In honor of the baby donkeys that we have due on Thanksgiving, we figured we should tell a little bit about their entrance into the world. We are going to start at the beginning, telling you how to care for the mamas before birth. We are also going to touch on what you will need to prepare for a baby donkey birth, and, of course, all about how to care for those baby donkeys once they arrive.
Mini Donkey Pregnancy
We consider ourselves absolutely blessed not only to be able to love on all of the mama donkeys but to make sure that their baby donkeys are healthy from the start. Once we realize that a mama donkey is expecting, we are immediately conscious of her health and safety. The gestational period for a baby donkey can be anywhere from 10-14 months, which can feel like a long time.
The truth is that, for the first part of this time, you won’t have to make any major changes to care. The mama donkeys wont need special care until a few months before they are due to give birth. At this time, you will want to make sure that additional nutrients are added to their diet, to start equipping the baby donkey with all of the vitamins it needs. You can learn more about that here!
The main thing that you want to do for the mama donkey before giving birth is prepare a birthing stall. Animals typically need a space where they feel safe in order to give birth. Preparing a stall for the mama to be alone and away from any other animals is the best way to create this space. Once the mama starts showing signs of labor, a baby donkey won’t be far behind!
Mini Donkey Birth
While the pregnancy period may be long, the birthing process is actually pretty quick. From the first contractions, you can expect to see that baby donkey foal within about an hour. This is a very exciting time, and if you get a chance to witness it, you should consider yourself lucky.
A lot of the time, we wake up to see that we have a new baby donkey in the birthing stall and miss the labor entirely. However, if we are able to catch the birth, there are a few things that we make sure to do. The first thing is that we give mama donkey some space. As long as the labor is progressing without any issues, there is no reason to intervene as doing so may stress out your mama donkey. The same applies to the umbilical cord, which will break on it’s own and does not need any intervention.
In the event that your donkey seems to be having issues getting the baby donkey out, you can assist with a thoroughly washed hand. If this happens, you may want to make sure that your nails are trimmed and cleaned as well, to prevent any infection to the mother. For the most part, these births go without issue, and your mini donkey mama is rewarded with a sweet foal of her own.
Mini Donkey Baby Care
As soon as the baby donkey has been born, the mama will give them its first bath. This creates a bond between them and promotes lactation as well. While most of the baby donkey care is done by the mama for the first 6 months, you will need to step in when it’s time to wean, to get the baby used to surviving on its own.
A newborn baby donkey should be provided with shelter. We find that using the birthing stall works perfectly so that every mama and baby has a safe place. As with any animal that has hair, you will want to make sure that your baby donkey is kept on a grooming schedule. However, with young foals, it’s important to let them keep their winter coat until the weather is warm enough, they are not as equipped for the cold as adults.
The baby donkey should nurse from its mama for 4-6 months. During this time, it is normal for the baby to pick at mama’s food. Once fully weaned, the baby donkey will still need additional nutrients added to its diet until it reaches about 2 years old. At this point, they are no longer considered a baby, and we are always blown away by how quickly they grow up.
Are you thinking of getting a baby donkey or breeding mini donkeys? If so, ask us about our consulting services!
Christina & Trevor
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