Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Actually this was some long time friends that came to visit us, not the donkeys. But of course the donkeys thought they came JUST to see them.

I didn't have a virus, my server was upgrading & making it better. Unfortunately it took about 3 or 4 days for them to get it running smoothly. In the meantime I was about ready to reformat & start all over, which I really didn't want to do.

Yesterday morning John came in & ask me if I heard the herd running. About a dozen of them came over from Burroland at a run..........well the minis were running flat out trying not to get run over. And Jenny was trotting, & keeping up quite nicely. They did a couple of circles around the 10 acres, & stopped out by the feed room. Chester was right in the middle of it, & John said someone got too close to him, & he kicked up his heels. That means he was putting all his weight on that bad elbow. He is still lame although you have to look closely to make sure he's limping, most of the time. But it doesn't seem to cause him pain, & he hasn't favored it for quite awhile. I hope this means we might be able to beat the infection long term.

Jack seems to be doing just fine. The Vet said 7-10 days, we'll probably take the bandage off Friday. I hope he cooperates, he can really be a challenge if he doesn't want to do whatever it is you want him to do. The Vet said he behaved himself when she was sewing him up, so hopefully he will appreciate our help in taking the bandage off.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'll be off line for a few days probably. I think I have a virus on my computer & will probably have to reformat........!!! Of course I don't have everything I should have backed up, so it will take me awhile to get back up to speed.

Everyone is doing good, even Jack. I'll be back...........!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


At least I think so, he isn't so sure. Unfortunately he is having to stay in his pen. He's in there so he won't move around & tear the stitches & start it bleeding again. BUT, he gets very upset & runs back & forth yelling, if Max isn't in his eye sight. So Max is also getting to stay in his pen. So far they are just confused, I'm sure in the next day or so, they are going to let us know this isn't acceptable, long term......!!!!

I've about decided that Chili is probably smarter than I am. We did the clicker thing, to get his mask on, & it went very well. According to what I've read, once the behavior is established you no longer need the clicker & treat..............hmmmmm! I guess Chili hasn't read the same information I have. If I'm not wearing the fanny pack with treats in it, I'm not putting on the fly mask, & I "ain't" removing it either. In other words, " no pay, no play " .......!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008


This morning when we went out to feed, Jack's leg looked good, no swelling, no limping...............BUT, it was still dripping blood. I called for a vet appointment, & they said we would have to bring him in & leave him, they had emergencies all over the place. So we loaded him up, & hauled him in. Put him in a little holding pen to wait his turn, & when we left he was happily rolling in real dirt. I would imagine by now he has rolled as much as he wants, & has figured out Max isn't anywhere to be seen. So he may be telling them about it.

I'll update later.

We just picked Jack up. He has a big blue bandage from coronet to hock & it has to stay on for 7-10 days. That means corral time, which isn't going to go over very well. He managed to stab the vein dead center. Nancy said when they cleaned the dried blood off, instead of dripping it started spewing in an arch. She said 1/64 of an inch either way, & he probably would have missed the vein. He doesn't like that "thing" on his leg & keeps shaking it like a cat does when you put scotch tape on their foot.........!!!!! (G) Hopefully the 3 stitches she put in will keep it from bleeding anymore. Otherwise we'll have to take him back & they will have to do surgery.

If you haven't checked out our web-site lately, please do. There's been some changes made, & we will be updating on a regular basis.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're having a lot of fun with the fly masks. Chili managed to keep his on all day today, which was a first. Rusty & Gus both come in every night without their masks. The first day we put masks on, they started jerking each other around by the mask. I yelled at them, but obviously they didn't listen. Rusty is 29 years old, he should know better....!!! He also has allergies & pink skin around his eyes, so by the time we find him his eyes are goopy. He also walks right up to me, & sticks his face in mine like, "Do you see my eyes? They aren't covered............fix it........!!!

