Urgent- will john donkey kill baby - Page 3

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Urgent- will john donkey kill baby

This is a discussion on Urgent- will john donkey kill baby within the Other Equines forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    05-16-2013, 11:27 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
The difference lies in whether or not the foal belongs to the male donkey or not. If it does, then I see less problem with it, especially if mama is left in with the male for the entire time. A new jenny bred to an unknown jack though? I definitely wouldn't risk it.

I'm curious as to why a round pen panel is not considered safe though? My mare's foaling pen was made of mini sized (4 foot instead of 6 foot tall) panels, and I never had a problem. I did have a problem however, when I put them in a board pen which had panels with no lower board. My mini mule filly got herself lodged under it and scraped up her poor little belly.

OP, you know your jack better than us, and its your choice. I would not risk it myself, but maybe I am too cautious because of the incident with our john, who has NEVER shown any signs of agression until the day he attacked first the colt, then the young man. If you do decide to put them together though, I'd still wait at least a month or two and introduce them very slowly. Don't leave them together even if they look like they're getting along until they've met face-to-face at least a 3-4 times.
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    05-17-2013, 10:45 AM
I thought the round pen would be safe too but decided not to take any chances so went and got some galvanized wire mesh (size of chicken wire) that is 24 inches high and will put it around the bottom of the round pen this afternoon. The bottom of the round pen is a little high off the ground in some places and I don't want the baby slipping through or Homer biting him. After about 2 feet the rails are close enough together that Homer can not get his head thru. Near the top they are wider again but then it is high enough that he would not be able to reach down.
I will keep the Jenny and baby in the round pen until Homer gets used to the baby and then depending on how he acts will decide if I can chance putting them all together. It is not Homer's baby but he is gelded so I am hoping he will not be agressive toward the baby once he accepts him. I have to be careful though especially since he is a Standard donkey and the baby will be a mini. When Homer plays with the horses he bites their necks hard..
*******Okay, new problem that I need help with. The lady I got the Jenny from said it would not stress her to move her but she is off her feed. The lady told me to give her grain because she is prego and the first week she did eat her grain. She is now leaving the grain but is eating hay. She also loves carrots. No signs of colic. I don't know if she is stressed because she is at a new place and locked up in a pen vs a pasture with her friends or if this is a sign that she is getting ready to birth. Homer and the horses go to the pasture in the am and I can tell she does not like being left. However Homer does answer her when she calls and he also comes up and spends a good bit of time standing by her pen during the day.
The lady I got her from did not give me a time when she should have the baby. She leaves the Jack in the pasture with the Jenny's. There were 4 Jennys ( including Sugar) and two had recently had their babies. #3 looked like she was going to pop so I chose Sugar who was obviously prego but her belly was smaller. The lady told me she had a baby before and that she is around 4-6 years old. However I think she could be older as her bottom lip is kind of droopy like my old Appy's was.

The lady also told me that their Jenny's have the babies in the pasture but I can't allow that at this point so we put a shed with big shavings in it in case she wants to have it inside

I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate all the knowledge and advice you guys have been kind enough to give. I would certainly welcome any more suggestions andd recommendations.
    05-17-2013, 11:29 AM
I would leave homer outside her pen with hay for him.
I do not and have read that donkeys do not need grain only good forage or hay.
If she is eating then I would not worry.
Sending the others to the pasture will indeed stress her out.
This is also a good way to start bonding homer and the jenny. Shalom
    05-17-2013, 11:39 AM
Great idea. I will get the lower fencing up today and start leaving Homer up in the paddock with her. Guess I wont give try to give her grain but do find it strange that she does not want it. Homer gets a tiny bit of RB along with the horses and he sure never wants to miss out.
    05-17-2013, 06:18 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Kudos to you Sherie, for doing so much to ensure the wellbeing of mama (does she have a name, by the way?) and the baby. Not everyone would put the care into it that you are.

