Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Due Dates

I've been trying to figure out when Emma's baby might be due and ,well, the best I can come up with is:  sometime this summer.  Here are the variables, maybe some of you folks with more donkey experience can do better:

  • The gestation period for donkeys is 11- 14 months with 12 months being average.
  • I believe that Emma was born in July of 2010, jennys start to come into heat between 7 and 12 months old, with 12 months again being the average.
  • Emma came to my house on Aug. 31st
  • I tried to find out from the previous owner when she had been bred but, I got no more then a drunken shrug and the mumbled reply that he'd seen the jack breed her once or twice.
  • My best guess is that she was bred sometime in August, if she started to have heat cycles when she was 12 months old.  If she came into heat earlier than that though....
Looking at this, it seems like the baby could be due any time between June and September with July or August being the most likely.  Any donkey breeders out there have any input on this? 

I have talked with a specialist at Cornell and his advice was, "if she were my donkey I would leave her be and hope for the best".  He was at least somewhat reassuring as he told me that a donkey's pelvis is much better designed for birthing than a horse and it is more common for young donkeys to successfully carry a healthy foal to term then it is for horses.  The two biggest risks are dystocia and foal rejection. 

I could have an ultrasound done but, I am not sure it would be very useful at this stage other than to provide me a little peace of mind that she is not carrying twins.  The blood test I had done tests for estrogen sulfate which is produced by the placenta.  Her levels were extremely high, indicating that there is an active placenta with a viable fetus.  Too bad it can't tell me when that fetus might decide to enter the world.


  1. There's just no knowing on this one, but I hope you'll have a baby pool that we can all enter to submit our guesses. I can guarantee that she won't have her baby on the day I pick. You've probably already thought of this, but I hope you will take regular pictures of her in the same pose so we can watch her grow. When my mare was in foal, I remember her looking like a normal mare one day and a double-wide trailer the next. I wish I had taken more pictures of her progression.

    p.s. I love the Cornell vet's advice.

  2. I agree....we need a baby pool, and like 7msn said, it won't be the day I pick either! haha. But yes, do take pictures. GOSH I LOVE THE picture you posted of her. Her ears are exactly like Stars! I am very impressed with the home work you did. I too, would do the same thing. I hope someone has answers.....but at this point, I think it is going to be a waiting game, and we will all pray everything goes well, and you will have a happy, healthy, bouncing baby donkey! :))