Friday, February 4, 2011

What I did during the Blizzard of 2011!

Two snow days in a row....from both of the schools that are in our lives....heaven right?  Yes and maybe a small no.  I loved that we were all home together, snug and tight in our new house.  But one look outside we knew that the animals had to be checked on.  So, encased in our Carhart Coats, hats, gloves and anything else we could find Kent and I ventured out.  Now at this point my hubby was far smarter than I, he put is long underwear on, I did not, stupid.  That wind was strong!  It was an effort to place one foot in front of the other.  You could not face the wind, it hurt!  What were the donkeys doing in this mess? 
Brighty and Pedro were bedded down in a shelter that we had split in two so that both animals could get in.  We are still keeping the two of them separate since one is gelded and one is intact.  Pedro wants to dominate everyone and poor little Brighty is half his size so we are being careful.  We walked around the corner of the shelter that we have lined with straw bales---it was pathetic, both donkeys were snow packed from end to end.  Pedro had icicles hanging from his nose and mouth and they were shivering!  That was hard to see.  They are in our care and we take that very we had to do something. 
We went to work in the chicken coop, Brighty could go in there till this was over.  We had re-arrange chicken feeders, and their heated water dish, which meant re-configuring all the electrical cords.  Everyone has a heated water dish, water freezes overnight if it is not kept warm.  It was 10 degrees in the chicken coop.  My legs were frozen (remember no long johns) and I could no longer feel my fingers.  We got the goats tucked into a small enclosures within the chicken coop, they were fed and had water.  They we move the chicken's stuff to the top of the those enclosures within the chicken coop.  Then we had to deal with the ducks.  We will never get ducks again, they are the messiest creatures you have every seen.  No matter how small the water dish is, they will get in it and fling water everywhere, they have to have water in order to eat.  What happens when water is sprayed all over a place at 10 degrees?  It freezes in seconds!!! They are a mess!
We figured Brighty's dish was heavy enough that it would not tip over if the ducks tried to get in and Brighty most likely would keep them from getting in, yet they could drink.  Okay so now comes the next step....
We had to move Brighty from the small pen to an unknown area for him.  Donkeys view the world different than horses, they see a new place with no exit and they freak.  There is nothing like having 140 pounds of fur and hooves freaking out! 
Clare and I got the lead on Brighty and brushed as much snow off of him as we could.  He was a sad site!!!  Then we started leading him, well not leading him really more like dragging him!  He did not want to go anywhere.  But as parents we all know that sometimes we have to force an issue because we do know what is best.  So imagine Clare and I on either side of this donkey pulling in a deep snow drift for all we are worth and Brighty digging his heels in...all four of them. 
Kent came to the rescue.  Brighty dose not kick, which is a bit strange, that is their main defense and if you walk behind Pedro be prepared he will kick.  But not Brighty, he was so scared, which was breaking my heart.  But onward we went and Kent came up behind him and pushed, hard.  That worked we got him out of the pasture and lined up to enter the chicken coop.  For every new area there is an invisible line that every donkey knows for a fact he can not cross, ever.  Hmmm, we had to get him inside because I was running out of energy.  Being 39 for the second time this decade was telling on me!  Again Kent came up behind him and pushed and in he went!
So we got Brighty settled down and eating.  The chickens were howling though!  We have one rooster and he was going off!  When chickens get unsettled they let you know all about it, then suddenly they have said their piece and they are all silent.  We looked around and they were all up above just sitting and watching.  The ducks were still fussing and the goats were happy to see their friend even if it was through a fenced in door.  I was frozen- I had to go in and so Clare and I tromped off to the house to see if I still had fingers intact.  Kent was working on a stall in the barn for Pedro.  It had taken us two hours to move Brighty!  We had to wait till Ethan got home to move Pedro so for a bit we could rest......