This morning, Sadie, the barn cat, was doing her usual routine of following me around while I was feeding. We found the two donkeys in the back barnyard, using the livestock trailer as a wind-block and radiant heat source! I've been letting them into the barn aisle at night whenever it is wet or windy, but as soon as the sun comes up they go out to stand beside the trailer. Jenny and Fannie are both wearing the latest in donkey winter-wear----fuzzy coats. When the weather warms they will shed those woolly coats and be slick and shiny for the summer months. These girls are the ultimate easy keepers. In fact, we have to keep them on pretty sparse pasture when the grass starts growing. Jenny (the oldest and the mother) is about 14 years old, we think. She had foundered before she came to live here and we have to be especially careful with her diet.(Foundered is a common name for laminitis-a very painful foot disease linked to over-feeding and around here that can be from too much lush grass in the spring.) She was with a large herd of donkeys when I picked her out and bought her for $100 as a companion for my horse. We bred her a few times, always getting males until this last time. A friend of mine had a male miniature donkey and since Jenny is a very small standard, we thought that might be a good option. Not only did we get a very small baby, but finally a girl! Fannie is about 4 1/2 years old now and is a real sweetie. She and Sadie seem to really like each other.
Holly and Hannah were in the front of the barn soaking up some rays, too. Today the feed store made a delivery of sheep feed and 100 lbs of dog food. The guys unloading the truck asked if I had a lot of dogs. I had to laugh and explain, no, not a lot in numbers, just two big dogs with healthy appetites. When it's cold like this, they will sometimes eat as much as 4 lbs a day--each! They eat much less in the summer when it's hot. I guess it takes a lot of fuel to keep their energy levels up and keep them warm. They are oblivious to the cold. Not me. The weatherman says it will be in the 60's here on Friday. I say, "Bring it on!"