Sunday, August 28, 2011

Skunks and donkey milk

They don't go together but they both played a part in my week - one good, one bad.

James returned from a run and told me there was a skunk headed in the direction of one of our chicken coops.  In less than a minute we heard squawking and we knew he was in their pen.  James ran to the coop and I think he said something to the effect that he wished he had a gun.  I may be wrong about that.  He watched as the chickens frightened the puny, yellowish skunk away.  He wasn't so yellow-bellied though because just a few hours later he returned to our goat and other chicken's fence.  The donkeys and goats were all turned his way watching him stroll through the pasture.  I ran to the hose, at my friend Susan's suggestion, and sprayed him in the face.  He put up with it for awhile, which was strange, but then headed toward the road.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  A few years back my friend Colleen's goats were attacked by a rabid skunk and some had to be put down.  Colleen and her husband had to go through a series of shots too.

I called animal control and spoke to the game warden.  He wasn't very helpful.  All I wanted to know is how to tell if an animal is rabid and how I should trap it.  I learned very little I didn't already know.  I hope the skunk doesn't return but I'm not holding my breath.  I wonder if it's the same skunk that sprayed Rosie a week or two ago.  I don't know if it's the power of suggestion but I think I smell a skunk now. 

On a much happier note, today I made a huge step with my donkey, Chy.  For a year now, since I got her, we've been working on trust.  Today she let me know she trusts me.  How do I know that?   She let me milk her.  Yeah, I'm just a little excited.  Okay, a lot excited.  I guess it was a year ago I blogged about donkey milk and the health benefits of it.  I had almost given up on being able to milk her until recently.  Halter training her and walking her on a lead has been a big help in earning her trust.  Since I had no experience with equines it probably took me longer than a horse person to begin real training.  I was a little afraid of her. If you saw my blog with her and the farrier for the first time you may understand my fear.  Here's a reminder.  I still laugh when I watch those videos and I appreciate my farrier even more.  Wilson is still nursing but I have no idea how much milk Chy has left.  Still, I want to milk her some more before she dries up.  I may have to breed her again so I can continue to milk her.  After seeing the videos with Wilson being so tiny, that doesn't seem like a bad idea.  I could train a whole team to plow our gardens eventually. 

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