Tag Archives: Animal Husbandry

Rainy Season Babies and Stuff

Despite having limited outside options because of the rain, our little ranchito is growing by leaps and bounds.  We’ve had two new sets of kids. The first set was another Biggie Small pair. The solid black male was literally twice the size of his black and white sister. The other set were both girls. All of the wee ones are doing fine and enjoyed their first foray to greener pastures yesterday with the herd.

Mama and babies with the Puppers looking on

The quiquiriqui (little hen) hatched some eggs this week too. Three little chicks the size of your thumb were born. One seemed to have been born malformed. There was something wrong with its leg and it died later that day. However, the other two little pinguinos (penguins) are doing fine. My son is a nervous wreck over them. He gets panicked when mama hen leads them out on an adventure. He’s concerned the Puppers might scare them and that Cocoa might chase them. Cocoa isn’t allowed outside unsupervised right now for that reason. He’d cause too much pandemonium. 

My husband decided to sell Rojo, which sort of surprised me. It’s true we don’t have enough space for a young stallion, however since Rojo was born on my husband’s birthday, he’s had a special fondness for him that I thought might cause him to want to keep him. We still have Lady and it seems as if she has just begun her first heat cycle–so removing Rojo from the premises was a good move. 

Rojo hasn’t gone far. He’s moved up the hill with Azul the vet. And my husband still sees him on the caminatas (group horse rides), which have now become a weekly event. Although with Lady in heat, I’m questioning his decision to participate this week.

Lady has moved into Rojo’s stall, which is more sheltered from the rain than the back pen. The Puppers have moved into Lady’s pen to keep out of the wet. We’ve had torrential rains most of the week and some flooding in the backyard.

My husband also sold the truck, which we affectionately named Butch, to another neighbor. He and I still have our motorcycles and my son has his bike, so we aren’t stranded by any means. My husband is looking for a replacement vehicle, but nothing has appeared on the horizon just yet.

We’ve also discovered that Fuzz Lightyear is blind or partially blind in one eye. He has had no eye injuries or infections since we took him in, but he’s always been a bit of a clutz. Now that we know, it’s obvious that limited vision in one eye would make him less than graceful. His impairment has become more pronounced in the last few weeks. Honestly, the vet in town isn’t skilled enough to do much to help Fuzz, so we’ll just manage his condition the best that we can. 

And the construction project on the new lot is coming along, slowly but surely. The idea is to have a small front room with a cooking area and the rest of the lot dedicated to plants, plants, and more plants. My husband has already moved a few of our smaller fruit trees over and planted some corn, beans, and squash to take advantage of the new dirt fill. 

So it’s been quite a week as you can see!

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The Deballing Space Adventure

For the past several months, I have been after my husband to make arrangements to get Fuzz and Cocoa neutered. To be fair, he did go to several vets to ask about the procedure and costs, but dragged his feet about actually getting it done. Men!

Anyway, the constant pissing battles between the two of them (Fuzz and Cocoa) had me pulling my hair out. I was constantly wiping down the furniture legs and washing the blankets. Then, our little kitten Manchas went to heat! AAAAHHHH! We really had no idea how old she was since we found her living out in our woodpile one day. But obviously, she was old enough to go into her first estrus cycle. 

Fuzz was immediately confined to the front porch area. Cocoa was sent to spend more time outside with the Puppers. However, I’m not sure that we took quick enough precautions. This week little Manchas has been off her food and shows every sign of exhibiting kitty morning sickness. Yes, that’s really a thing. I expect we’ll have little Fuzzinators before too long.

Ready for liftoff!

Anyway, my husband was finally motivated enough to get appointments for the boys’ deballing. We loaded Fuzz Lightyear up in his space capsule for launch. Cocoa got to sit on my son’s lap for the ride to town. Each procedure cost $400 pesos. Cocoa came back home first, all woozy. He spent the rest of the day resting in his soft, cushy bed. A bit later, Fuzz arrived home from his first space mission. He was bound and determined to go outside, even if his legs wouldn’t hold him. He fell, rather than walked down the three steps to the front porch, but by golly, nothing was going to stop him! 

