Sunday, January 31, 2010

Donkeys, Mules and Chicks

Our poor little donkey Brownie. We went out to the farm on Thursday for a visit and sweet Brownie was in a mess! Her lip was torn off from the side to halfway across and was hanging down about 6" in the front. Ouch! That had to hurt. We thought she might have gotten her lip stuck on the barbed wire or some other sharp thing and tugged to free it.

Obviously we needed to do something. Having just gone through the very expensive and stressful ordeal with our cat, a dangling lip was not something we wanted to see but there it was. Google did not provide a large animal vet name for us so we called Tractor Supply and they recommended Dr. Melinda Gray. We called and she answered! She agreed to come out the next day.

Brownie wasn't sure what to make of this and the mule wasn't liking it one bit. And Dr. Gray didn't like the mule. As she put it to me, "He's young, stupid and has no manners." The donkeys and the mule have not been handled by people and they aren't sure they want to be... ever. Since the mule weighs close to 1000 pounds, we were voting for someone else to be the first to handle the mule!

Dr. Gray finally isolated Brownie and went to work fixing her up. She had to take the lip off which resulted in a bloody mess although Brownie didn't seem to find since she was a little loopy on a sedative and pain medicine. They both handled it like a trooper.

My husband spent the whole time feeding the goats. He said he couldn't stand to see her in pain. My 5-year old daughter was totally fascinated and watched the whole thing. Dr. Gray asked her if she was going to be okay with watching, and Annaliese assured her she would be just fine. And she was. Brownie also had a tetanus shot and some antibiotics.

Next up was Cookie since he was limping badly. He did not care for being isolated one single bit. That donkey can kick up a storm! Good thing we have all this fencing. And now we even know what some of it is for!

Cookie just had a sprained ankle, so he got his tetanus shot and an anti-inflammatory shot. Dr. Gray said Nature will take its course on both of them from here. I guess that's the way it is on a farm!

Both donkeys had a yummy treat of sweet feed and even though Brownie was bleeding all over the bucket, she had no problem eating. Dr. Gray sweetly suggested that maybe we should castrate Cookie if we plan on keeping the donkeys. We will be taking care of that in March ( I don't think any of us will be watching that. Yuck!). The mule is also not castrated and Dr. Gray said she would guess that Cookie and the mule were fighting over poor Brownie, with one of them ripping off her lip and Cookie getting injured. "Vicious" was the word she used for fights like that. The mule started raising quite a raucous and proceeded to try to lean over the fence to bite either the Doctor or the donkey. I don't think he cared which one.

So now we have a large animal vet and that is a relief. We came home and listed that mule on Craigslist and a nice young man came and got him the next morning, leaving with promises that he will be riding him before long. All I can say to that is Better You Than Me. So no more mule and two donkeys doing a happy dance. Those three were forever fighting, kicking and in general bad behavior.

Dr. Gray confirmed that several of the goats are expecting and maybe the donkey too. One interesting fact is that the gestational period of donkeys is 13 months and they can get pregnant again just 3 short days after giving birth. Cookie is definitely going to have his little procedure, so if Brownie is pregnant, this will be her last one. And I guess we need to decide what we're doing with the goats. Dr. Gray thinks there are 5 girls and 2 boys which could result in gobs and gobs of goats if we're not careful!!

The day was cold, ice was on the way but we left the farm comforted that Brownie was stitched, Cookie would survive and the Mule would be gone soon.

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