surprised at who has been showing up & going in their pens first, the last few days. Gus & Chili have been first in their pens almost every time. They've really settled in nicely, except for chasing the van out of the driveway this morning. None of the others care if we drive out the gate. We thought by the time we got to the gate, the boys would lose interest...........not..........!!!! John said I could open the gate, he'd drive thru & I would be responsible for making sure they didn't get out. I think that is like drawing the short straw.........!!!! Actually I was lucky, there were 3 cows outside the fence, eating some hay John didn't feel was good enough for the equines. The range cattle think it's tasty, & he has gotten the cows to expect hay every day. Anyway Chili & Gus, saw the cows & while they were focused on them, John drove thru & I shut the gate. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED..................!!!!! Sometimes the humans do win..........!!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

THE BOYS ARE OUT.......!!!

John had just opened the gate to let Gus & Chili out. The black head with the ears laid back on the left side is BlackJack, "welcoming" them to the neighborhood. They didn't even acknowledge his existence, they were more interested in running all the pens to see if there was any hay left. I guess while they have been in "prison", they've observed the operation, & figured out there could be hay left. Unfortunately everyone else had been out long enough that "pickin's" were rather slim.

Of course everyone wanted to look them over, Gus almost ran over Cheyenne, one of the minis, going from one pen to the next because she was in the way. They've showed no aggression at all towards anyone, which is great, since they are both larger than anyone except Jenny the mammoth, Max the horse, & Rusty the mule. They are about the same height as Jack the mule, but their bone structure is much heavier. They would make good riding donkeys, in fact I'm watching Chili inspecting the property inch by inch, & he's got as fast a walk as any horse would have.

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue has recently added a couple of videos to You Tube, that are pretty interesting. They are the largest donkey rescue in the U.S. & have over 1,000 donkeys under their care. Right now they are involved in trying to save the wild burros in Big Bend National Park from being shot & killed. The park service had already killed over 70, before PVDR got involved in January. Wish I was younger, they need volunteers, & I'd love to help with the round-up.

Friday, February 22, 2008

PLASTIC BAGS.....................!!!!

Chili & Gus have been here since late Monday afternoon. We have found a plastic bag in the poo in their pen every morning. That is really scary, to think of a plastic bag winding it way thru the stomach, small intestine, caecum, & large intestine, & not getting hung up somewhere, or in this case 4 bags going thru either one or both of them. They came off 30 acres with not a lot of close neighbors, although wind can blow trash a long way. Occasionally we have found a plastic bag in poo here.......but we have neighbors we share a fence with that let their dogs distribute their trash everywhere. John walks the property & picks up whatever makes its way over on our side, but we still have found plastic that has made it thru someone's system. I hope we don't find anymore now or later, colic is scary & can be fatal.

I just received another notice that someone had ordered from Country Supply & used our code. Country Supply donates a percentage of the order to any group that register for the program. You don't even have to be a non-profit organization. So thank you, whoever you are that remembered our code & wrote it in. The boys & girls appreciate it..........!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The equine dentist from Idaho was at one of the local equestrian centers today, & we took Jack the mule, & Jenny the mammoth to have their teeth checked. Jack leaves little pillows of chewed hay (quids) everywhere & chews his "cud" continuously. Jenny had recently started grinding her teeth, so we figured she needed to be checked. Jack has visited with Bert before, has even had teeth pulled, but we never know if he is going to behave or not. Jenny was a complete unknown, I doubt if anyone has ever even looked in her mouth.

They actually loaded pretty easily this morning, so our day started off good. Well, except for the fact that to make the appointment we didn't have time to pick up poo. Got there & watched Bert work on a squirrelly Arab. The Arab did pretty good, but he was nervous. Arabs have a reputation of being "high" strung & they usually live up to the reputation.

Then it was time for Jack. I swear he likes Bert. Bert can do just about anything with him, & Jack goes along with it. His teeth are tight, at least the ones he still has. He only has one molar on the bottom & one on the top. Of course they aren't on the same side, so no wonder he leaves little pillows of hay when he chews. He didn't get anything done, just a check-up, because there isn't anything that can be done, once they outlive their teeth. He loves his mush of soaked timothy pellets, beet pulp & hay cubes & stays in pretty good shape on that diet.

Then it was Jenny's turn. All the people at the place stood around to watch, because we told Bert we didn't know how she would react & that she wasn't very well mannered sometimes. So between her big long ears & the fact that she might cause a rodeo, they all stuck around for the show. I think she fell in love with Bert, he certainly has a way with animals. So there wasn't any rodeo, although he had to cut one tooth off that was horribly long & jagged. It was cutting into the side of her cheek. Then he filed all the sharp places off her teeth, & she stood like she knew he was helping her. I was proud of both of them & the way they acted.

