Saturday, August 1, 2009

Donkey Day... rain... so close and yet so far...

Well I did not get any "good" photos this week - I went outside last night to take photos and noticed the sky.... This was at 4:30 in the afternoon -
Now we are under severe drought, we have had no real rain for months - and things are pretty serious. We have even started noticing that very old trees in our area are turning brown and dying. Very sad. Well as I was loving on donkeys... we realized that there were some really wonderful clouds coming toward us. Now this is the third day we have seen these clouds... no rain. So we went on out and were feeding and watering, and I was getting ready to take photos - I snapped just a few.. and then the wind.. dirt blowing everywhere... we headed in.. huge rain drops.. and then NOTHING! It all stopped. Later in the evening.. it did it a second time, this time loud thunder, lightning, wind and we watched it go right by us. Hubby says our wire fence just keeps it from getting here! Crossing our fingers today it will find its way across our fence!

So here are the few photos I snapped -

AnnaBell "Bella" had an inch... you can see this poor tree is used a lot for scratching... and sometimes even chewing on. We don't like that - and most trees are ringed so they can chew on them, but this one.. well they have claimed it -

I think I have told you that Josie was weaned last week. She is in the youth pen now. She still calls for her Mom from time to time... but she now has a very good friend - Irene - watches over like a Mom - and makes sure that no one picks on her. As you can see at almost 8 months old she is still VERY tiny.

Now I thought I would show you Cheyenne.. she is so miserable - poor thing. The Heat and humidity is really doing a number on all of the Mom's to be...

I have had a few ask about my Mom's to be and that it seems like we have been on "Donkey Watch" for a long time waiting for babies - I thought I might explain. Donkeys are pregnant 11-13 months and well I am a nervous nellie when it comes to my babies. I have gotten better over the years - but we started off with some really bad luck and we lost a couple of our first babies and that has made me really cautious when it comes to birthing. I have only missed one baby over the years - and that was Jolene's Josie - she showed NO signs before delivering.

What are the signs? They bag up, the baby starts to turn, the belly gets pointed, and the nipples get really large. They start getting "grouchy" and staying off to by themselves. Those are signs... all can happen, or none. At the 11 month mark there are a few that I really start watching. Macie is one of those, a few years back she went into labor just before that 11 month date, it was a breech baby - and we lost the baby and almost lost Macie. She has delivered a healthy baby since then, but I still get on guard. Plus well... I just feel for her - she gets SO WIDE, she is a "big boned" girl as it is, so the baby really does add weight to her -

I guess what all of that means is .. I start watching the donkeys as they get close to their date on the calendar, we start getting excited.. at the one year mark.. we get serious, and start keeping a closer eye on them, then when all the signs start showing and the bells start ringing.. I go on "Donkey Watch" when Hubby thinks things are really close... I get grounded - no leaving - and we put them in the Momma pen so they are ready to deliver. Now all the books and the breeders will tell you "you can't tell when a donkey will deliver" and that is true - they fool you a lot. But Hubby has "guessed" on about 1/2 of our donkeys within a 24-48 hour window. So this system works for us - Some times we are on lock down red alert for a week or more - especially with those that we have never had a baby from before. But some.. we are getting pretty good at know what time of day they like and seeing their personal signs.

I know some of the breeders just shake their head at us... We get kind of nuts about wanting to be there - many just let them birth in a large pen and find the babies next to the Mom's ... but hey... our donkeys are special.. they are our children and again... I am just nuts -

I have a friend coming over to craft all day and night again today.. house is a disaster.. so better make a run through and pick up and vacuum before she gets here! Hope you have a wonderful Saturday.. what are you up to today?

HUGS and


Donalda said...

Oh hon I sure wish we could give you some of our rain!!!! I finally got my yard mowed after a couple of weeks lol
Loved the story of the pregnet mommys so intersting dear
Big hugs

Julia said...

I see why you feel for Macie, she does carry baby wide, :( .
Hope rain will come soon for you, I know how you feel as have no rain in almost 2 months & for Wa. St. that is rare, & have been in triple digits, & the 90's on top of it. We just aren't use to this, lol.
Have fun cropping with your friend !

Joana24 said...

i wished a could send some rain your way we have plenty here . the donkeys are so gorgeous .

enjoy your crafting session with your friend ( I'm busy spring cleaning my craft space )

Penni said...

Oh your mummies to be are sooo big. And with such a dry spell it must be terrible for them.

Here in England we've had loads and loads of rain, maybe we could swap some of our rain with some of your sun - what do you think?!?

I don't think your nuts being on "Donkey Watch" I'd be just the same, in fact I think I'm on a virtual "Donkey Watch" with you He He He!!!

Give your donkeys some love from me and Libbie too of course.


Robin Brown aka Mrs Pup in NY said...

I'm up here in Northeastern NY near the Canadian Border and we have had nothing but rain and thunderstorms all summer. What a crapy summer for the kiddos. I wish I could bottle it up adn share with you people who are praying for rain. On the brightside. I have got the best garden this year. I just picked a bunch of string beans,zucchini to make zucchini relish with, my yellow squash had a good dozen I picked and I picked several cucumbers and they are so tasty. I can't wait to get all the tomatoes to can and all the rest of the wonderful veggies.

Lene said...

We too, like Penni and Mrs Pup, have had nothing but rain the last 4 or 5 weeks here in Norway =(. So wish it was possible to share.
Loved the tutorial on preggie donkey mommies! Their butts are so narrow it looks like they'll bust at the seams!
I was wondering about where your babies go after weaning. Who buys them? Are they strictly pets? I always wanted a donkey and will not give up hopes that someday I'll live somewhere appropriate.

Linda said...

I'm glad you are concerned for your animals! Good for you and hubby for being watchful. I'm sorry they are so hot and uncomfortable. But know you are doing your best to help them. Love your pics. Glad you share with us!

Hugs, Linda

Di said...

Lovely to read about your babes, it must be so nerve racking for you, and to loose any must be terrible! but your doing a fab job just wish you could have some rain!
Cant wait to see piccies of babes.
I show my hubby and kids and all my friends and work collegues!we are all rooting for them!

Take care
Donkey hugs Di xxx

BethW said...

Right there with you on the baby watch-I'd be a nervous nellie too. Josie is the cutest thing ever!

PaperSunshine said...

Oh my goodness, a 2 month time window for expecting?! No wonder! Thanks so much for explaining this, it is very interesting :) I don't know how you do it, patience is not one of my best virtues! Good luck and I hope y'all get some rain.