Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Shelby Shivers

Donkeys are hardy creatures.  They can withstand much by way of harsh climate and conditions ~ unless they are cold and wet.  Their coat is unlike most, in that it does not shed water like a raincoat.  So, to add water to their furry thickness is a miserable combination at best.

With little neonate beside Roux, her Momma settled in her pen the first night of her life, we were content that the pseudo windbreak made in advance of the winter weather would keep everyone fairly comfortable, especially since they were under cover.  

Imagine my surprise, when, arriving to feed this morning, I found Shelby shivering.

Her coat is not a heavy as Roux's, nor does she have the added benefit of hormones coursing through her system post-partum.  Her hindquarters shook in the chilly air, and I tossed her extra hay to get her engine going strong.

Late afternoon, after 24 hours of freezing temps, the newest member of the family was now shivering.  I decided to add windbreak to all sides, including Shelby's ~ it worked.  By the time I was finished, I could feel the temperature rise in the 24 square foot of space they shared.

Yet, as the rains began to fall, and night closed in, the knowledge that the cold would continue began to concern me.  What if it wasn't enough?  I decided an exploration expedition was necessary.  Driving up in the dark, working by flashlight, I checked everyone.

NO SHIVERING!  Shelby was amazingly calm; Roux and baby settled and warm.  

 I was empowered by the powerful boost plywood and a couple tarps gave the lovely creatures.

Tomorrow is promised warmer weather - and I hope that by tomorrow I've decided on the little one's new name.  Stay tuned.  It's been tough choosing.  :)


Gil Broussard said...

Friends, what a difference a 0 makes: our donkeys share 240 square feet of sheltered Mississippi soil; not 24. Animal activists, stand down!

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