Tonight Gus decided he wasn't going in the pen with Chili to eat. Why I don't know, but we had to chase him thru the trees & brush for quite awhile. Unfortunately he's got really long legs, & can really move fast. It was almost impossible for the two of us to "herd" him. He finally got tired of the game, & went in his pen, like that where he wanted to be............!!!! Turns around, looking for his treat...........which wasn't offered.........I wasn't feeling particularly generous by that time..........!!!!! (G)

When John went into Jack the mule's pen to give him his mush, he asked if I had seen all the blood in there. We checked all the body orifices.......nothing. I happened to glance down at his right rear foot & there was blood dripping off the back of it, from about 8 inches up the inside of his leg. If someone asked me which one I would rather not have to doctor, Jack's name is at the top of the list. He can be very opinionated if you do something he doesn't want done. We built one of our corral panel squeeze chutes, he led right in. He was a little jumpy about the nozzle spraying water on the leg, but stood pretty still, for him. In the process we found another cut about an inch or so long running across underneath the back of his fetlock. It was getting dark, so I just rinsed it off tonight & "puffed" some Vet Powder on it, to help stop the bleeding.

CAUSE? When he went in his pen tonight, he laid down & rolled in the corner where his feed bucket is. We put one of those plastic carpets that people put under their office chairs, under his feed bucket, because he is a sloppy eater, & it helps to keep him from picking up too much dirt when he cleans up the stuff he drops. It's heavy plastic & unfortunately has sun rotted & started to splinter. I've been meaning to replace it, but haven't gotten to an office supply store to get one. We found blood on a spot that was particularly jagged. I feel bad enough when they hurt themselves or each other. But I knew this needed to be replaced, & just didn't get around to it, so he has to suffer. Talk about feeling like a bad Mom........!!!! I'll check it tonight when we let everyone out, & hopefully in the light of day, will be able to evaluate a little better.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HA! HA! HA..........!!! TISH 1 - CHILI 0

A little clicker training, & voi'la, Chili wearing a fly mask.......!!!! He was really good about it. I started by having him "target" the mask in my hand. Went from that to putting it on his face & then over his ears. That was a little scary, so I took it off & we started over. Two sessions of less than 5 minutes each............!!!!! Of course I haven't tried to take it off yet, we'll see how that goes tonight.

I hate to be so wrapped up in fly mask information, but we have 2 missing & can't find them. It's really early in the season, to not be able to find them. One of them is Justin's one of the minis. His little mask is so small, you could look at it & not see it. (G)

Everyone seems to be doing good right now, Chester is holding his own. I'm debating getting fly predators this year. I used them for about 3 years & wasn't sure if they did any good. Last year I didn't get them, & actually had quite a few leftover from the year before. So far this year I don't notice any on the poo piles, but have noticed lots of flies, so maybe they do a good job after all. I use the fly trap bags & have already had to replace the 1st ones I put out this spring because they were full. Haven't seen any lizards "shopping" yet. We have lizards that park on the fly bags & grocery shop, I guess. As bad as the bags smell, I can only guess lizards don't have very good "smellers"......!!!

As soon as I get thru with this update, I am going out to look for Chili's fly mask. When everyone came in for evening feeding, his mask was the only one missing. I guess that evens the score...............!!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

You will notice Chili doesn't have a fly mask on. You can also tell by the set of his ears that his opinion on fly masks hasn't changed since yesterday.

This morning when I was handing out masks, I made sure Chili saw me dramatically make over everyone in his vision area as they got their mask put on. He watched the drama with interest & when it came his turn he said, NOPE........not wearing one of those things...........end of conversation....!!! He wasn't quite as opinionated this morning as he was yesterday, so maybe there is a chance in the future. When I get some extra time, I still want to try clicker training with him.

Last night when I took masks off Gus didn't want his taken off........go figure. I finally had to become head jenny & get grumpy with him.

Chester lost his somewhere, haven't looked for it yet. That's pretty good, just losing one, I'm sure we will have days when they have mask pulling parties. Sometimes we can't find them all especially if they get flung up in the trees. We use to just look on the ground, but have learned over the years to also glance up occasionally, just in case.......!! (G)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FLY MASK DAY................!!

The ones with bad eyes have had masks on for a couple of weeks. I noticed yesterday a few flies around other "eyes", so this morning I gathered up my supply of masks & started figuring out which ones fit who the best. The first day takes awhile, but after that we just hang the mask in the pen when we take it off. That way it's where it needs to be tomorrow.
Found out Chili has never worn a mask & probably never seen one. I put one on Gus, & the look on Chili's face was priceless. I tried to "attack" Chili with one, (not what happened, but from his reaction that's what he thought I was doing) & found out another area that needs clicker training. He isn't wearing one today........!!! (G)

Everyone else seemed very unconcerned even the minis. Sometimes they take one look at what's happening & take off as a herd, for parts unknown. Even Justin stood like a little trooper, of course I did him last, so he could watch Lynn & Cheyenne get theirs on.

