Since our last installment, Rowen our rescue horse has recovered from a difficult lameness and tried to crib on his stall. Doc, Rowen’s best buddy, decided the pecan tree was tasty, Gizmo, our ankle biter dog, decided shortening and cayenne pepper tasted good (read on for that one!!), the chickens are laying more and better eggs than ever, the vulture baby at our Rockin Wild Ranch grew up and flew away, and our Sweetness George is as sweet as any girl dog named after a Bugs Bunny cartoon character can be!
Rowen our rescue horse is sound and back in action!!!! After the MRI at TX A&M we learned he had a hidden abscess in his hoof. His hoof bar (pic thanks to The Chronicle of the Hoof. Blogspot.com) fractured and left an opening for gunk to enter the hoof wall. Then an abscess was created that was hidden by the support of the shoe. After 8 weeks of treatments and stall rest for Rowen we are so happy to report that Rowen is sound. We hope to never repeat the world’s most expensive hoof abscess again!
In the last few days of stall rest Rowen finally got overwhelmed with boredom and began to crib (a bad and destructive habit involving wood and sucking or gulping). Happily we noticed it and within two days had added a protective “boot” and bar shoe to his therapy which allowed him to be safely released to the pasture. We have only noted him cribbing once since then and sincerely hope we nipped this destructive habit in the bud.
Doc, Rowen’s buddy, is getting a refresher on being a horse with a job (competition and also taking care of my newbie rider husband Paul versus his former job of being retired and occasionally walking kids around). He complains at the beginning of the ride then is raring to go and peppy at the end 🙂 I do believe he is happy being Rowen’s buddy and being given a purpose to use his brains and skills toward!
Gizmo! Ok, back to Doc (Giz factors into this no worries). Doc wasn’t used to trees in his former pasture. After tying Doc to a pecan tree for a few grooming sessions he decided that the tree was rather tasty! And anything Doc likes, Rowen will try as well.
So in an effort to save the tree (mostly successful) we decided to coat it with shortening mixed with cayenne pepper to deter Doc and Rowen from eating it. Did I mention that Rowen likes to eat anything Doc likes?!?! That poor tree!!!
So armed with a full tub of shortening and a full bottle of cayenne we coated the tree……
And all was well. UNTIL Gizmo (remember Giz? This was about him) discovered it and licked off all the shortening/cayenne pepper he could reach. It wasn’t too far up as he is an ankle biter sized dog but it still produced the most vile and foul and WORST dog farts in the world!!! Note to self, do NOT let Gizmo sleep in the bed after such a feast!!!
Ok, got past that. Then Doc decided that if he couldn’t eat the greased pecan tree he could use it as a scratching post. It wasn’t bad until he coated his ears inside and out. And then rolled in sand! Messy!!!!
Let’s see, our layer flock is next! Ok! With the heat of the Texas summer finally coming to an end our ladies have begun to lay more and it is certainly welcome. Once this summer we were forced to BUY store bought eggs – a tasteless experience I tell you!!! Mmmmmm, got to love fresh homegrown eggs every morning!!! Shameless plug – our ladies are fed H and H Layer Pellets and are out on pasture all day.
The only hazard of having a backyard flock is that house guests and neighbors and visitors all want to share in the fresh eggs! Bummer! You are just “forced “ to add variety to your flock by getting more breeds of chickens!!! WhoooHooooo! We also just introduced Sven, a Swedish Flower rooster formerly named Svetlana. The ladies are taking to him and only Spaz our Cream Brabanter still chases him away.
On to the vulture baby! “Fluffy” was only a few weeks old when the brush pile s/he was hatched in was pulled apart and burned on our property, Rockin Wild Ranch. Happily the fellow we hired respected wildlife and gently moved Fluffy and it’s sibling to some woods some 20 feet away for Momma Vulture to find and care for. Momma V did find them and cared for them and we had the unique opportunity to watch as they grew up. One day Fluffy’s sibling was gone with no trace. But Fluffy remained, hissing and fluffing and looking scruffy as it’s feathers replaced the chick down. Vulture babies are cute in their own way especially if they are on your own property and you are rooting for them to make it Pic below is shortly before Fluffy (a black vulture) feathered out and flew away.
And finally to George, our sweet Heeler mix. She is the brave hunter of mice and the stout defender of chicks. No bunny rabbit gets away without a bark and a short dash in their direction. She sticks close and makes sure her humans are ok during thunderstorms (generally huddled in our laps). Dogs are great 🙂