Without trying to assume too much (could be wrong), I really don't feel like the lady you got your Jenny from is what we call an 'experienced' breeder as some have called her. The fact that she isn't preg-checking the donkeys for at least approximate due dates is the first indicator to ME anyways, and the fact that she didn't seem to worry at all about whether or not Homer would get along with your girl, the Jenny's real age isn't known...I don't know. And then to add the fact that she told you the Jenny would not be stressed by her journey? Doesn't add up to me. I'm not saying she doesn't have quality animals or that she's just in for the money, but those are all 'high alert' things that I noticed and that make me think that your jenny has likely not had any prenatal care whatsoever, and that this lady's word should not be taken as law.

Equines DO get stressed by being taken out of their environments, and its hard on them to varying degrees. Some take it very hard, some are just a bit nervous for a day then settle in fine. I would say that as long as your girl isn't refusing hay or water, and doesnt look thin, don't worry much. Offer the grain, but don't push it. If she needs it, she'll take it. Is it the same grain she was getting at her old home?

Also, I wouldn't go by belly size for how far along she is. Its different for each animal. One of our mares swells up HUGE like a blimp by the beginning of the third trimester and looks like she's going to pop for 3-4 months before foaling. Another seems to grow vertically, so her belly starts to look almost 'hay belly' or 'wormy' (minus ribs) but rarely gets any wider. My own mini mare stayed very small throughout her pregnancy, and did look pregnant at the end, but still wasn't big enough for someone go to "WOW, she's going to foal any time now' and she even went over by 3 weeks!

Make sure that you call your vet as soon as your girl foals, so he/she can check it's health, make sure milk is coming in ok, etc. Also, don't let your donkey eat her placenta and save it until the vet gets there so that he can make sure your jenny passed the entire thing. If she doesn't and he doesn't help her, she can get a uterus infection and potentially die.
apachiedragon and littrella like this.
    05-17-2013, 10:26 PM
I have stayed out of this thread because I know zip about donkeys...except I love their adorable faces and long ears and often funny little legs. Now I am caught up in this Homer and the jenny and the impending foal story.
You sound like a very good "mom" for this family you have.
Please post photos when the baby arrives.
Sorry I have no advice.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-19-2013, 01:47 PM
Holy Crap! Endiku, that's a scary story about some donkeys!
    05-20-2013, 03:06 PM
Well, not feeling like a good Mom at this point. I know that horses are stressed by change of enviorment so I should have known that a pregnant donkey would be too. We are calling her Sugar as she is so sweet. She had some awful sores on her legs ( flies )when I got her and she allowed me to put MTG on them and even on her back legs. She is a good girl.
Poor thing, I hate I have put her in this position. I did get the fencing up so that the baby will be safe so somewhat relieved. Called the lady that I got her from this weekend to try and see if she had any idea when Sugar will have her baby. She really does not know and says that the one that was about to pop still has not had her baby. Told her that Sugar was not eating the grain (although she did eat some initially) and verified what type grain she was getting. She told me again that it was sweet feed and said not to give her any for a day so I tried that but she still is not eating any grain. I am not a fan of sweet feed as all my horses and Homer get is an RB which I have been mixing( a very tiny amount) with the sweet feed. Maybe she does not like the RB but I just don't know. She also said she is likely full with grass and hay. Well the round pen had grass in it when I got Sugar but she has eaten it down so she really does not have much grass which I told the lady. I also told her I thought I saw Sugar eating some dirt????? She said that she was likely eating grass roots. I don't think so.
********Now for the story of the day
Was worried that Sugar needed grass adn was used to being in a pasture before so decided to try letting her go down to the pasture. Homer has been very good for over a week now. He has not tried to go after her thru the fence and they stand right together on the fence line. I had seen them touch noses and he lips her through the fence and she does not move away. So while the horses and Homer were in the pasture we walked her down on a lead line and I carried the whip. When we first got down in the pasture everyone crowded around her, smelling her and then the horses walked away. Homer stayed fairly close but made no agressive moves so we let her off the lead in to the small field. Our pasture is separated in to 3 sections so that we can rotate when needed. Right now all the gates are open so let her go in the first pasture. She was so happy and started trotting toward some tall grass and Homer followed her. At first seemed all was well but when he caught up to her he grabbed her on the back so she started trying to get away from him...OMG, scared us to death so we started after them to break it up. Homer let go of her back but she kept trotting so he trotted beside her biting at her front legs. We got her out of there right away and sent her and the horses up the lane while I kept Homer at bay behind the fence. I checked her and there were no bite marks and not even any hair loss. I really think he was trying to play since it was not really a bite but was afraid to take a chance in case he did get rough. He leaves terrible bite marks on the horses necks sometimes from playing. He also goes for the horses legs when playing but never any obvious bites on their legs. My other concern was that even if he was just being playful which is typical for him, he would run her around to much for her condition.
Now I don't know what to do. The strange thing was that she never tried to kick him which the lady told me she would do. Now I am back to square one and Poor Sugar is back in the round pen.

