Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How I love these burros...let me count the ways

First let me report that our wonderful vet, Kevin Dralle, checked out the emailed photos of George's gelding incision and all's probably well. The 'redundant cord' hanging out was not uncommon, and in fact disappeared by Monday morning. And George's body appears to be fighting the infection on its own. Today, there's no swelling at all and the incision is healing nicely.

I have learned that burros lay down to sleep way more than horses. After every meal, I can pretty much count on finding two donkeys curled up next to each other, in the sun, in the middle of their corral. They're tidy little creatures, and usually poop in the same place all the time. They pee in the area that's closest to the horses, which sometimes triggers a pissing contest...literally.

George's training is proceeding at lightning speed. Today, he learned the follow-me game and allowed me to pick up his front feet. I've been trying to comb off the caked-on blood and gunk from his hind inside legs; he's not thrilled about it but allows me to remove a little each time I'm with him. Alan, meanwhile, will now touch his nose to my hand.

It's clear to see that George gets jealous when I'm hanging out with Hank or Lyle and seems resentful when my attention and affection is given to anyone other than him. This might sound anthropomorphic but, from what I'm reading about burros, comes as no surprise to me. They develop strong attachments to people - I'm just surprised he's become so attached this quickly. He just loves to be hugged and groomed.

I do not want to overfeed them so have started weighing their hay rations. I'm guessing their combined weight is 800 pounds, so I'm feeding them a total of 16 lbs of grass hay per day (2% of their body weight), spread over four meals. The Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue website contains a treasure-trove of donkey husbandry information - they can count on me to become a supporter.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I've never entered the archives before! I'm loving reading about George and Alan's early life at the ranch.