Does my donk look fat in this?

Now here’s a fun game!  See if you can accurately assess my donkeys for their weight, using the Donkey Sanctuary advice information on donkey diet.  Download the PDF file donkey-diet and look at the chart: “Donkey Body Condition Score Chart” on page 3.

Are my donkeys, 1. POOR, 2. MODERATE, 3. IDEAL, 4. FAT, or 5. OBESE?  Those who read this blog who also keep donkeys are particularly welcome to comment and a  certain primary school class in Chester may like to do this as a team exercise, Mrs Hickey?  You can use the page 2 chart to hazard a guess at their weight.  (Note: none of them are under two years old, so don’t use the weight estimation chart for foals at the foot of the page.)

Photograph A: Morris (left) and Aitana (right).


Photograph B: Morris from the side.

Photograph C: Rubí (left) hiding bulge behind a tree and Morris (right)

Photograph D: Rubí standing.

Photograph E: Rubí walking.

Photograph F: Matilde standing.

Photograph G: Matilde (left) and Aitana (right) running.

Post your comments and guesses here, then check your answers on Thursday when I get my tape measure out and measure them according to the Donkey Sanctuary instructions. See page 1 of their guide booklet donkey-diet for measuring heart girth.  (Warning: do not try this on your budgie at home.)  There will be photos of my donkeys being measured with a tailor’s tape measure… or more likely, photos of Morris eating it.

Update 30th September.

Slight technical hitch. Donks terrified of tape measure as it looks like a yellow snake with numbers on it.  All ran away. Need to re-think the approach.

Meanwhile, here are the primary school responses (Word document) donkey-weight-conclusions (thanks to their teacher Mrs Hickey) !

Give us a sign…

20160910_165704 Peter from Charquer 27, two kilometers up the valley, made a new sign to replace one that disappeared recently from the junction on the main road. He kindly made one for “El Parral” as well.  Looks good.

As I said in the last blog post, it is going to be a bit slow for a while: now the new school year has begun I have to give my attention mainly to work for a while. However, it is now part-time work, three days a week, so I still have one foot in the holidays and one foot in work!  Whenever I had a day off from school with some illness (usually a cold caught from snivelling children…) I spent much of the day looking at the clock thinking, “What are they doing now?”  As I try to get accustomed to my new part-time routine, I can’t help thinking about the school day I’m missing.

20160916_125137I filled in the forms for the Pensions Agency and sent them off to Wolverhampton yesterday.  After sending the important heavy brown envelope registered mail at Finestrat Correos, I had a coffee and a croissant jn a local bar to celebrate the occasion. Last year I couldn’t help thinking of that Beatles song “When I’m sixty-four.”  It didn’t seem possible in Ibiza in the 1960s, when I listened to that song on my little transistor radio, that I would ever reach such an age. Now friends say to me, “I can’t believe you’re sixty-five.”

Oh well, I just hope the Pensions Agency believes me…


Job completed: donks loop the loop.

It is the very last day of the summer holiday and I am back to work tomorrow.  Fine timing.  I opened the second slope for the donkeys to descend to Level 2, and see whether they would start doing circuits.  Within minutes they joyfully started galloping around the circuit.  This makes all the summer work worthwhile!

All captured on video, and the amazing sight of the plodding plump Rubí suddenly turning on the rocket boosters and galloping is quite surreal.  Matilde rounds off her first circuit with a full-throated bray.

I have closed Level 2 off now and put them back on Level 1 as there a few safety points to tidy up on the new double bend descent, and a few areas where more tree protection is needed on Level 2.

Ten weeks full-time work on the donkey arrangements!  It has been a marathon.  Now the follow up work is for weekends.  The donkeys’ obvious enjoyment of the space, as seen in the video, makes all the work worthwhile!

Thanks to regular readers of the blog for keeping up your visits and comments.  Back to school tomorrow.  It may go a bit quiet for a while.  Unless Rubí chooses to give us her Tuesday wisdom…