The other major thing that happened toward the end of the school year/beginning of summer break is that we welcomed our miniature donkey, Luna, into our farm family. This means that our farm family is complete. No more animals! (Well, except for the constant rotation of various poultry, but that doesn't count.)
A miniature donkey has been on my wish list for a while, just because. Ostensibly, Luna is a companion for the goats. In reality, she is a pet.
Omg I freaking love her.
We weren't supposed to end up with Luna. Bobby put in a deposit on a miniature donkey foal this spring, and we were supposed to pick her up in August. Midway through June, the owner contacted us: Their young daughter was attached to the foal and they had decided, as a result, not to sell her. They were apologetic and even offered us money in excess of the return of our deposit. (To which we said no; we are not the types of people to get pissy because a kid becomes attached to an animal. I was happy to let her go to a loving home. I hope they are lifelong friends.) But this did leave us without our hoped-for mini donkey. Bobby went back to Craig's List, and lo and behold, Luna had just been posted. She came from a miniature horse farm where they were downsizing by rehoming their donkeys. (They'd hoped to breed them, but their jack wasn't interested.)
This meant that we ended up with Luna more than a month before we'd planned. I posted to Twitter at the time, so I'm going to let that thread speak for itself.
a unique experience, driving a cargo van with a miniature donkey in it. Lots more Luna pictures are below the jump, if you're interested.( More Luna PicturesCollapse )
She is a very chill, low-key animal. She basically does three things: She eats, she sleeps (including taking afternoon naps, which is super cute), and she stands. She is now pastured with the goats; she's very sociable and was visibly lonely when she was by herself, even though the goats push her boundaries from time to time and she has to snap at them. (That's goats for you.)
We did have one exciting incident when we'd had Luna about two weeks. We were often grazing her in the backyard because the electric fencing wasn't set up yet, and Bobby was leading her from the barn to the yard when my young neighbor and her friend happened by on bikes. They were very excited to see Luna--and Luna was very terrified of the bikes! She broke free of Bobby and galloped full-send down the road to the cornfield at the end of the road. (I-91 is past the cornfield, so this was pretty scary for us too!) She galloped up and down the corn for a few minutes before slowing, stopping, and letting me approach, but the poor love was terrified
when I led her back. It took her several days to settle down after that.
She's very affectionate, though a little shy. Bobby calls her spookyhorse because she is easily frightened of things. She likes to be approached on her terms, not ours. Bobby and I will sit in her paddock, and within a minute, she is pushed up right next to us with her head over our shoulder for scratches. She loves "donkey hugs" when I drape my arm around her neck and stand leaning on her.
She can be loud and lets us know when we are not meeting her expectations. One of her biggest expectations concerns what we have termed "scarytime." Scarytime is when the sun descends behind the trees. Now Luna has access to her stall at all times, so she could
put herself in at scarytime, but the scary things that come with scarytime are only
fully banished if Bobby or I walk with her into the barn.
(Actually, she gets oats at that time, and I think the oats more so than Bobby and me dispel scarytime.)
So if scarytime happens, and we don't come down, she brays to let us know, "Hey! It's fucking scary down here!" She's going to be in for a rude awakening come winter when scarytime happens at 4 o'clock and neither of us are generally even home yet!
The rest of the homestead is doing pretty well. The goats are almost full-grown; we'll know soon if they'll reach breeding weight and if we'll have kids next year. We have entirely too much poultry right now (and ducks still on the way, jeezum ...). I don't even know how many chickens we have. Twenty-two chicks, I think, still under a heat lamp in the shed, plus about eight layers and the two roosters, and four turkeys, out in the coop. But 'tis the season. This is our meat for next year. We are still eating last year's poultry, and this year we are raising more chickens (but growing the turkeys smaller because 45lb/20kg per bird was too much last year).
We had a groundhog family move in destroy a good bit of our garden. Mama had moved out, leaving the two younglings behind. Bobby trapped and relocated one, but after researching more and learning that one has to practically drive across the state to keep them from coming back, when he caught the second one ... well, let's just say that one is nibbling lettuces in God's garden now.
The bees are doing great, but we won't get honey this year.
But the moral of this story is that Luna is awesome and, even if the least productive, the best
addition to our farm family ever.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!https://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/441770.html