We had been told that she was about 9 years old when we got her last May. He said he doubted if she was older than 7.........!!!!! We were also told she had one live birth & one stillborn. If that is so, she was just a baby when she became a mom. The mammoths aren't mature until they are 5 or 6 years old. Poor girl never had a childhood & her feet were ruined by being foundered & not being treated properly. She's comfortable on her feet now, but they still look nasty, & I'm sure the inside is as bad as the outside. She will never be able to be ridden or pull a cart, not with those feet, but she seems to enjoy her life, hanging around with Tula.

Well the 2 bad boys, Chili & Gus were in their pen this morning, so the hay strings tied around the gates, managed to thwart their escape. We'll give them a couple more days of imprisonment & then try letting them out. They'll do fine, but this way they will know where to go to be fed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


At least they seem to think it's prison. Going from 30 acres to a pen, probably does put a cramp in their style. Today they jerked the automatic waterer hose off, which of course flooded the pen. They turned over the hay manger, which isn't easy to do. At least it isn't very easy to get upright again........!!! And in general let us know that they are bored.

Tonight when I went out to let everyone out before bed, Gus was standing outside Jenny's pen, Jenny was no where to be found & Chili was a few steps away from coming out. I slammed the gate shut, went to get a halter to try to corral Gus & in the less than a minute I was gone, Chili was out & Gus was in................!!!!! HUH? Gus had been out & Chili in when I went to the feed room for a halter. They have learned how to bump the gates & open them, very quickly, & I had 3 gates to control, if I wanted to keep them in. Chili is a sucker for treats, I had carrots on me & he followed me right in the pen, silly boy. But getting him in the pen & keeping him there are two different things. I had nothing on me to lock or tie the gates & if I left to find something, they would have been out before I got to the feed room. Just about that time, John got home from Tucson, & between the two of us, hopefully we outsmarted them. Hay strings are one of the world's great inventions, they have many uses & tying gates shut, so smart donkeys can't get out is one of them. At least we hope so, guess we'll find out in the morning.

Monday, February 18, 2008


We picked up Gus & Chili today as planned. Picked up a friend on the way just in case we needed another pair of hands. Actually they loaded pretty good. We trapped them in a small pen, opened the gate & the only place they had to go was into the trailer. Chili actually went in 4 or 5 times before we were ready to make it official. Gus was a little hesitant, but he finally hopped in. Sure was glad they didn't plant their feet. They are both large standards which means they probably weigh 700-800 pounds. That also means if they want to plant their feet & not cooperate, it's going to be a long process. Everyone has come by the pen they are in & checked them out, in fact Jenny came by & after sniffing noses, turned around & kicked at them. Not sure what that was about. We'll keep them in the pen for a few days to get them acclimated to new surroundings & a bunch of nosy donkeys. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow.

Chili is use to having things his own way & is a little bratty. They both need to learn some respect for human personal space. Usually this isn't a problem with donkeys like it is with horses. Horse people want their horses to stay away unless they are invited into the person's space. Donkeys like to lean or have their head against their people, or just stand & share space. But there's a difference in sharing space & taking over space. So I guess my elbow is going to have to get warmed up & in service for awhile. Chili is use to getting treats on a regular basis & expects them. If they aren't forthcoming, he doesn't really nip, but he mouths you. A few twists of the lip, should make that go away, I hope.

Belle & Shiloh are doing just fine, although their mom said they haven't eaten any hay yet. I can only assume they are still busy snacking on tiny little bites of new green grass. She did say they were laying down at one time, which means they are very comfortable with their surroundings, which is great.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


We delivered Belle & Shiloh to their new home this afternoon. They came out of the trailer & discovered new grass coming up all over their pasture. Down went the heads & the teeth started nibbling. The grass is only about 1/2 inch long, so they aren't going to get much for their effort until it gets a little longer. Did they show any gratitude for this wonderful change in their lifestyle.......????? NO! They did take time out to accept a treat from their new Mom, & weren't skittish at all. I was glad to see Shiloh accept the change in his life, without getting scared. Belle is his security blanket, which helped him a lot, I'm sure.

When we got home there was a message on our phone from the woman we delivered Gus to a few months ago. She has had an unexpected lifestyle change & must find someplace for not only Gus but Chili, her original donkey. She's not sure the change will be permanent & we said they could come here until she decides whether she will be able to have them back with her or not. We'll go get them tomorrow, hopefully it will go smoothly. Gus did not load in the trailer very easily when he was here overnight, & I doubt that Chili has been in a trailer for years. So it should be interesting.

It seems like anytime we find a home for donkeys, it doesn't take long for us to get a call about donkeys needing a new home. We would like to downsize our herd, but it doesn't seem to work out that way.

