Yesterday my vet assisting class ended up meeting at the farm for our lab day. It was originally supposed to be at the instructor’s farm, but since she doesn’t have a barn and it was calling for rain all day long, I offered my barn for the day. K brought 4 horses to the farm for us to practice on. We checked vital signs, drew blood, wrapped legs, etc.
Since it is a class designed for large animals, not just horses, the day was originally supposed to include wrangling goats at K’s house, but due to the lack of goats, I offered up my donkeys. K just wanted an example donkey to show how things generally go with restraining small animals who don’t want you working with them and Chloe resisted having her blood drawn, as expected. Once she was twitched, she was much more still. While Chloe was twitched, K felt her udder to see where we were at pregnancy wise and came back with white milk on her hand!
I’d been putting off pulling Chloe into the barn because I expected her to be stressed by being alone, but she was chill when I brought her in last night. She and Emma have been together since they were weaned from their mothers in 2011, and Emma was far more concerned about the separation than Chloe:
As soon as I brought Chloe in, she started dragging her teeth on the wall, kicking her belly and having some runny poops. I thought she may foal soon, but also thought some of that could be due to being separated from Emma. (Note I haven’t mentioned either of them caring about Russell? #hoesbeforebros ) I went back after class last night and watched her from 9-10:30 pm and nothing seemed too promising, so I went home and went to bed.
Everything I’ve read online about donkeys foaling said that it was next to impossible to catch your jenny giving birth, so I didn’t fret over it much. When Jason got home from the gym this morning I picked at him asking why he didn’t go check the donkeys. He has been much more interested in this baby than in Joey, likely because he’s the reason we have the donkeys. So, with his curiosity piqued, he drove to the barn to look in on Chloe while I went to work. As soon as I got to my desk and got settled he called to say that we have a fresh baby donkey!
Chloe had just stood up from passing the placenta and Poppy was attempting to nurse Chloe’s neck. Jason stepped in and nudged her towards the right end of her mother and she latched on immediately. I was in work clothes, so Jason toweled her off and rubbed on her. A got there during this and we pieced the placenta together. Apparently Chloe stepped on it and ripped it, but we’re pretty confident we have it all.
A dunked her little umbilical cord, cleaned the stall and helped me check Chloe’s temperature. We’re monitoring her to make sure she stays consistent so we know if she needs to be flushed from a piece of the placenta getting left behind, but so far all seems well.
We didn’t intend to have a baby donkey. I’m dumb when I say that because I have a jack turned out with two jennies. I originally intended to have a couple donkey babies. But then nothing happened for two years, so we figured Russell was sterile or unable to get the job done. Then -tada- Poppy! So now Russell will be gelded so he and his daughter can be turned out together without any weirdness. I also only need so many donkeys and I feel like 4 is a good number. I can pair them off in separate areas this way and won’t have to worry about anyone getting
loud as heck lonely.
Baby donkeys are so much fun, so it’ll be exciting to watch her grow up. She’s already proving to be a spunky little girl!