I left Tula for last. I have not tried to touch her or make her do anything for months. She isn't anymore stand offish when I don't work with her, than she is when I do. And she gets absolutely no happiness from being around humans. I went in Chester's pen & put his mask on, making sure she could see me. Walked into her pen, & she lined herself up in the corner, where we use to have the panel to use as a squeeze for her. I walked up to her shoulder touched her, put her mask on her, petted her shoulder a couple of times & walked away. I would not have thought she would cooperate, but she acted like we had just done it this way, yesterday. The more I'm around donkeys, the more amazing they are............!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I don't think going to the dentist was what she had planned for today. But after breakfast we loaded her up & hauled her to see Bert. He is absolutely fabulous & does all his dental work without using drugs. He also doesn't tie them, the lead rope in the picture is tucked into his pocket. We've had him work on a couple of "patients" that are usually rather opinionated on what you can & can't do to them. Everyone of them just stood there & let him do his thing.
In Lynn's case she had a front tooth that was loose. She is a miniature donkey with full size teeth. I think she is probably a dwarf, but don't know for sure. Bert said her bottom tooth was sticking up enough to push on the top tooth & loosen it. Once it was loose, then food packed around it & started the infection process.

He said this tooth should be about 1/2 to 3/4's an inch longer up in the gums than it is. But the infection had started eating it away. She just stood there, while he used a tool to loosen the tooth from the gums, & pulled it out. After he pulled the tooth, he floated the rest of her teeth, & she stood like a little lady thru it all. Obviously equine teeth don't have all the nerves people teeth have. I can imagine few people would have teeth pulled, if it was done without drugs......!!!

She sure was glad to get home, she ran thru all the pens & checked everyone out, until she found Cheyenne & Justin.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

VACCINATION DAY...........!!!

We have some that cooperate, we have some that don't, & then we have the unknown, ones that have come in since last shots. And then there is Jack the mule. We no longer try to give him shots at all, he will try to kill you if you do. I figure at age 26, & as tough an old bird as he is, we'll worry about treating him if he does get something.

Almost everyone is rather resigned to getting the shot that makes the cookie appear afterwards. Buddy has always been suspicious & we try to catch him first. Doesn't always work, & today was no exception, but he saw the others get caught, made over & a cookie, so he finally allowed himself to be caught. Next was the 3 minis, they are ALWAYS a challenge. I got a halter on Justin, almost had it latched & he took off with me bouncing behind, at least for a little while. Actually Lynn & Cheyenne were both pretty good today. Of course we REALLY made over them during the process, with Justin watching intently. He decided we weren't going to eat him, & cooperated.

Jenny wasn't a problem, then we came to the BAD BOYS, Chili & Gus. The thought never occurred to me that Chili isn't halter broke. Not only is he not halter broke, he doesn't want that thing close to him. We had to make up a chute to squeeze him in using corral panels. When we let him out he pouted, wouldn't let us close to him, which is very unusual for him. Usually he's right in your face. He has the type of personality that takes to clicker training real quick, so if I can get the time, we'll work on some halter wearing & leading. Gus was no problem, he has had some good training at sometime in his life. John was laying over his back the other day, & he could care less, so he's probably been ridden. He's certainly big enough, he's almost as big as Jenny the mammoth.

Didn't give Chester shots, he's on antibiotics & don't want to confuse his body anymore than we have to. He's actually walking pretty good again. He seems to cycle thru times of being fairly good & then going downhill. I get discouraged when he isn't good, but he's never shown any inclination to give up. I think the times he's regressed, is when he was on Baytril, rather than Naxcel. So I'm going to keep him on Naxcel for the forseeable future. Keep him in your thoughts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

THE HAY HAS ARRIVED..................!!!

