There’s nothing like a week off of the day job to make a girl think life is pretty effing easy, and then a week (or two) back at work to remind her that… no. It’s definitely not. Farm life is many things: awesome, rewarding, challenging, frustrating, dirty, beautiful. But it’s never easy. Wouldn’t trade it for the world–and definitely not for any version of an “easy” life– but holy shit.
Sometimes it takes me a minute (or several days) just to catch my breath.
So, here’s what’s going on…
First of all, the guinea hen. Last time you saw her, she looked like this:
And since then there have been no babies. So I finally decided to clear the nest and she acted every bit as pissed of as you might imagine with a face like that. Yikes.
But within 12 hours she was back to her normal self, and she may actually be the sweetest and most timid bird in my entire flock (when she’s not on a nest.) However, if you’ve ever heard the amount of noise just two guinea hens can make, I’m not exactly sad there aren’t 22 guinea babies running around the farm. As it is my two guineas have basically reduced the tick population around here to nothing (at least as far as the donkeys are concerned) so I’m happy with the two of them for now, and I’ll deal with any future nests… in the future. This one probably worked out for the best all around.
Also, in other good news, the farrier was back a couple of weeks ago (wheneverthehell I was off work, which feels like 6 months ago at this point, but was actually two weeks ago? three? soemthing like that), the important thing is when he trimmed Doc’s hooves he found no sign of bruising or founder…
That’s a major relief. I have no idea if the restricted eating and minerals played a part in that (or, you know, my mom’s essential-oil massages) but I’m happy that they seem to be doing great.
And by “great” I mean, both the sweetest and most ornery dudes I’ve ever known in my life (and if you guys knew some of the guys I’ve dated… that’s saying something.)
That’s Park, who, if I had the shoulder strength, would just sit there resting his head on my arm forever…
What a sweetheart.
But I also learned that no matter how curious and friendly they seem to a fun little farm visitor when there’s a fence between them…
These donkeys do not fuck around. Petey (the dog) belongs to one of my good friends. The donkeys seemed pretty cool with the dog, so I took him on a short leash inside the pasture… inside of 15 seconds, sweet Parker went on high alert, came running around out of nowhere, PUNCHED PETEY IN THE FACE, and then kept running. Seriously. Front hoof right to the head.
Petey was fine… little dude is unflappable, and after he and I quickly exited the pasture he ran right back up to the fence to try to make friends with the donkeys again. I was both mortified and flabbergasted. Can you even picture a donkey running up out of nowhere and whacking a dog on the head with its front hoof? Holy shit. My donkeys are like ninjas. No wonder the coyotes never mess with my chickens.
Which is actually awesome, but no dogs are ever going in the pasture again.
And speaking of other inhabitants of the farm that don’t fuck around…
Look at my girls, heads in the comb, hard at work.
You can see here there are worker bees drawing out comb at the bottom, filling it in the middle, and capping it at the top…
By all accounts they’re doing just fine as well.
And if that wasn’t enough of birds and bees and asses… there’s also this…
It’s not a day ending in “y” around here, if I haven’t rescued some kind of baby bird from somewhere on this property. These little barn swallows were on the floor of the barn one day (and my Nugs are notorious for eating anything on the floor of the barn, including baby birds. Chickens are awesome… and sometimes a little scary.) So, anyway, I put them back in the nest, found them on the floor again 12 hours later, and then brought them in for the night and held them under a heat light for a couple of hours because they were freezing and sometimes in life you just need someone to be the hand that holds you under a warm light for a while, right?
As soon as they felt the heat from the light and they bowed their heads and spread their wings to bask in it… The little nugs went back in their nest in the morning and–for better or for worse–I haven’t seen them since. I’m glad in the scheme of things (even if they didn’t make it) that I could provide one warm night for them.
Like I said, farm life is many things…
It’s so good, so beautiful, and so rewarding… but it’s never easy.
Ah that’s better, Nice post
I thought the worker bees were guys?
Oh, I’m wrong.
Bless you for saving the baby birds – like you said, make it or not, you gave them a good night. 🙂
Glad Petey is ok and forgiving! Laughing way too much over the Ninja donkey!
I saw a colt tackle my little sister once. Funny and scary at the same time. Funnier now than it was then. (She was fine.) Glad things are moving along on the farm. (So could be a roadie for that band:)
Donkeys generally hate canines. I have a little donkey. He is not miniature, but maybe just looks tiny because he is always standing next to two clydesdales. I brought him to the farm to help keep coyotes away from my chickens. He had, once in his past, killed a coyote. It took him a long while to get to know and trust our dog. And she’s as gentle as a lamb. So yea, donkeys and canines… ya gotta be careful mixing them.
I have no idea how you have a full time day job and take care of the farm. Must be that you are young and have high energy. Love your posts and your mom (essential oil hoof massages).
I am enjoying your blog! We also live on a farm, and the projects around here are never done.
We have a small donkey named Ellie Mae. She is here as a “watch dog” for our cattle, chickens and one sheep. We have coyotes in area, but have never knowingly lost a calf to them. We have also witnessed her running two large farm dogs out of the pasture with her ears laid back and jaws chomping!