Sunday, August 4, 2013

Busybody or Great Protector?

Clyde can't decide what he wants to be.   One minute he's on top of his house calling out for the Donkeys to come up the pasture so he can see them close by.   The next he's wailing at the top of his goat lungs facing the house to tell on the Donkeys for being engaged in horseplay (or should we say, 'donkeyplay'?)

He's either the biggest busybody goat ever, or he's honing his craft at being the great 'Watch Goat' that he knows he can be.    Make no mistake about it, he's got a set of pipes on him that rival his buddies Pancho and Lefty when it comes to noise making.

Also, I think there is a part of him that really wants to grow up to be a Donkey.   I've noticed that when Pancho and Lefty graze off to the side of the goat enclosure, Clyde is always down there grazing along with them.   He never goes down to that end on his own, but if they are there, so is he.    Also, in the mornings, he's always over at the fence as I'm feeding the donkeys.  Partly it might be because he knows his food is coming next, but he puts his feet as high as he can on the fence to make himself look taller.

It reminds me of my soon to be 5 year old daughter.   She's adopted and of Mayan descent so I don't think she's going to be a starting forward on the basketball team, but she constantly tells me she wants to be a 'big kid.'   I think Clyde is like this too, he might be a Pygmy Goat, but he really wants to be something bigger.  Whether it's a 'Watch Goat' or the worlds first 'PygmyGoatDonkey' he's going to give it his all.   And for that, I'm happy.

Whatever I end up being in life, you can't deny the fact that I'm cute (er, handsome)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Hero Donkeys

Bonnie with her cast
Let me start off by saying, I apologize for the lack of an update for the past few weeks.   Needless to say (as you will find out in this post) it's been a rather hectic time at our budding little farm.

We come home one day from work.   We are greeted by the loudest continual wailing from the donkeys I've ever heard.   These guys hardly ever make a sound, aside from a little whining from Lefty in the mornings.   Lefty sounded like a siren going off.   We immediately noticed that the goats were not in their enclosure.   They had escaped.

I was instantly impressed by the alert that the donkeys (especially Lefty) were giving us.   They were telling us something was really wrong.    I looked and didn't see the goats anywhere.  

I guess I have watched too many Lassie episodes in my day, because I looked Lefty in the eye and said to him.  "Where are they? Take me to them."

I have a witness (Lori) who can back this up, but Lefty turned around, brayed very loudly and walked about 30 yards out into the pasture and stopped right where Bonnie was laying.   He took me to right were she was.    She was hurt and scared.    We picked her up and realized her leg was hurt right away.   Lefty turned and followed me back up to the gate with her.   Pancho was right there too.   Their concern for their little buddy was evident right away.

We found Clyde off on the other side of the pasture, he was scared, but not hurt at all.   He was a little sore for a few days, but he's back 110% now.

All our animals instantly knew something was wrong with Bonnie.   Both Pancho and Lefty laid down and slept right by the goat fence for the first few nights and Girlfriend (our black lab) took to laying by the fence and softly whimpering and wagging her tail.   Even Winky the Wonder Cat sauntered over to the fence to check on Bonnie, (but don't let him know I mentioned that.)

We finally have Bonnie casted and at home thanks to the fine folks at Shaver Animal Hospital in Tuscaloosa.  They did a great job getting our little Bonnie casted up and hopefully on her way to recovery.

She spent a few days down at their clinic and all her animal buddies missed her while she was gone.   Clyde cried for her almost the whole time, and yesterday when we brought her back, he seemed very content that she was back.   She has to stay on the porch in a kennel for a few weeks, but at least they can talk to one another.

I can't tell you enough how impressed I am with our donkeys though.   They proved that they are worth every penny we paid for them (they were free BTW) and then some.    I wouldn't trade them for the world.  

Lassie ain't got nothing on them.

My Heroes

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just how you reckon this happened?

'Move along folks...  Nothing to see here!'
This is what greeted me the other morning when I went out to feed Pancho and Lefty.   There he was standing there, with this slightly embarrassed look on his face.   As some of you might know, we gave the boys hula hoops to play with when we first got them.   They (along with every toy we gave them) were ignored for the better part of a month.   Then I happened to be down in the low part of the pasture one day and I found one of the hula hoops with definite teeth imprints on it, so I knew that they had been playing with it.

I brought it up to the top of the pasture and then it became 'OK' with them to play with it.   It was on their own terms.

Fast forward a month or so, and I'm greeting to Lefty wearing the hula hoop just like the Scarlet Letter that Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorn's great novel.   You could see it in his eyes, he was embarrassed that he had to wait for us to help him get this thing off.

I still want to know, just how did that happen?   Oh to have had a hidden camera out in the pasture to have witnessed that.  I could be $100,000.00 richer for submitting it to 'America's Funniest Home Videos" (Is that show even still on?)

Well, it was really early and this scene was way to much to not share, so I went in and woke up Lori.   I told her she had to come with me.  She had this startled look on her face, and she immediately thought something was wrong with one of the donkeys.  I then smiled and showed her the picture and she and I both laughed.  In fact, I had to force myself not to laugh when I went to wake her up.

We go out, and there he is, still standing just as he was in the picture.   How could we get it off him.  Lori tried to pet him and he started to pull away.  I told her to use the hula hoop as a handle.  She did and it came apart and off him it went.   He took off like he's just been given a new lease on life.   The now unhooked hula hoop lay on the ground not fully round any longer.   

