Sunday, August 14, 2011

Musical Buckets

For the past year or so, our donkeys have consistently followed a very strange pattern when being fed. I don't know why they do this, but here is what happens.

When we are feeding the critters, we always follow the same routine. We feed the goats first to get them into the goat pen and out of the way. We feed Shadowfax next because when we first got him, Ziggy would NOT go into his stall to eat if Shadowfax wasn't locked in his stall first. Then we feed Ziggy. Then once the goats are in the goat pen and the horses are in their stalls, we feed the donkeys in the paddock.

We use three different colored over-the-fence buckets that all contain exactly the same feed in almost exactly the same amounts. (We don't measure that carefully so there might be some slight variation between buckets.) We feed the donkeys along the fence between the water trough and the gate. I place the purple bucket closest to the water trough, then the blue bucket half way between the trough and the gate, then the green bucket closest to the gate.

Tessla follows me to where I place the purple bucket, takes a mouthful from the purple bucket, then gets chased off by Marie and moves to the green bucket. Marie starts eating out of the purple bucket and Kanemura starts eating out of the blue bucket. Then, at some random point in time, Marie decides that she wants to eat out of the blue bucket. She walks over and chases Kanny off of the blue bucket, and he goes and eats out of the purple bucket which still has food in it. So Marie did not simply move because she ran out food. Eventually, Marie decides that the blue bucket isn't good enough and chases Tessla off of the green bucket, and Tessla goes and finishes off the blue bucket if there is any food left. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't.

They do this every night.

I have strange donkeys.

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