Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Update on Jethro the donkey and Superman the miniature horse

Miniature horse and donkey under one tarpThanks to tarpology learned from Tom Lyndes, I was able to string up a second tarp next to the first to make the shelter big enough for two ungulates who are probably not the best of friends. I also dumped about eight or ten loads of rocks under the tarps and then dry-tamped concrete in there and sprinkled it wet - they had trampled the under-tarp area, which is where the Bathtub of Hay (left) teeters on concrete legs, into a muddy bog. Now the ground there is elevated and doesn't chill their hooves.

Remember, they eschew the perfectly nice shed I built. The tarp is a compromise between Jethro's tendency to stand out in the rain and snow and my wish to have him warm and dry.

Are Superman and Jethro friends? Hard to say. They have little fights most mornings and bite each other, but if Superman runs away Jethro runs after him to continue the "game" (?). Superman whinnies piteously when I take Jethro out for a walk, and at no other time.

Feeding treats to a donkeyHere's Ezra feeding lemon rinds to Jethro. Note how Jethro has made his lips very, very long so he can snatch the lemon peels while keeping his body far back from the electric fence.

The fence, BTW, is a mostly psychological hazard. I myself have been electrocuted by it numerous times. It startles but doesn't harm.

ADDENDUM: Just before Ez fed these lemon peels to Jethro, one of the chickens had tilted her head appraisingly, sidled back and forth, and then jumped up on Jethro's back. She stood there a long time, until I got the camera, pecking at random goodies she found up there.

Jethro twisted his head around to touch his snout to her beak but did not complain or seem surprised. Perhaps this has been happening for a while and I just haven't seen it before.



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