By some miracle, my husband fixed the impending technology problem, namely that I was locked out of getting into my own blog! Well, problem solved, so there is an abundance of photos from the last two weeks on the farm!
Gus and Molly, a Mother and Son donkey set joined us on Friday last week! The opportunity to buy donkeys came to us, and we hemmed and hawed over whether we should do it, and then pulled the trigger. I was so excited! They are so cute! For several years we have been looking for some kind of animal protector to live with the goats and after researching concluded that llamas or donkeys would be the best. They live right in the same pen and eat right alongside the goats. While some may be thinking donkeys are more laid back and gloomy like Eeyore, they can be quite aggressive and fierce. They will easily protect the herd from coyotes, fox, snakes, raccoon and other wild animals.
Dan picked them up with the trailer and when I asked how it went He said, “You know that cartoon where the donkey is sitting down and won’t budge? Well, it’s true. That’s exactly what happened!” They had three adults trying to pull/push/coax these guys into the trailer, sweating from the exertion. Once he got here, we had to leave the gate open for quite some time to allow them to acclimate to their new surroundings. The first night we separated them from the goats, and the next day we introduced them. Molly, the Mom, came off the trailer fairly quick, perhaps seeing the fresh green grass, er, weeds. Gus, the Son, was much more hesitant. After Molly did a loop, she came back around to the trailer, and seeing her near, Gus started to make forward steps. In the end, we still had to give him a push, but it ended well.
The garden is full speed ahead. I’ve already canned some green beans and there are more to come. The beets are huge! I’m hoping to try making beet chips with them, as an alternative to our usual roasted way of eating them. The tomatoes are loaded, but still mostly green. The melons and squash are covered in yellow delicate flowers and I pick the carrots whenever I need them. Nathan loves them as a snack. I wonder if the donkeys would eat them?
In Nathan news, he LOVES being outside, if it’s not an oven of heat. He munches on carrots and raw green beans, chasing the kittens and chickens. He runs down the driveway to get the mail, chasing my shadow and loves to swim. He speaks his own language, and I can usually understand what he means. His comprehension is extremely good, and he’s getting two more teeth. He uses sign language to ask for more, say please and all done. He loves to help me pick raspberries, and if he sees a red one, he has figured out how to pick it by pinching his thumb and pointer together, squeezing, pulling and eating it.
Monday he had a little run in with one of the goats. Literally. Our second set of pregnant mamas are due any day. The first one had her kid about a week ago. Nathan and I were wandering in the barn looking to see if there were any more new babies. I didn’t hold his hand because all of the goats are pretty skittish around his jerky movements and running. I was standing next to him as he turned and headed toward our newest baby. The first time Mama initially started to run away, but then seeing he was near her kid, stopped in her tracks, turned, assessed this threat, and wham!
She head butted him, knocking him over and hitting his head on the partly cement, partly dirt, partly dried manure ground. PETA probably wouldn’t approve, and maybe it’s just the pregnancy hormones kicking in, but I kicked her back pretty hard. Twice. We’ve never had an aggressive Mama like this. Usually they give a warning cry and nothing ever happens.
Not with this goat. Dan called it “The Battle of the Mamas.” Indeed. I gingerly picked up my crying baby, trying to assess for injury. He is so tough, he cried hard for about 30 seconds, then as we walked outside, he was re-telling me the story through his tears, babbling and motioning with his hands about what happened. I didn’t see any immediate bruising or blood. After a long cuddle, he ran off like nothing happened. Dan came home and we found a small lump on the back side of his head and then he threw up a little. We figured he had a slight concussion. The next day I took him to the chiropractor and his neck was adjusted. He’s been happier than ever, and sleeping great as usual. If I tell him the story about how the goat hit him and went boom he just nods and laughs.
And that’s the news from this battle-of-the-mamas week on the farm!