Happiness is a full barn.............!!!! Our hay saga started a couple of weeks ago, with truck problems & promises of delivery & yesterday ended up "the day". But not without drama, truck left California late, had a flat, fixed flat, squeeze was waiting in Benson, & we had someplace we needed to be by 5pm. Truck got here at 5:35pm.........!!! John had already left, so I watched them drop the 1st of 8 squeezes & hit the road. Got in late, & it was great to see all those bales of hay resting in the barn. I got home first last night & started letting everyone out. We had a tour yesterday morning, & since we were going to feed early last night, they stayed in ALL day LONG........!!!! While they appreciated all the hand feeding by the visitors, once they were gone, it was time to go OUT........... or start complaining. And complain they did, right up till we started feeding. It doesn't do any good to tell them how lucky they are to be able to run on Burroland, rather than stay in a little pen all the time. But occasionally there will be a change in plans & they will have to stay in.

Yesterday afternoon Jack the mule started "woo-wooing". I didn't really pay much attention, his was just one voice among many, complaining their mistreatment. I went out to fill water buckets, & as I was coming out of Rusty's pen, a big red horse almost ran me down. Max had let himself out of his pen, & was upset that there wasn't anybody else out. And Jack was upset because Max was out & he wasn't. I swear Max hung his head, like "MY BAD" & followed me to his pen.

When I let everyone out, they followed the path of the truck & squeeze, picking up the hay that was dropped. I guess they watched from their pens & knew where they were going, if we ever came to our senses & let them out..........!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

John finally got the last shelter finished. It is in Tula's pen & she isn't a "shelter" type of girl anyway. But the option is there if the weather is nasty. Although everyone has a shelter now, a couple of them need a little tweeking. The one in the Fat Farm needs to be larger. The one in Sha'ba's pen needs to be separated from Rusty's. We tried putting 2 shelters together under one roof with a corral panel thru the middle to separate the pens. Seemed like a good idea & would have saved material. Unfortunately some of them won't go in a shelter if there is another animal in there, separation or not.............!!! Sha'ba is one of those, although Rusty has never even laid an ear back at him.................!!!!
Yesterday, BlackJack was acting funny, wasn't eating breakfast, walking around in the pen, laying down. He's never sick, so this was very unusual. I checked for gut sounds & he didn't want his right side touched. I gave him a shot of banamine & pretty soon he was out, doing his thing........!!!! John seemed to think I performed a miracle..........!!!! I would imagine the truth is, he had a gas bubble & when he got it to move he was no longer uncomfortable.

Chester is holding his own, still doing what he wants to do. In fact yesterday he dismantled a pile of boards John had behind the garage. I just heard grapefruit seed is good for infections of all kinds. I don't expect a miracle, but after reading about it, am willing to give it in conjunction with the prescribed antibiotics.

Had to change out the hay bunk in Chili & Gus' pen again, this is the 3rd one. The first one was too tall & too narrow. It made a wonderful toy, once the hay was gone, they turned it over. So we decided to use a bathtub instead, sitting on the ground, can't be turned over. Gus decided, Chili couldn't eat out of the tub for some reason. So this morning John moved the widest heaviest bunk we have into their pen. I don't think they can turn it over, but I could be wrong, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Today we went to visit Belle & Shiloh in their new home. They knew us & in fact Shiloh licked my hand, which he had never done before. Buster is my licker, he likes to lick the side of my face.............!!!!! But they didn't follow us to the gate, I assume they enjoyed our visit, but know they have a new family. Animals are much smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.

Chester isn't doing very well right now. He has swelling in the upper part of his leg & is pretty lame. I got in touch with Dr. Taylor & he said there isn't really much more we can do. He said we could x-ray to see what is going on with the joint, but then what? Obviously it's not getting better, which we have been hoping for. I am not ready to give up, but must face the reality of the situation. In a perfect world, he wouldn't have been a roping donkey, his owner would have taken him to a vet when he was kicked in the elbow, & he would have been given antibiotics at the time which probably would have taken care of the infection. Of course in that world, he would still be a roping donkey. Maybe this was his way out of that life. Either way he deserves better, & I can't give it to him, no matter how much I want it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008



After scoffing down a generous helping of chips and a few fistfuls of candyfloss, what better way to finish off a day at the seaside than with a donkey ride?

Well, not for a greedy child over 8 stone it's not. (A stone equals about 20 pounds)

New welfare rules have been introduced that ban obese children from hulking their ample frames onto the back of the sturdy little animals.

But the new donkey rights don't end there.

