Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rufus is the Cutest

Isn't Rufus adorable?  I know everybody thinks their donkey is the cutest donkey, but I really think my donkey might actually be the cutest of them all.  

He's got the softest nose.  And the fuzziest face.  And, he takes a good selfie!  

His teeth are a little scary sometimes, but even though I continue to get warnings from people about how mean an intact male donkey can be, he's never tried to hurt me.  He's still very young though.  The good thing about a donkey is that they show all their emotion with their ears, so I can tell when he gets wound up or nervous.  I saw him bite Peaches right on the face when she was being obnoxious and sticking her face in his pen and crying for his food.  He tucked his ears flat against his head, tucked his tail between his back legs, and grabbed her whole snout in his teeth and pulled hard.  She cried.  She also stopped being so obnoxious.  

The goats and the donkey all hang out together in the barn, but I always keep the gate between their stalls closed, and they take turns with the pasture.  Most of the time, if Rufus has his freedom to roam, he hangs near the barn with the goats, and they do the same thing.  Only twice have they all been together without a fence separating them, and both times Rufus chased the goats into the barn while they ran for their lives and cried.  I'm not sure what his motives are.  I think he just enjoys chasing them, but they don't seem to enjoy being chased!  For now, we follow the good fences make good neighbors policy.  

Since we only have one fenced in pasture right now, our workday routine is for the goats to have their door open to the pasture as I leave for work, and then Rufus gets his door open when I get home and the goats get shut in and fed some hay for dinner.  This allows Rufus all evening, night, and early morning to graze, and the goats can graze during the day, which is usually when Rufus is snoozing in the shade anyway.  Whenever I feel sorry for Rufus locked in his stall, I remind myself that his stall is a similar size to my office, and I don't even have a window!  We have plans to build a dedicated yard so he has more room when he's put up, and also have plans for him to have a donkey buddy too.  It's a good thing he's patient.    

What a belly!  I don't know why I was worried that giving him wormer would be hard to do.  He was calm when I squirted the apple flavored worm medicine on his tongue, and didn't try to spit it out.  I read that a wormy donkey will look pot bellied.  Maybe I should give him a second dose!

There are some advantages to sharing the pasture like he's doing with the goats.  Apparently, goat parasites are not the same as donkey parasites.  And the parasites are deposited on the grass in the manure.  If they both eat the grass, they will eat each others parasites and reduce each others exposure.  Gross.  Also, keeping Rufus put up during the day means that it's super easy to collect his manure for the garden, since he leaves it in the stall instead of out in the field.  I was bragging to a work friend about how great it is to get an entire scoop of manure everyday for my garden compost, and he said "You are so weird."  He has no idea!

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