Friday, February 15, 2008

If you want to see the cutest little newborn donkey named Clementine, check out the blog for Painted Promise Ranch Sanctuary, listed on the right under Other Rescues & Sanctuaries.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Yesterday John was taking down one of the shelters that needs to be rebuilt. He said everyone ignored him......until he brought out the tractor to pull the upright posts out of the ground. When Sha'ba heard the tractor, here he came. He checked the whole tractor out from front to back, the whole time John was trying to pull out 4 uprights with a chain. John said he had to really be careful, to not hit him with posts or chains or even the tractor when it moved. Sugar also had a love affair with the tractor. Every time John would get it out, here she would come. Her big thing was the bucket on the front. For some reason it was REALLY interesting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Happy Valentine's Day

Whew......!!!!!!!! Have found an answer to the Baytril problem. Someone suggested using a compound pharmacy to mix the Baytril up with something yummy, like peppermint. I got in touch with a pharmacy in Tucson by e-mail. They wrote back & said they could do it, but had I tried mixing Baytril & molasses together & then mixing that into feed. No I hadn't, but I'm game to try anything. Chester eats it like it's good, even licks the bottom of the bucket. It stills smells horrible to me, but obviously it's acceptable to him. That's great, much better than having a daily wrestling contest, that none of us looked forward to.

Our weather has warmed up enough that we are starting to see a few flies. I noticed yesterday Belle's eyes were watering, so I started her on Benedryl this morning. Her new mom already has Benedryl waiting for her arrival Sunday.

The herd dynamics are always changing it seems. The horses & mules hang together with BlackJack . He knows he's a donkey, but hangs with the horsey set anyway. Belle, Shiloh, Lucy & Buster hang together most of the time, although Shiloh will sneak off & play with Justin quite often. Cisco & Buddy are usually together, old Pepper is wherever the girls are. If they are spread all over the property he gets lots of exercise, checking them out to see if they think he's cute. Usually they don't. Chester & Tula have been an item for quite sometime, but recently Jenny the mammoth has started hanging out with them. That is an odd trio, Tula is so strong, both mentally & physically. Chester is 3 legged lame with a strong personality. Jenny is very strong mentally, so I'm really surprised that Tula accepts her into the "herd". I guess Jenny isn't trying to compete as herd boss, because that is definately Tula's position. It is really interesting to watch all the different dynamics going on.

Monday, February 11, 2008


A little cutie & also a thought provoking message about where our food comes from.

If you would like to see Cupid & read his story, just paste the above address in the location bar.

Baytril & molasses isn't any more acceptable than Baytril & pancake syrup. I tasted it & agree wholeheartedly with Chester's opinion of it. It is some really nasty stuff & I just barely had enough on my finger to taste & he's getting 5cc's syringed into his mouth along with 5cc's of molasses. I wish someone could explain why equines have such an adverse reaction to it being injected. They are the only species that get it orally, although it is not recommended for cats at all.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Next Sunday we will deliver Shiloh & Belle to their new home, just a few miles away from us. They will have 3 acres to roam on, shelters to get into if they choose, & people that are very interested in "doing it right". Too bad there aren't more homes like that, out there.

It looks like the home for the 2 young BLM donkeys is going to work out also, which is great. I was just the go between on that adoption, but I enjoy being part of a happy ending. They had a good home, but will probably get a lot more personal attention with a family of their own.

Started Chester on Baytril by mouth, rather than Naxcel by injection this morning. I read up on Baytril, it can cause mouth sores & it's recommended to mix it with molasses. I didn't have molasses, so mixed it with pancake syrup. Judging from his reaction, I don't think it's going to matter a whole lot what we mix it with. To say he didn't like it in his mouth is a definite understatement. I probably will taste it to see what it tastes like, although then I might be really reluctant to squirt it in his mouth.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Rusty has settled back into the horsey group, like he never left. But we are having a small battle of wills twice a day. He has allergies to something year round, even during the winter when you would think plants would be dormant. So it could be dust or something else. We certainly have plenty of dust. I used the generic Benedryl on anyone with goopy eyes or itchy spots & it seems to really make a difference. Rusty has goopy crusty eyes constantly, but they clear up if he has his daily Benedryl. When he came back I started out throwing them in his feed bucket, which is my usual method. Checked later & the 4 little capsules were still in the bucket. I tried feeding them by hand with a small amount of beet pulp. "not interested" Tried a small amount of Omolene 300 which obviously tastes great to equines. He managed to pick the Omolene out of my hand & drop the capsules on the ground. By now, it's becoming a matter of least on my part. I upped the amount of Omolene to as much as I can hold in my hand & "hid" the 4 capsules as best as I could. This has gone well for the last few days, although he is suspicious. Yesterday in the process of him cleaning out my hand, one of the capsules dropped on the ground. I thought, "one capsule, he won't notice it", so I "hid" it in his feed bucket with his beet pulp, pellets & soaked hay cubes. Came back later, bucket was polished clean, capsule was resting on the ground.............!!!! Grrrrrr.........!!!! Almost every day I am shown how little I know, & trying to outsmart them takes constant effort.

