Over the winter months the jennies seem to have taken a real liking to this poor tree. We have wrapped a number of the trees with tall fencing to protect them. I can just imagine this poor little thing trembling as we went into the ‘chewing months’ … looking around at many of the others who had security fencing! (Ever since I read “The Secret Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben I’ve been relating to our woods area as a community … ) It was doomed.
So down it came … and pronto the jennies were there to enjoy the rest of the branches.
The donkeys have had a major impact on the hillside. There are still some major oaks, maples, ironwoods, hawthornes and hickories holding their own. I think when when the fencing we’ve ordered comes I’m going to save every piece I can to protect the rest of the trees – little ones included. The thinning out of the woods has made our yard and the paddocks much less buggy. The black flies and mosquitoes are legendary in our neck of the woods. But the shade is also a nice feature! And the oxygen. And the community of roots communicating underground and supporting each other!
Meanwhile, on the north side of the wooded hillside these two little gaffers also will have their affect on things. Last June they arrived with Poppy (their mom) and Sven (a cute little billy). Their hillside was covered with thigh deep grasses, flowers, wildflowers and a mass of Virginia Creeper vines. I was truly impressed that within two weeks the tops of everything were gone. Then another two weeks and everything was nipped almost down to ground level. They did leave some things behind. I’m curious to see what will happen this spring. What growth will May and Dottie decide is perfect dinner…? They are well fed on alfalfa pellets and a small amount of grain mix twice a day. Plus they have alfalfa hay to graze on both up in their climber and down in their fort. I hang it in hay bags – a fresh flake each day. I’m also thinking they’ll spend two or three hours a day out and about with me and the jennies throughout the back and front paddocks… They like to help themselves to the timothy hay that is set out there.
Goldie downright glowed today in the early morning sunshine. It was sunny, but we had a chilly wind blowing out of the southwest all day. So the chickens spent another day prowling their indoor quarters. It is no fun for them to be in their run when the wind is blowing right through there.
I’ve just come in from tucking the goats into the fort for the night. I sleep much better when I KNOW they are tucked away out of sight of prowling coyotes. Although, the coyotes have other prey this week. The Canada geese have returned. They sleep about five feet outside the paddock fencing. I think maybe they feel some safety with the close quarters of the other animals? When Darby realized I was not going to give her any more ‘treats’ (aka a shelled peanut) she went to pout at the fence. (Darby is a very good pouter!) She glared out at the flock and … nipped her flank. That is her ‘I’m pissed!’ signal. She was literally getting more pissed because those dang geese were not paying her any attention! Could be an interesting night out there!