The boys had some pills to take the edge off and reduce the chance of infection. Cocoa didn’t even notice his pill hidden in his food. Fuzz however, started foaming at the mouth when he accidentally licked a piece of food that had touched the pill. So then we had to try force feeding. If you’ve ever tried to give a cat a pill, well, you’ll understand the issue. 

After two days, Cocoa started itching, so we had to put on the ‘cone of shame’ so he wouldn’t tear out his stitches. He HATED it. It took him a day or two to even figure out how to walk, but by the end of the week, he had learned to weaponize it. He found that if he swung his head hard enough, the cone provided an extra umph in our tug of war games. 

Fuzz developed an infection on the third day after his operation. So back to the vet he went. A few shots and some more pills later, he seems to be no worse for wear. 

FINALLY, Cocoa returned to the vet for the stitches to be removed. It seems cats and dogs are stitched up with different types of stitches. Fuzz didn’t need to have his stitches removed because they were the dissolving kind. Cocoa did. 

Once the stitches were out, we watched him for a few hours, and when we saw he wasn’t going to further injure himself, the cone came off. Fred and George Pupper were mighty pleased with the cone’s removal as well. When we would go for our walks, they both tried to completely ignore Cocoa. The cone must have freaked them out.

The pissing contests have ended, thankfully. Cocoa still is having problems with his aim. He pees near, but not exactly on, the pee pad. So I still have some cleaning to do, but not nearly as much. Whew!

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Read more about our animal adventures!

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Magical Critters in La Yacata

Fuzz receiving chin rubs.

Fuzz has been with us for about a month now. He’s gone from a small fluffy bit of fur into a much larger curious beast intent on practicing his pouncing skills every time one of us comes out of the bathroom. His larger size has increased his jump height as well, so nothing is out of reach anymore. We’ve tried babyproofing some areas, but who’d have thought the baby could get up on top of the piano at his size and age?

Fuzz has also been working on training us to meet his demands. He enjoys chin rubs and belly tickles at regular intervals. His food consumption has increased and his way of letting me know that he needs more sustenance is to bite my toes furiously. 

He’s been pretty good about using the bathroom outside in his litter box. For a while, he was using my back porch planters as a giant toilet, but I’ve replanted it with spikey plants and that seems to have taken care of that. 

He’s learned how to let himself in and out of the house should we be tardy about opening the door. When he wants to go out, he launches himself full force with a running start at it, as if he’s on platform 9 ¾ with a luggage trolley heading to Hogwart’s. He can open the door from the outside when he’s really determined as well. He shimmies his paw underneath and pulls. He doesn’t always get it open enough to dash through but the banging he makes is enough to wake me from even the deepest slumber and open the door for him.

This morning, we left Fuzz alone in the house for about 30 minutes. We came back to complete chaos. He had gotten into a bucket of car oil my husband left in the garage and tracked it throughout the house. This meant a whole-house double-time mopping session and a bath for Fuzz which he didn’t enjoy at all. Not all the stains came up and my daybed cover is ruined.

Fuzz after his bath.

Our other animals are practicing their magic tricks as well. Terry chewed through his third leash in a fit of jealousy while we were walking the Puppers. Fred and George have discovered that if they team up with Lady, between the three of them, they can remove the bars that keep Lady in her stall so she can mosey on out for a sweet nispero leaf snack. They were so proud of themselves that my son didn’t have the heart to scold them. You should have seen their beaming faces and wagging tails. 

Fred has adopted his own chicken pet. Perhaps it’s his familiar? The rooster had been pecking the living daylights out of one of our gringa chickens. She took refuge with Fred and George under the rain tarp one day. Fred wouldn’t allow the rooster to come in out of the rain. Since then, Ms. Gringa eats, sleeps, and cuddles up with Fred, her savior. 

Wonders never cease around here!

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