Whereever you are as you read this, I hope that the sun is shining so brilliantly as it is here. We had an end-of- winter storm yesterday. It blew through very quickly and left behind 7 centimeters of snow. The donkeys were not pleased, I expect. What with the arrival of much more daylight, they are ready for spring green.
These days, snow or no snow, the donkeys are scratching on every post or wall that they can find. Coats that were fluffy and warm are now just plain annoying and they want air to circulate on their skin. During grooming sessions, a veritable carpet of hair covers the floor in no time.
In general, the donkeys are healthy. However, with such a large herd in residence, there seem always to be a few issues that cause concern. For example, Solo has a skin problem that is very resistant to treatment and so he is taking steroids once again to stop the itching. We have already conducted several tests and more will be done this week. In the meantime, he does not like to be touched.
The donkeys’ weight has increased noticeably after a winter of access to large round bales. We are rethinking their use and have decided to purchase an unroller attachment for the tractor so that we can control the quantity of hay consumption. At the same time, since the donkeys like roughage in their diet, they will have ongoing access to straw. Feeding quantities are always challenging. Under feral conditions, the donkeys are moving constantly, browsing from patch to patch. They cover miles every day. On a farm, however, no matter how large the fields, their general level of activity is much lower.
Have a nice day, wherever you are…….and thank you for tuning in. I will aim to do an update like this at least once a week. In the meantime, take good care.
Sandra Pady. Executive Director