Donkeys on the Loose & Chickens in the Road

Yesterday, I’m at work, an hour away from the farm, and I get call that goes a little something like this:

Kit, this is your neighbor. There’s a donkey outside of the fence and chickens in the road. What do we do here?



I really feel like alcohol is the answer to this.

Saying that I had things “under control” might be an overstatement, but up until a week ago, I at least had things contained. Then one of the donkeys figured out how to get out of the fence, which he has done every morning and evening for the past week, without fail.

We just need to survive one more day of this, because I finally bit the bullet and hired a company to install the pasture fence on Wednesday.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to remedy the “chicken situation” by finishing their new coop.


Yes, that is a working door, and can we just stop and marvel for a moment at the accomplishment that is a one-woman-show getting a door installed on her own? I know, I know, it’s immodest to publicly give yourself a pat on the back, but holy shit, getting those nine screws in to place in such a way that allows free movement of the hinges while every law of gravity, physics, and measurement works against you? That’s an accomplishment that deserves to be recognized. Even if it’s only by the peanut gallery…


Pretty sure that’s a donkey smirk.

So the good news for the weekend was that, yes, the new coop has a working door. And the nesting box/workbench is finished.


The only thing holding me up is the ceiling. So I got about this far with the joists for the roof before running out of materials. Again.

UntitledSo. Close.

I can probably finish this project off with another solid day of work, but with the little delinquents masquerading as farm animals  around here I may have to hook up my utility lights and get it done in the next evening or two. It’s been a long time since I pulled a sawdust-filled all-nighter, but this just might be the week it happens.

After all, the donkeys are loose, and there are chickens in the road…


14 Responses

  1. Bless your heart. If your donkeys and chickens are anything like mine, and sounds like they are, you need to create my version of a farmers first aide kit. Since they never alert you of their devious plan so you can be prepared by finding all the tools in all the buildings ahead of time I have…The fencing bucket. The recipe is easy. Solid pair of fencing pliers, slip joint pliers, left over 9 gauge wire, a hand full of staples and a hammer. Its the oh crap they’re out, one step, grab and go, genius idea of somebodys grand daddy passed to me from another farmer with honery livestock. Add an extra inexpensive cattle panel laying around and you can temperarily pull and mend fence or tie up a panel till you can repair the gap. Around my house its not if they get out its when. Oh and if you can cram a helpful on call neighbor in that bucket well now that’s winning the lottery! Good luck!

  2. Clydesdale and little buddy pushed open a fence and got out once; and wandered almost a mile away. Thank goodness a neighbor down there had seen them at my place and knew who they belonged to. Oh and it was 6 am and she was pounding on my door, nothing like a wake up call like that. Had to walk down with my Dad’s help there to get them. The little one had his mouth covered in cholla cactus that we had to remove. Which he was not happy about and that was a struggle! What a circus. Now I have double method of fencing everywhere, i.e. electric and physical fence or two physical fences. At least the goat is smart enough to stay in the yard. He knows where his food is.

  3. My 300 white doves and I have been thoroughly entertained by your proses and position! Laughingly whole heartily at what life throws our way. I commend your efforts and sure wished you lived near by to share a cup or pint of libations over the daily woes and cares of our charges. Just to make you smile a bit . . . here is our little view of the loft. You sure made our day! Best to you, your donkeys & the chickens. Jadia Ward

  4. I remember when I was growing up, our horse decided to stick her head through the cattle gate to get to that delicious grass on the other side. When she turned her head upright and stood up all the way, she lifted the damn gate right off the hinges! My dad got a call from the neighbor about Treasure wandering the foothills with a huge gate hanging off her neck. It was great – that was the first time I learned how to put in stitches, since she also managed to slice up her cheek.

    So, I feel that pain.

    1. Treasure just enjoyed her freedom, with a gate along for the ride. 🙂 Love it.

  5. An October 9 entry reads:
    “We have a report of three to four horses loose in the South Three Mile Rd area just north of Garfield Rd. We have a Deputy/Cowboy en route to speak with the animals however, it may be difficult because:
    A horse is a horse, of course of course,
    and no one can talk to a horse of course,
    that is of course, unless the horse,
    Is the famous Mister Ed!
    Please use caution while traveling through this area.”

  6. I know I am a little late to comment on this post, but I just saw a new product available from the UK that seems to perfectly fit the situation you described in this blog post. Safety vests for chickens. Just sayin’….

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