Much to their delight (not), our herd of donkeys has been living out in the (well-fenced) front field with the sheep. This command decision was made, without consulting the donkeys, for two reasons: to give Donkeyland a rest and allow it to hopefully reseed itself, and because the seed stems on the grass in the front field grew up so high this year (yes!) that the sheep were afraid to venture very far out in it. This meant that a lot of good food was going to waste.
Enter seven tall and fearless longears.
In retaliation for being wrenched from their homeland and imprisoned with a bunch of woolly beasts, the donkeys have been spending much of their time hiding out in their secret donkey clubhouse, a darkly shaded area of cool bare dirt at the edge of a small ravine and under a giant cedar tree, away from the riffraff and gnats.
If you try and sneak a peek into the clubhouse to make sure all seven donkeys are still alive and well, they give you dirty looks and then gallop haughtily off into the brush.
When we first moved the donkeys out front, they would spend a lot of time standing at the gate that leads out of the field and up to the barn and the house, like they were waiting to be rescued or released, though Joe said it might have been because the nearby fly trap kept the gnats away. (We've been using these regular size and big bag non-toxic Rescue fly traps around the farm for years; they stink but they work great).
As we were leaving the farm yesterday to run some errands, the donkeys were once again lined up at the gate, staring us down as we approached. Joe said, "When I came out earlier I told the donkeys to stay up here so you'd be able to see them." Three and a half hours later we returned home to the rear view of the exact same scene.
"How long did you tell them to stay there?"
I don't know what was going on this morning, but when I hiked out front to check on everybody, the donkeys all piled out of the clubhouse and came over for scratches and pets. They tanked up on water, licked some salt, nibbled some minerals and diatomaceous earth (you can read about the many ways we use this wonderful, all natural stuff around the farm here), took turns taking dust baths, checked out the grass, and totally ignored the sheep. I snapped more pictures of them than I've taken in the past month.
12 more photos below. . .
© FarmgirlFare.com, the longear loving foodie farm blog where the question I am most often asked both online and offline is, "What do you do with all those donkeys?" The short answer: priceless entertainment value.