Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Welcome to Willow and Springfield

I promised to blog about the new donkeys, and here they are.

We were utterly delighted to adopt Willow, and her son Springfield, on Monday evening. Springfield is gelded. They have been on a foster farm since they were seized from a neglect situation, and have been gaining weight and improving their condition. After some months of recovery, they were ready for adoption, and here they will have their forever home.

When I lived in Canada, I used to volunteer at the Canadian Donkey Sanctuary. I cleaned stables and socialized with the donkeys and always enjoyed my interactions with them. I have also visited the enormous donkey sanctuary in Devon, England, which is a delightful sanctuary to visit, even though it is sad to think that so many donkeys need a loving home. I think donkeys tend to be left out in fields with other livestock and are often ignored. They need loving care just like other animals, and have distinct, individual personalities.

So far, Willow and Springfield have settled in well with our llamas and Nubian goats. They seem to spend much of their time near the llamas. Perhaps because they all have long ears?!
Willow has a habit of braying, very loudly, in the morning when she first sees us come outside. Well, I say its a habit - it's only been 2 days, but she did it both days!

They are Sicilian donkeys, which means they are small in stature. Some people call them miniature donkeys. Here's a picture of Kelly with Springfield, so you can get a sense of their size.
When we were picking up our donkey pair, the Animal Rescue League also had, to our delight, a pigeon! We decided that he also needed a good home with us, so we adopted him at the same time. I named him Tarquin. He is very sweet natured and tolerates handling very well. He even sits on my shoulder! He was picked up in downtown Des Moines because he was approaching humans and seemed very tame. The possibility of animal cruelty was a concern, since he was so comfortable with people. Therefore, he was taken to the shelter to await our arrival and of course, we could not pass him up!
So, we welcome Tarquin, Willow, and Springfield, with open arms and open hearts. May they have long and happy lives here on our farm.


Gone2theDawgs said...

Congratulations on your new additions! What a lucky break for all of them!

I have a definite soft spot for donkeys and I still would like to get a pal for my girl, Jasmine.

I would love to visit the donkey sanctuary in Devon! I need to put that on my bucket list!

Unknown said...

Willow and Springfield are definitely cute but I refuse to let my friend w/benefits(aka ex-hubby) because he wants to get a miniature donkey and keep it at "our" house. I think it is wonderful that you adopted them. Stories like this makes my heart warm:) The pink coveralls came from Tractor Supply. I got mine in an XL for kids cuz I am so tall at 4'10. But I am positive I saw them on line in adult sizes, unless of course you are 4'10 too.LOL. We could be Umpas together!! The sheep and goats love them & my ex thinks I am loosing it! Have a great New Year's Claire!!

diane said...

New donkeys and a pigeon!! I love it!
Congrats-they are so sweet!
Happy New Year to you and I'm sorry you missed our fireworks ;)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Y'all have XXL hearts, I love rescuer's.

Unknown said...

Claire, I'd love to see your farm when I finally get out to Diane's new home this year! Llamas and goats and donkeys, oh my! And I really like it that you also took in the pigeon. Nancy in Atlanta

Egghead said...

Willow and Springfield are adorable. I have never seen such small donkeys. Thanks for visiting my blog and I look forward to catching up on reading yours. You guys have an amazing array of the pigeon. Happy New Year!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

OOoh! I'd love some donkey friends to come live with us goaties...unless they wanted to eat our food...then I might not like them very much.

I like that bird too. Our lady has birds inside her house. Why can't I live in the house?

P.S. I like that spotted goat. Best wishes from Isobelle!

Claire MW said...

Wrensong - the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon is delightful - you really must go!

Kristi - Boo hoo pink coveralls for me. I am 5'10" and TSC doesn't have them for me. I found another site with some, but they are not lined. I might have to make some. Oh, who am I kidding? They'd look awful.

Mom_L - you would be more than welcome to visit! The animals love visitors, and so do we!

Isobelle - you can't live in the house unless you learn to control the "goat trail" that you goats leave behind! The spotted goat is Zak, our Nubian wether, and I am sure he would love to meet you!

Mare said...

Oh what a warm and loving home you have! And those animals look so happy and know they are so lucky to have found you...Happy New Year my friend... I am in love with the donkeys, and i adore pigeons, having spent years raising many tame ringneck doves and 1 pigeon...

Paula said...

Welcome to the new family members!! They are so precious!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

A pigeon as a pet. lol!My friend in New York calls them Rats with Wings as they and their feces are carriers of many diseases and they have taken over the city.
It is kind of cute though. Does it live in a very large cage?

Those donkeys are just so precious. They are not much bigger than a large dog. I just want to hug one!

New Mexico

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

I hope they have a forever home with you, and they are very sweet. We have a lot of people see our donkeys and want them 'for the kids'. 4 years later, they are selling the donkeys. I get a little uncomfortable when people fall in love with our donkeys [how can oyu not, right?] and talk casually about getting some - They live to be 30, and there are so many donkeys that end up in a field, neglected, even though they have feed. Makes me cranky, sorry.

CAn I give one more tip, that both my vets taught me right away? Don't leave the halters on them. I can tell you some pretty bad stories. Donks are curious and playful, and get easily hung up. Besides, walking up to them and haltering them is a wonderful way to tender them up.

I know you will love and enjoy them though!!!

OH, and can you send me your mailing address? Guinnias has a special surprise to send you!