I called our Vet's office first thing this am and left a message for the one that has donkey's and mules to get her opinion but so far no return call.

What do you guys think?
    05-20-2013, 05:03 PM
When the donkeys play and greet each other here they nip at the legs .
I too think Homer was playing but since I was not there to see his reaction and body language I cannot give a firm answer.
Keep introducing her a little at a time and allow them to visit over the fence.
Don't rush the situation and take your time.
What often appears to be rough and cruel behavior in animals is just their way of interacting. Shalom
sherie likes this.
    05-20-2013, 05:15 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Take the sweet feed away completely and don't worry about her not eating it. Sweet feed is bad for her anyways, and can cause her to founder. I have no clue why her breeder was feeding that stuff to her, especially pregnant. Offer extra hay if you can, and keep offering the ration balancer (sometimes if you mix it with unsweetened apple sauce or something they'll be happier to try it, then you can wean them onto just the RB) but don't fret too much if she won't eat it. Donkeys thrive on medium to low quality grass hay and she should be just fine. If she needs the RB, she'll eat it. Also, are you offering her a salt/mineral block? If not that is probably why she's trying to eat dirt. If you're worried you can buy some psyllium or sand clear and give her a few power doses of that to clear her GI tract of any dirt she has injested, and buy her a red mineral block and a white salt block to lick. If she's missing something in her diet she'll take what she needs from it. Is she drinking alright? That's what I'd be most worried about at this stage.

I wouldn't listen to much that her old owner has to say. I'm convinced now that she's just your run of the mill backyard breeder. A professional would not be feeding their stock sweet feed as a 'grain' for pregnancy and foal development.

Sweetie (cute name by the way!) did not kick because she is new to the herd and thus at the mercy of what they decide about where she fits in the herd. Normally a little bit of roughness at first wouldn't be a huge deal, and they would likely work it out among themselves within a day or so with a few small bites and kick marks, but its different because she is not only pregnant, but also most likely in her third trimester.

Homer was likely trying to establish his dominance, not play. I rarely see equines play as soon as they've been introduced, unless they're both young males. It could be that he was trying to play, but I still wouldn't risk it. Even so, he should not be permitted to 'play' with her, because she is a mini and he is a standard. Even if she wasn't pregnant. Its one thing for her to be big enough to say 'enough is enough' and put him in his place, another when she is much smaller than he is and subject to whatever he decides to do. Don't introduce them again until she has foaled and the baby is bigger.

It may seem cruel to keep her in that round pen, but its better than risking her injury or the baby's death. She may be a bit lonely or bored, but she won't suffer as long as she has some sort of protection from the elements. We've put a tarp over part of the round pen before to serve as a shelter. Its crude, but it works and keep wind/rain/sun off their backs. Make sure to put the tarp blocking wherever the wind generally comes from in your area. Let her out to stretch her legs as much as you can, on a lead line, but then put her back. She's small and the round pen is probably ample room for her to walk or trot around a bit if she feels the need to, and it will keep her safe for now.
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