Fresh Air Day

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Headed outside after breakfast and just got in after five o’clock. A fresh air day for sure.

The donkeys had their hooves done this afternoon. I cannot believe that I had my camera right there in my pocket and I didn’t get pictures again! Although, as Edie noted, there was the small matter of the ‘break in’ going on. Holy donkey! Bella was NOT impressed that Darby was the first in for her clipping. (Usually it is Rosie first, then Darby, then Bella… and our three seem to care deeply about the order of things.) I wanted Darby in first as she has been starting to act ‘strange’ when Jeff comes around … just not sure she wants to have her hooves done … and knowing she is big enough now to refuse. So I figured – sweet talk her into the barn asap and then the other two jennies are easy.

Bella and Rosie were some mad! Rosie did her best to dig her way in under the door gate. Bella just went to work demolishing the latch. The little devil actually pried it right off the wall!!! So then I was doing a bit of a dance holding the gate with one foot and Darby’s halter with the other hand. On the next switch up a bungee cord had to do.

You see, I feed the jennies grain while they get ‘procedures’ done. Just tiny bits at a time from the palm of my hand. It keeps them distracted and does wonders for training them to enjoy coming into the barn when called. I can literally lean out of the barn and say, “Rosie’s turn!” and she’ll come right in. Then do the same for the other two.

However, there is a mutiny afoot. The jennies at the door think that they are doing their part waiting and deserve grain rewards too. I can just imagine how much grain they’d end up eating if I fed them all little scoops throughout the time it took to do all three procedures. Not happening! That means that it is easy to get them to come (for the farrier or the vet) but hard to keep the other two patient. In fact the new game is to see how quickly they can find a way to break in.

Had a visit from a neighbour (and former student) who is a bit of a ‘poultry whisperer’. She gave me some tips for taming our four keets. The result being that at the end of the day I had two of them sitting on my hands. Who knew hens have a language all their own too? This language thing … different languages for different species… intrigues me. I know I speak ‘donkey’ now and find it very easy to approach new donkeys. Easy and interesting. Interesting to find I can be so relaxed around them and they seem to know I ‘see them’. I’m enjoying learning more about being around poultry.

AND LOVING SPENDING ENTIRE DAYS OUTSIDE … EVEN WHEN THE WEATHER IS NOT PARTICULARLY LOVELY!

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