Had a real nice couple come out & visit with the donkeys yesterday. They've never had donkeys & have 8 acres that is just begging for some. They came right at feeding time, so everyone was here & eager to show off. We don't have any donkeys that are healthy enough to go out with novice owners, so I hooked them up with a couple of young BLM donkeys that are looking for a new home. Haven't heard, but hopefully it will work out for everyone.

I've added a link to some great information from the Colorado University for feeding during drought or times when hay isn't available. Check on the right, under Great Reading.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Doesn't look like much of a rebellion, but believe me those feet are firmly planted & "ain't" going anywhere. Jenny & Tula are also standing just to the right. This was after everyone else had been fed this morning. These 6 had found a nice warm sunny spot & made a group decision that warmth in 20 degree weather, was more important than breakfast.

John finally put a halter on Lucy, & the rest followed her. The same sun was shining brightly in the hay feeding area, but for some reason they weren't willing to make the trek to get there. We have a tour coming out this morning & I told John if it wasn't for that fact, there wouldn't have been any hay available when they finally decided to check the hay bunks. Obviously they aren't very hungry.

Repeat after me, "slap jaw, slap jaw, slap jaw". This is the message I received from Terry after she read the post about Fred & me not remembering what to call what pigs do with their mouth to make slobber. So I am taking this opportunity to educate myself .......!!!! Hopefully I will be able to retain the information long enough to embed it permanently in my brain, although I'm certainly not making any promises..........!!!! (G)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Thanks for the picture of Fred, Donna...........!!!!

This is the funniest picture of Fred, sitting on his ball, with pig gnashing slobber on his mouth. The pig people have a name for them clacking their jaws together & making lots of slobber, but I can't remember what it is. It seems to be some sort of greeting they do for other pigs. Every time I see this picture Donna sent of him, I laugh.

We had snow in our area yesterday, which is rather unusual. This morning when we got up, there was frost on everything including the donkeys. Most of them had frost all over their backs & ears. At least the ones that don't believe in going in shelters when the weather is bad. The 3 minis have no problem with using shelter, & they were nice & dry.

I have about 3 more days of Naxcel to give Chester, before I change over to Baytil for awhile. He's still lame, but it certainly doesn't slow him down much. He gets cookies when we give him his shot & of course Tula sees this. I've started offering her a cookie, BUT, she has to come to me to get it, I won't go to her. You can look at her face & read her mind, when this is happening. A couple of mornings she thought too long about it, & missed out. This morning she was hesitating & Chester pushed on my back to let me know he had no qualms about taking the cookie. I gave it to him, looked back & she was moving towards me. I got out another cookie & she came up & took it. It's so hard to be independent, when there are cookies to be had.............!!!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

RUSTY IS HOME AGAIN.............!!

This afternoon we brought Rusty home. He wanted to play games, didn't want a halter on, didn't want us to catch him, didn't want to go in the trailer. I guess we were having to pay for Zeke being unappreciative of his companionship. So rather than fight the battle, we ran him in the trailer, put a halter on him, just because I could & brought him home. Since he was being such a twerp, especially considering how mellow he usually is, I put a stud chain on him to lead him to his pen. Of course he led like a little lamb. It's better to be prepared in these circumstances though. Tonight John will let him out at 10pm with Max & Jack. Maybe that will soothe his bruised ego. I'll know in the morning if they all lay in the wash to sun bathe like they usually do.

This is Buster & Lucy enjoying the sun this morning while waiting for their breakfast to be served. They know where the sun is the warmest, & I even caught Shiloh standing between one of the metal hay bunks & the sun, letting the sun radiate off the metal side & warm him quicker.

I called to check on Fred the pig last night. He had "corrective" surgery Monday. Donna said the surgery was uneventful & he is doing just fine. She also said her dominate female, Marilyn has a crush on him. She goes around nuzzling him & leaning on him. I hope his surgery doesn't put a cramp in his style..............!!!! (G) He still won't sleep in the barn with all the other animals, he's taken over a small house that's out in the pen. The 3 sheep have checked the barn out & went in when it rained one day, but they aren't all that interested in shelter either. They had a small shed before, but they must have not used it much.

Everyone else seems to be doing good. Sha'ba & Pepper are still wearing their boots & blankets every night. It was 20 degrees this morning & as thin as Pepper is, I doubt if he could keep his body temperature up without a blanket. I've tried feeding him more food, but he will only eat so much.