When we were snowed in for a week recently I cleared an area on my concrete yard where I could let my donkeys out when the weather improved. The snow has at last gone but we have had plenty of rain of late. My yard is part concreted and part (supposedly) a hard gravel surface. However like so many Guardian homes I have visited in the last few weeks once you step off the concrete you are into sloppy muck area or worse! The photo shows four donkeys being led around my concrete by participants during my most recent Donkey Care Course (10th March). The weather cleared sufficiently to allow people to travel from counties Meath, Louth, Galway, Roscommon and Westmeath. Judging by the emails I have received post course it was a very enjoyable as well as informative day.
In the background is the muck heap which has reached monstrous proportions. This is the inevitable result of having to keep my donkeys stabled more than would be usual this winter. We need the land to dry and the muck heap to decompose before arranging for the manure to be spread.
Meanwhile my donkeys spend the majority of their time indoors or on their “concrete island”. Having this concrete area has the added advantage that their feet stay relatively clean and dry. They have less “seedy toe” than previously – proof indeed that The Donkey Sanctuary policy of requiring that Guardian homes provide their donkeys with an area of hard standing has (no pun intended) a firm basis.
Concrete is one of those things described so accurately as – “it’s only dear the day you pay for it” – my donkeys would certainly agree.