How 'Bout Dem Bears!

Week one of Fat Camp has begun.
And I've got to say, the girls are not too happy about it!

We have hauled out all of the tools in our tool chest to make a concerted effort
to get these girls a little more slender.

Grazing muzzles are on when they go out to pasture.
They end up just wandering around the pasture most of the time...
trying to make me feel guilty.

Meals (hay) are being served in this "slow-feeding" mesh bag.

The girls really have to work at getting the hay out of the mesh holes.
This slows down their eating (which in the long run is better for digestion)...
breakfast last all morning and part of the early afternoon.

To make matters even worse for the girls,
I am soaking their hay overnight in this tub.

Soaking the hay helps to remove the soluble carbohydrates (sugars)
from the hay.... turning it into "diet" hay.

I am hoping that this regimen will result in a slow and steady weight loss over the coming months.

I am happy to report that we have been working on leading daily.
Daphne now walks beautifully on lead.
Chloe... is starting to get the hang of it.... one foot in front of the other.
Slow, steady, gentle forward pressure on the halter and lead rope...
rewarding each positive motion with a treat is working.
We have no deadlines, and I have all the time and patience in the world.

A touch of winter has returned to the farm.
Just when the trees started to bud from the warm spell we had,
the temperatures have dropped back down to seasonal norms.

We continued our garden clean up. 
Our new garden boxes (a few pictured below) will be moved into the garden
in the coming weeks.

I spent a little time at the sewing machine this weekend...
and a bevy of chicken pincushions came to life.

And an owl.

I also started and finished this sweater for Mackenzie.
Bulky (soft baby alpaca) yarn made this a quick project.
I can't wait to try it on her!

And while we are on the subject of bears....
I came within 3 feet of a big black bear on our front porch Friday night.
Luckily, I was inside the window looking out at him.
We heard some rustling on the front deck and Hubbs turned the light on.
I ran to the window to see him trying to pull the tarp off of our firewood rack.
We estimate he was about 300 pounds.
He visited the front porch three times Friday night.

And sadly, I didn't have the presence of mind to grab my camera.
He'll be back, I am sure... so we've positioned a game camera to catch him.

It's early for the bears to be active.
I assume this is a consequence of the warm weather we've had these past few weeks.
One thing is for sure.... those bears are hungry!


colleen said…
Tell Chloe and Daphne I'm rooting for all areas! You are going to have one sharp looking garden with those boxes. By now you know how I enjoy seeing your handiwork...the chickens are just adorable...are you going to sell them? 😉
daisy g said…
Oh, I feel for those girls. It must be frustrating to be restricted, but what must be done, must be done.
Those chick cushions are so cute! What an adorable sweater! I think the Lil' Pink Fairy will love it!

Yowzers! Scary about the bear being right on the porch. Maybe you need a gate at the bottom of your steps! Stay safe!
Bee Haven Bev said…
The porch is actually gated, but we have left them open fearing that he might try to climb over and break the railings.
Anonymous said…
LOVE! the chickens. I'm into chickens... for display- I've had the 'real' things. Do you have a pattern to share?
Oh no! Not FAT CAMP! My sympathies to the girls.
WendyFromNY said…
Your garden boxes are beautiful! What an incentive to grow your own. Looking forward to seeing your bear pictures, kinda scary having one quite that close to the house though...
jaz@octoberfarm said…
oh no....diets. i bet they aren't happy! didn't the dogs notice the bear?
Karen said…
Glad you started this sooner than later. Green grass is too full of sugar for mini donkeys that aren't getting any exercise. Muzzles are great, we use to use them as well. But along with diet they need exercise. Put up some obstacles and have them do those. Donkeys love mind stimulation and love a challenge. Good Luck!
This N That said…
Poor Daphne and Chloe..I feel their pain..Just when the grass is getting yummy..Good luck girls :)
Adorable sweater and pin cushions...Too bad your garden boxes aren't that high..Sure would take a lot of dirt but would be very easy on your back..Watch out for those Bears !!