Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Feeding the Herd

First stop is to give the chickies their goodie plate. Grain that has to be mixed into the grain bins. We have to do this twice a week.

Bales of hay on. Grain buckets filled and ready. Donkeys beginning to line up.

Donkeys and goats waiting to be fed.

Donkeys enjoying their little bit of grain they get. Main reason why they get a bit of grain is to keep them away from the gate so we can drive through to begin feeding.

Horses and donkeys that go into stalls all fed, grained and happy.

Some of the donkeys starting dinner.

I thought you might like to know what it is like to feed the 'Herd'. We feed at seven in the evening during summer hours. It takes almost half of an hour for each feeding. We have to load up two bales of hay, one full mixed grain bucket, one container with special grain for one of the horses, one container with special grain and medication for another horse, then we park the Gator by the pasture gate.

Then, we put up three horses, three donkeys and one mini mule into their stalls. Check all waters. Walk back to the pasture gate all the while weaving in and out of five other donkeys and goats who don't have to go into stalls.

To get the donkeys and goats away from the gate, I pour small amounts of grain along the fence line to keep them busy so we can drive the Gator into the pasture.

Once inside we drive a bit, throw four flakes of hay out, drive to the other side of the front pasture and throw out four more flakes of hay. By this time the goats have caught up and are all over the Gator looking for grain. And usually a donkey or two has made it to where we are to make sure they aren't missing out on anything.

Then we drive into the breezeway and start feeding everyone in the stalls. All the while walking around goats and sometimes a donkey. We feed one goat on one of the seats of the Gator just to keep her occupied, otherwise we are always bumping into her.

Once everyone is fed and settled in, we drive back to the barn, load up two more bales of hay and get the grain buckets ready for morning feeding.

I feed by myself in the morning and I have it down to a science! I must admit there have been a few times that the goats or a donkey has managed to get past the gate and into the yard before I could shut the gate. Thank goodness they love food so much they come back into the pasture as soon as I rattle the grain bucket.

We feed twice a day at the same time. Same routine. As soon as everyone is eating, they all get a once over to make sure everyone is happy, healthy, no scrapes, cuts, etc...

Until next time.......................

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