I can say, that I'm going to throw the old broken hula hoop away because after a week or so, it's not been touched by the donkeys.   I feel their 'Hula Hoop' days might be over.   Life is never dull with them I tell you.

The hula hoop back in the good old days.

Monday, June 17, 2013

You smell funny and you don't look like me....

Saturday afternoon was the big meet and greet.   Pancho and Lefty knew something was up.  They had spent a great deal of time in the new goat enclosure prior to Bonnie and Clyde's arrival.   We had let them graze in there some to keep the grass down and we let them smell and explore all the stuff we had been building in there.  They have a most curious nature anyway, we felt it only fair to let them explore it.

When we arrived with the goats, I immediately went in and gave Pancho and Lefty some sweet feed.  They never pass up a treat like that.   That bought us enough time without them right over our shoulder to get Bonnie and Clyde out of the truck and into their enclosure.   Suddenly Pancho's ears perked up...  'What's that over there?" I could almost imagine him thinking.   They finished the treat and made a beeline for the goat fence.
The noses went down and Pancho tried to put his head over the fence to get a closer look (and smell) things.    (If you notice the later pictures, you will see the extra wire at the top of the fence.  You can thank Pancho for me adding this after the fact.   I had decided we didn't need the wire, but turns out, thanks to 'Curious George' (Pancho) we do.

After a few minutes of skittishness on the part of Bonnie and Clyde, suddenly they were rubbing against the fence and staying right up close while Pancho and Lefty stayed at the fence as well.   It was if they were having a little housewarming party.  (I should note, that we weren't invited to this little affair as Bonnie and Clyde are still a little standoffish from us humans at this point.)

It seems as though adding the goats might even help Pancho with his fear of letting us brush and pet him.   Since their arrival he's been more and more affectionate towards Lori and I.  This morning he even let me pet his nose for about 5 minutes before I put their morning feed down.   Suddenly he snapped to his senses and backed away, but then he came back up close again.   I think there might be hope for him yet.

Lori and I were talking yesterday about what the animals can teach us.   The main thing it seems is patience. Things have to be on their terms and their timeline.  You can't rush it.    If that means I have to sit quietly in the goat enclosure for 2 hours until Bonnie and Clyde realize that I'm OK, then I'll do it.    If that means we have to try to get close to Pancho 100 times before he realizes that we are cool, then we'll do it.   It's all part of living the life that we all need to live.  More simple, and less stressful.

The whole gang (even though Bonnie is photo-bombing)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Not enough Fiber in their diet?

So our Donkeys have now decided that in addition to the grass in our pasture and the occasional Privet Hedge and Oak and Pecan leaves, that they will now indulge in a new delicacy.   The siding on our barn!

We noticed that they have been chewing on the siding and have pulled a few small pieces off the back of the barn.   I sprayed some of the "Evil Fly Spray" on it this evening to keep them away, I doubt it will work.

Like they aren't getting enough to eat already.   We just started them on new supplement that is all natural and Garlic based to see if it will help control the fly problem we have.   Also, we don't have to worry about Vampires coming around the pasture or barn either now.

I saw on a video of a friend that has donkeys that he had chicken wire put on on the outside of his barn.  I am willing to bet he's had the same problem and I've sent him an email to find out.   It surely can't hurt.

Less than two weeks now until our Pygmy Goats come to live with us.   We can't wait to get them here and settled and start blogging about them too.

Have a great evening, and I leave you with this picture from a few weeks ago.  Mr. Wallace came to cut the pasture and Pancho and Lefty treated him like the Pied Piper.   Every time he came up to the top of the pasture, they followed behind him.   They sure are a curious pair...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Getting ready for their new friends...

Our new Pygmy Goats (Bonnie and Clyde) will be arriving on June 15th.  That means lots of preparation for them.   The enclosure is built and yesterday we went and picked up their house as well as an old plastic playhouse for them.   I'm going to build bridges and climbers for them in and on the old playhouse.

Of course, as soon as we got the structures in place, the boys had to come check them out.   They are so curious as to anything new.   We've been leaving the gate to the new enclosure open so they can come and go in there as they please before the goats arrive.  

As usual they had to smell and taste everything in there.   It's almost as if the donkeys are the Quality Control testers.
As you can see above, Pancho is giving the plastic fort the old 'smell' test.

I think we will be incorporating the 'Bonnie and Clyde' show into our blog here. (Heck, we might even have to change the name)   I feel the goat antics will be just as (if not more) fun than the daily treat that we get from Pancho and Lefty.

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Watering Hole...

So summer has descended on us.   It was nice to have a respite from the summer weather for a while, but it seems that pleasantness has gone away.   Since it's going to be getting hotter, the Donkeys will need more water to drink.   We had this old tub left over from Raychel's wedding last November (It served as the iced down drink dispenser) and it was just sitting out in the pasture.

We moved it over to the boy's shed and cleaned it out and filled it up with water.  It didn't take them long to realize this was much easier to drink out of than their bucket they've been using.   I might have to get a new drain plug, but for now it seems to be working out fine.

While we were working we were treated to the 'Lefty Rolling Show' and the video of one a few weeks ago I've been meaning to post is below.   It makes me laugh when he rolls on his back and Pancho watches him so intently.   Pancho doesn't roll in public, but I've seen dust on his back so I now he rolls when no one's around.  I guess he's just shy that way...