For weeks and weeks, nothing much happened and I didn’t really have any interesting stuff to write about. Now suddenly, everything happens at once and I don’t know where to start!!
So let’s begin with an update on Tiltan the donkey! Well, she’s still here and doing fine! No one has come looking for her yet. We are getting to know her a little better and what we found out is: she is playful, inquisitive and personable! She is a delight. I absolutely love her! Look at this:
She follows us around like a dog, watching everything we do, and calls out to us when we leave. She canters around like a frisky pony and plays with stuff. She already knows how to push the door open, so we have to take care to always latch it. I have read that donkeys are playful and intelligent, but I did not expect this! I’m amazed!
We have also had the pleasure of getting to know her “mulish” side – at least I have. I took her for a walk with a homemade rope halter (ordered supplies have not arrived yet) and she behaved like a little angel – until I tried to turn her back into the direction of home. All of a sudden, she went into a “donkey strike”! It went kind of like this:
Me: “Come on, let’s go home.”
Tiltan: “No thanks, I don’t think so.”
Me: “But I need to feed the other animals.”
Tiltan: “That’s ok, you go on. I will go that way to sample some of that grass over there.”
Me: “Come on now, you’ve eaten enough weeds, don’t you think?”
Tiltan: “No, I really prefer to continue eating all that nice green stuff.”
Me: “Tiltan! Please!”
Tiltan: “Nope. Not moving.”
I tried to make loops to confuse her, but she knew exactly what I was up to. I tried to pick weeds to bribe her with, but she wasn’t falling for it – there was much more nice green stuff outside! I begged and pleaded. I even tried riding her. She didn’t mind, but she didn’t move either. The rope halter was in tatters. In despair, I thought she was never going to move again – until suddenly, she did. She started walking calmly and went through the gate in a dignified way. As if to say: “I’ll go back in when I’m good and ready.” I was stunned, and when I had caught my breath, I couldn’t stop laughing!
This was a joke picture taken the day we found her, but it was kind of like this! LOL!
Every free minute, I’ve been doing research on donkey care. There us surprisingly little information on the internet about donkeys – it’s all about horses and ponies. But I managed to learn a lot. Donkeys are desert animals, so they need a more frugal diet than horses. Lots of roughage and straw, no pelleted food. Excellent! Suits us perfectly. They are not herd animals, like horses, so their behaviour and training is completely different. Donkeys are cautious, thoughtful and independent. They think before they act. They are highly intelligent. One site described them as “cerebral”. Donkeys don’t panic and bolt, like horses do, but stand and fight. That’s why they are great guard animals.
It seems to me that donkeys are one of the most misunderstood animals in the world. Incredible!
I also learned that male donkeys are called “jacks” and females “jennies”. I keep calling her “Jenny” now, so we will see which name sticks! Our girl is definitely lively and feisty. Although she hasn’t raised a hoof or tooth against us, I have seen she likes to charge at the other animals at times. She doesn’t touch them, she just thinks it’s entertaining to scatter them. Exactly like a young dog! The chickens don’t really care much, they just move out of the way. But the ducks have taken it badly.
All our muscovy females have moved out. I mean literally, from one day to the other, they have all taken up residence outside in the field. The males are too heavy to fly and they stay behind, looking confused. This is a first. From time to time, a muscovy duck flies over the fence and takes a walk outside, but iא never happened that they all decided to move out en masse. I’m very worried about them, but there isn’t really anything I can do. Fortunately, today two of them have returned. I hope the rest follows soon.
Besides the worry about the ducks, Tiltan has me worried about something else. Won’t she be bored here, with nothing much to do and no equine friends..? So, I have decided we need a mini-pony. It’s a sacrifice, but we’ll do it for her! LOL! If I can get one, I might just do it!
Also, Tiltan needs training. I think she is still very young, but she has a few bad habits, like turning away when you try to put a halter on her. She doesn’t seem to understand being groomed or having her feet picked up. I think donkey training is different from horse training, you probably need a LOT of patience! Good job that I have loads of it! 😀
Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! 💚