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New donkey, any advice?

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Horses, Mules, a' started by Irisshiller, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Apr 1, 2017
    Irisshiller

    Irisshiller Chillin' with the herd

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    Ok so I'm back again :) I didn't have time to take her out again, but I tried the brooming thing. Interestingly, I got no reaction, not even on the back legs! On the stomach she tried to move to the side but did not kick. So that went pretty well. I might try it with a plastic bag like you said, to "desensitise" her :)

    I really want to ask your advice on the pregnancy issue though... Someone told me early on he thought she was pregnant, but I didn't see a belly on her so I didn't think about it too much. However her stomach has expanded since she's been here. Also, we haven't seen any heat cycles. A few days ago, I rested my hand on her side and I swear something kicked me - I jumped!! Then yesterday I looked at her teats and could see little bits of white at the ends of them:

    20170331_182444.jpg
    Sorry for unclear picture, was closest I could get without fearing to be kicked in the head :)

    This all might signify nothing but I'm a little uneasy now! Although I have spent years on and around horses, I have zero experience with pregnant equines. I was planning to have the vet check her when he next comes out in a few weeks' time, but if it looks likely that she will foal soon then I prefer to get him down here right now.

    I am not sure whether I would want or not want her to be pregnant! I would just like to be prepared in case she does drop a foal next week :)

    20170331_183015.jpg
     
  2. Apr 1, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    I don't have any experience with pregnant donkeys, either, though I did spend a lot of time on Marestare at one time, and watched a few of them foal out. Donkeys carry for 12 months, and the foals are pretty big when they come. This donkey momma-to-be is pretty typical of one that is fairly late in her pregnancy:
    [​IMG]

    While I won't swear that your girl isn't pregnant, she doesn't look very far along from here.:idunno
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
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  3. Apr 1, 2017
    Irisshiller

    Irisshiller Chillin' with the herd

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    Wow!! No she definitely doesn't look like that!! I will stop worrying then! Thanks :)
     
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  4. Apr 1, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    You might want to get her checked out for pregnancy just so you know for sure. She is a beautiful donkey, you are doing great with her. Be sure to keep us updated on her!
     
  5. Apr 2, 2017
    Irisshiller

    Irisshiller Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you, I will! :)
     
  6. Apr 19, 2017
    Irisshiller

    Irisshiller Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi there, just an update :)
    My Layla is doing great! The last few weeks she has been really good, I can take her out now without a problem. All she really needed was a slightly firmer hand, I am out of practise with horses so I forgot :)

    About the kicking, I did the brooming thing every day for about a week, she was fine with it. Then I tried lifting her back feet again and she is now consistently letting me lift the right hoof, yay! Today I managed to lift and clean the left for the first time, but after a minute she kicked backwards and pulled it out if my hands. Still good though!! I'm sure I look fairly ridiculous trying to lift her leg with my face turned away as far as possible :)

    I feel we got to a much better understanding, I feel much more comfortable with her now. She feels comfortable too it seems: 20170418_144047.jpg
    :) she nearly gave me a heart attack, but she was just sun/dust bathing!

    20170419_114024.jpg

    We haven't been able to rule out pregnancy yet, decided to wait until the vet is coming to vaccinate the rabbits in a few weeks. Kind of curious by now though! Her belly seems to be getting rounder but that could be food of course.

    I have another question for the donkey owners here! Am I supposed to oil/tar her hooves like you do with horses? I read donkeys hooves are naturally harder, so I'm not sure if I should be using something on them. Our ground is dry and dusty, especially now the rainy season is finished. Her hooves seem very dry to me but maybe they are supposed to be like that. She does not like to stand in water, I have tried :)

    I've got an adjusted horse halter for her now but the search for a proper donkey halter is still on :)

    Feeling positive now that she will be a good petting zoo donkey! It's the first time I've tried training anything really so I need all the help I can get! Although my poultry and rabbits seem to have trained themselves to come running when I arrive, meaning food is on the way LOL!
    20170417_101255.jpg
     
  7. Apr 19, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I am glad the brooming helped! It sounds like she is learning that you are not a 2 headed monster and she is starting to trust you. It would probably be a good idea to oil her hooves. Since she is doing better with lifting her back feet, give her a treat when she lets you lift her feet. But make her be good about her feet before you give her a treat. LOL

    Donkeys have a longer head than horses do, hence the halter fitting problem. Never saw a donkey halter, but I know there are mule bridle headstalls, so maybe look for a mule halter.
     
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  8. Apr 21, 2017
    AClark

    AClark Loving the herd life

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    Have you dewormed her? Big bellies can be worms too.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2017
    Irisshiller

    Irisshiller Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi AClark! Yes, I dewormed her when we found her about two months ago. She loved the worm paste and almost ate the syringe with it, lol! There are other reasons why I have the feeling she might be pregnant - I have seen/felt movement and have seen no heat cycles... But of course there could be other explanations for that. Waiting for the vet visit and hopefully he'll be able to tell me! Everyone here keeps telling me she's really young, like almost a foal, but I don't think so - the scars on her legs are old ones. She just has a baby face, lol!
     
  10. Apr 22, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    Well, she's an adult from the look/size of her, but she sure looks young and in great shape IMHO.