Providing food, water, and shelter for our animals is just the basics of care.
I believe that offering our animals mental stimulation is just as important.
And although animals do like their routines,
I think is is also good to mix things up a bit...
just to keep everyone on their toes.
I thought it might be fun to let the donkeys graze while the pigs and sheep
were also out in the pasture.
I went to the pig house to call the pigs. I called them.
But what I heard was the sound of frustration.
Note in the following picture that there is a sheep leg in the doorway.
Apparently the sheep were visiting the pigs in their house and blocking the door.
Eventually they all got things sorted out and came running as I opened the gate to the pasture.
Everyone found their grazing spot and settled in to eat.
I then walked through the pasture up to the donkey pen and called the girls to come out.
One by one, they ventured through the gate...
cautiously observed their pasture mates...
and set about to nibble grass.
Curiosity got the best of them in no time and they sauntered down to get a better look...
I worried that they might try to stomp on the pigs, so I stayed very close
and reassured the donkeys that the pigs were friends.
A few sniffs and the donkeys took off chasing Annie.
I'm not sure if it was the cooler weather, or the excitement of having strange creatures in their pasture,
but the donkeys became suddenly very playful.
Still wary of potential interactions, I stayed close by.
The play continued.
Sensing that the donkeys were not ready to settle down,
I thought it best to retire them to the dry lot for the time being.
One meeting seemed enough for one day... and since we had no incidents,
I thought it best to not tempt fate!
Not too bad for the first time...
we'll keep trying until everyone is comfortable.
As for the horses....