GOODBYE AGNES AND MYRTLE
I had to make a tough decision recently and this week it came to be. I decided to sell our miniature donkeys, Agnes and Myrtle. I've contemplated selling them in the past but couldn't follow through with it. They were the first animals on the farm in 2012 and it was love at first sight. I've grown to love them even more now and I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry the day they left. I cried a lot actually as I was packing their bags...
...and I cried while I put on their harnesses and brushed them for the last time...
...and I cried while we took selfies...
When the donkeys' new mom, Sandy, arrived I managed to rein in my tears. Okay, I cried a little when she pulled in the driveway with the trailer, but I managed to get it together by the time I got to her truck. Sandy raises Tennessee Walking horses and lowline Angus cattle on an 85 acre farm in East Canton, Ohio. Sandy had been searching for a pair of donkeys to guard her weanlings and when she found out I was selling our donkeys she contacted me about purchasing them. She asked how tall they were and I told her that Agnes was 33" and Myrtle was 38". It turns out that her bull is 38" tall too so they're a perfect fit for her farm!
You're probably wondering what a 38" tall bull looks like. I was too and I couldn't believe how cute he was when Sandy sent me this picture:
Agnes and Myrtle's new job will be to guard these little guys:
So yes, I was sad to see them go, but I am happy knowing that they're going to a beautiful farm with lots of grass, interesting animals, and a caring farmer. If you're wondering why I let them go since I love them so much, the short answer is: it's business. We're downsizing and, since the donkeys don't contribute a tangible product that we can sell, it just made sense that they would be the ones to go. If we had unlimited resources (money and pasture), we wouldn't have had to consider letting any of the animals go, but we don't and that's the reality of the situation. Livestock eat 1.5%-2% of their body weight in forage daily, and Agnes and Myrtle are not small livestock. The two of them combined equal roughly 5 alpacas or 8 angora goats:
I wish I could buy hay with love but I can't, so I was faced with a tough decision that had to be made. I love animals - especially my animals - and I wish things could be different, but if farming has taught me anything it's that sometimes you have to do things that you don't want to do and, in that situation, all you can do is make the best decision you can given the circumstances and resources available at that moment.
So until I can buy hay with love, I'll be thinking of Agnes and Myrtle somewhere over the rainbow...
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