Spring is here: Hurrah! For the past 3 mornings, as I have walked up to the Farm, it has been wonderful to see the paddocks virtually littered with donkeys. After 4 months of life in the Donkey House – they really do not like to go out when it is colder than -8C – the donkeys are more than ready for a change. Of course, they know that Spring is approaching; at last there is something in the air.
As I observe the Spring parade, clearly it is a delight for the donkeys to be in motion, just walking around, scratching, scratching. The weeks of body-rubbing are officially underway and for the coming period, the donkeys will move against anything that might provide relief from those itchy, dense, winter coats. At this time of year, they almost swoon when staff or volunteers start to brush out the hair.
Spring is here: Oh no! Following closely in the wake of the warmer air currents is the process of melting. For the next several weeks, where all that walking and scratching will be underway, paddocks and the barnyard will be carpeted with wet slush. Slush that is ever so conducive to the development of hoof abscesses. In turn, staff will be wrapping and treating many, many affected limbs. The work can be tedious, messy: the dedication of our staff is there for all to see at imes like these.
When all is said and done, though, Spring is here and in spite of the spectre of abscesses, the mood is optimistic. Green pastures are on the horizon.
Sandra Pady, Founder