Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Hee Haw Gang

I love mules and donkeys, how could you not! They are such characters and so full of personality, and those long ears are just begging to be petted. Years ago we had a mule in our family named Dan who was a fixture here for many years until he died well into his thirties. After he died I knew more long ears would eventually come back into my life and it finally happened this past September when a long time client asked me if I would be interested in taking over the care of five donkeys, affectionately known as The Hee Haw Donkey Gang (yes, they have their own facebook page!). How could I say no!

The gang arrived in September and have been entertaining us ever since with their silly antics and (loud) and funny singing. The gang consists of two jennies, most likely sisters as they are very hard to tell apart, and they are called Minnie Pearl and Barbi Benton. Then there are three boys, their sons, and probably all by the same jack. They are called Junior Samples, Roy Clark and Buck Owens.

We have come to learn that donkeys are much different from horses in many of their behaviors and are fascinating to watch. I understand now why they are so valued for guarding herds of sheep and goats as they are always on alert and do not tolerate dogs in their pasture. They seem to be much more reactive and flighty than horses when out in pastures and there is not much that escapes their attention. They also seem to really love the more coarse vegetation such as blackberry brambles and tree branches that horses never touch. Their extra sensitive ears also make them react to music as you can see by this video from when my daughter was home and she and her friend Ryan serenaded them with violin and saxophone! We had a lot of laughs creating this video, and I am inspired to try it again. As you can see Roy is the outgoing on of the group!
The gang is a fun addition to our farm and also a good subject for me to photograph. Donkeys are always bound to bring you a smile!

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