Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Party Animals

Thank you so very much for your concern and suggestions regarding
dear Chloe and Daphne's fence chewing.

I must allay your fears...they are definitely not cribbing.

Chewing is sometimes confused with cribbing, however they are two different things.
When a horse cribs, they lock their teeth onto a fence or stall wall and draw air
into the back of their pharynx.
Rarely do they eat the wood, but rather use it as a means to hold fast 
while they arch their necks and suck air.
They have found through fluoroscopic studies,
 that the equine does not actually fill their belly with air, as was once thought...
but rather just fills the back of their pharynx and then exhales it again.
Apparently this causes an endorphin release.
So, in essence, it is a bad habit that is actually a way that horses self-soothe...
and one that is very hard to there is so much positive reinforcement from the endorphins.

What these girls are doing...
is just plain old eating my fence.

Donkeys eat wood to get more fiber into their diets.
It's important to remember that donkeys come from arid parts of the world with poor vegetation...
so, tough, woody growth is natural to them.

So, while I don't appreciate having to replace fence boards on a somewhat regular basis...
I am at least relieved to know that they are not doing something far worse.

Boredom should not be a problem for these two party animals.
They are good company for each other and have plenty to keep them amused.
They also get to spend a good deal of time out in the pasture
(albeit with their grazing muzzles on... no worries....they have become quite adept at eating
with their muzzles on!)

The slow-feeders have been a Godsend.
Yesterday I had to move them into the donkeys' shelter.

By late afternoon, the sky turned tumultuous and the winds picked up.
A cold front had moved in... bringing icy winds with it...
not a favorite amongst the donkeys.

And so, they are safely tucked in their house...
with their heat lamp...

and room service!
(a meal that will take them hours to consume...thanks to the slow feeders!)

While the cold winds blow outside,
Chester continues his training inside.
He is a quick study.
Here he is demonstrating how well he can sit and stay....
patiently waiting for his treat.

Chester the wonder dog... with the biggest ears ever!
Hubbs says he looks like what a fifth grader would draw, if if asked to draw a dog.
Oh Chester.... we love you!

PS....we sent off his DNA test kit.
Soon we will see what type of traveling salesman was his father.
His mother was apparently a cattle dog.


Louise Stopford said...

Bless those girls - so glad that Chloe is back to her usual healthy self. They did look so cosy in their lovely heated stable - lucky girls!! Chester is adorable. He seems to have made a wonderful addition to your farm family already.

daisy gurl said...

You are so knowledgeable about animals. Would adding a fiber supplement to their diet help them?

That Chester certainly is a wonder. Why, he could be any mix of things! Can't wait to hear about his heritage.

Stay toasty!

laurie said...

awww, self soothing,, I never knew this,, the donkeys look so festive in their hats,, I hope they stop eating your fence and find their fiber somewhere else,, and Jack is a very handsome fella!

laurie said...

oops, I mean Chester not Jack lol,, oh my gosh,,,

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Traveling salesman father, eh? Hahahahahaha!

Steph Schmidt said...

Oh, you are funny! Traveling salesman? I just about spit my coffee on my computer! hehehe

Missy George said...

Nice to see Daphne and Chloe all gussied up for Christmas..Where they good girls?? Is Santa going to bring them goodies?? Happy that Chester is working out so well..

littlemancat said...

We all learn so much from you about animals and farm life. Love the girls' festive attire!
And Chester - what a a good boy he is!

Kendalle said...

However did you get Chester to spit into that little vial? LOL.

Anonymous said...

I must tell you, that after becoming a recent follower of your blog, you just make me happy with all those adorable animals and I so enjoy the love and care these animals are given. I always end up with a smile on my face and share so many of your posts with my husband - thank you for making my day better. Mary Ellen

Heidi said...

Your blog is a welcome escape from my boring cubicle job! I have a 31 year old quarter horse who cribs. it drives me crazy. He's worn his front teeth down to nubs(amazingly he has all of his other teeth)but I've learned over the years there's nothing i can do about it so i just leave it be. Hes the happiest sweetest boy and everyday with him is a gift. I've been so lucky to have him.


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