Holiday in Blackpool: Taking a ride along the beach has been a staple of the quintessential English beach holiday.

The animals must have at least one day off a week and have an hour's rest at lunchtime or early evening.

The beach donkey rules were issued today in a code of practice drawn up by the animal's welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, and the British Equine Vet's Association.

The first copy of the code will be handed to the Mayor of Blackpool, Peter Callow.

The resort has the highest number of working donkeys with 200 plying their trade on the sands each summer.

The code is designed to standardize the level of care and welfare given to the donkeys across Britain.

Blackpool already has its own Donkey Charter dating back to 1942 that covers many of the areas involved in the new code.

The 200 donkeys are also given an equine "MoT" by vets each Spring before they are allowed to start work.

Public protection chairman at Blackpool, Councillor Henry Mitchell; "It is 66 years since we recognized the need that these animals needed protecting against some owners who would work them day and night if they could."

"The new code endorses what we do already and gives us the backing of two powerful organizations."

Donkey Sanctuary welfare chief Martin Taggert said: "We already see an excellent standard of care for beach donkeys including those at Blackpool."

"The code will help other local authorities to make sure the same standard is applied nationwide."

"The code will also provide a resource of advice and support to those working with donkeys or setting up new businesses."
It would be nice if in the United States there was a law changing donkeys, actually equines in general from farm animals, "ie", livestock to companion animals. Then the level of care & treatment required would be more in line with what is required for dogs & cats. I don't know if the law will ever be changed, the ranching, farm industry doesn't want the change & I can actually see their point. Believe me I am not for more regulations overseen by bureaucrats either. But when I see a horse standing day after day in a small pen with no shelter, I know there needs to be changes made.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Let's see...............so far this morning, the hay delivery still isn't happening. The truck isn't fixed yet, & the alternate truck they are using, isn't licensed in California, so they can't pick up hay. John had figured out hay to the exact amount, soooooooo we have to make a trip into town to pick up enough hay to last until sometime next week. Not what we had planned for the day.

Buddy Brat is trying to colic, did manage to get Jenny's foot soaked. While checking Buddy & giving him some banamine I noticed he is plumping up again. The poor little guy is an air fern. He is insulin resistant & also has to take thyroid meds every day. Awhile back we started letting the "Fat Farm" guys out night & day, rather than just in the daytime. Looks like that might be too much browsing for Buddy.

Switched Chester back to Naxcel from Baytril, & he isn't limping as bad. I can only assume even though both are antibiotics, the Naxcel is doing a better job on his particular type of bacterial infection.

Everyone else seems to be doing just fine, even old Pepper is starting to look less like an Auchwitz survivor & more like an elderly donkey that needs to gain a little weight. I've upped his soaked feed & he is finally eating it. I also had to up his pergolide for his Cushings disease. As the disease progresses it's normal to have to give more pergolide. He still goes out & usually hangs out with Tula & Chester, why I don't know. Maybe it makes him feel young.........!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


When we got to the Vet early this afternoon, there was an emergency colic case, so we had to wait for awhile. We put the girls into a round pen, & they spent the next hour or so, running around & around like silly willies...........!!!

When we finally got in, Lucy went first. All vitals & blood work was normal. The Vet decided she probably has some type of allergy, so she got a shot & I got to carry home some special shampoo & meds to use on her itchy hairless tummy.

Then it was little Lynn's turn, same thing all vitals & blood work was normal, except for the glob of fat in her blood test. She probably has hyperlipidemia which is relatively common for ponies & donkeys. One cause is an obese donkey losing weight too quickly. It's taken 15 months to get about 75-100 pounds off her, which is less than 6 1/2 pounds a month, so that shouldn't be it. Also stress can be a cause. She spent about a week, running around as Tula's shadow, & going absolutely ballistic at feeding time, when they were separated, the week before she quit eating, so that could be the problem.

The last couple of days she has been eating & acting normal, so hopefully she will be OK, without intervention. A high carb diet is one of the treatments, which goes against the normal diet for donkeys...............!!!!! I guess I will be buried in my medical books for the next few days trying to learn all I can about this disease.

We got home late & as usual the herd was waiting very impatiently, letting us know from their body language that we were late, & they knew it. Buster was glad to have his Lucy back, & Lynn positively be-bopped out of the trailer, she was so happy to get home.