Thursday, July 5, 2012

Baby Q&A

First, Happy Independence Day!  A little late maybe, but I've been a bit distracted:)

The grazing muzzle is working out quite well so far.  Emma, being the brilliant donkey that she is, figured out how to eat out if it in no time at all so I am feeling more comfortable about leaving them alone for a while.  Maybe tonight I will get to sleep, that would be a novelty:).   I went out last night while it wasn't so brutally hot and completely stripped and disinfected her stall and the rest of the barn, trying to get rid of any lingering odors from the birth.  There was nothing that I could smell, but I am sure she could and I think it may have contributed to her obsessive need to clean the baby.  In the wild, mares and jennets will get their babies up and away from the birthing site as soon as possible because the birthing fluids draw predators.  I think the scrubbing has helped, she seems less anxious about it today.  I guess I should have done that immediately, but I was trying to keep things as quiet as possible for them.  There just never seems to be a clear path to doing the right thing.  I am going to continue with the muzzle for a couple more days and then, hopefully, we will be able to put it away.

A couple of people have asked me what the horses think of all of this.  They have been intensely curious...

but well behaved.  I have been very careful to keep them separate for now.  I was worried that Gabe might think that the baby is an intruder and try to squash him, and he might have at first.  Now he accepts him as just another donkey, which is both good and bad.  He is mostly indifferent to Emma except for when he wants to play chase-the-donkey.  Since little junior here only weighs about 20 pounds as opposed to Gabe's 1200, I think it is best if they just visit from afar for now.

As for Tessa, she is VERY curious about the baby and I know she wouldn't hurt him.  She would, in fact, be very careful with him.  She just might try to steal him though.  Tessa has demonstrated that she has very strong maternal instincts of her own (she mothers Emma) and she would really like to have this baby.  So I think that she too needs to admire from afar....

Another frequent question has been about baby's rather unusual color and lack of any light points.  I can point directly to where that came from.  This is Emma's father and the father of her baby (if you missed the story about how this happened click here)...
I wasn't at all surprised when this baby turned up looking just like dad/granddad.  I'd have been more surprised if he was light colored.  I don't think the baby's color will change all that much, but I don't know enough about donkey coloring to say for sure.  Based on what dad looks like, I doubt it.

And some thoughts about a name...I have had a lot of great suggestions, but at the moment, I can scarcely remember them.  I need a few minutes to read through all the the wonderful comments and suggestions all of you have offered and which I greatly appreciate.  I was so upset yesterday about baby's poor, bitten tail that I hardly thought about anything else.  I also needed to get to know him a little more.  What I know now is that he has a huge personality.  He is absolutely fearless and independent (frighteningly so).  He is very energetic, a playful little devil and also extraordinarily sweet and affectionate.  He has proven beyond any doubt that donkeys are born wanting a good butt scratch and when I hit just the right spot and that tiny lip starts quivering...well, you just might swoon from the shear adorableness...

He even knows how to point out the right spot already...

And then, it's time for another power nap...


  1. It sounds like he has you wrapped around his little finger(hoof) already. Got to love a donkey baby!

  2. It will be really exciting to watch a baby donkey grow and thrive in a happy environment from the very beginning of his life. I bet that he grows up into a fantastic adult!!

    Your horses are beautiful.

  3. Wonderful pics of uncles Tessa and Gabe, observing through the window.

  4. Oh, I really enjoyed this and your descriptions of their personalities.

    Greetings from Minneapolis!


  5. There is no hurry in naming baby. Why my son and daughter in law did not name my grandkids until they were home from the hospital. ALMOST A WHOLE week and they were HUMAN! HAHA....I sure am enjoying all these cute pictures of this little guy, and also his antics too! You are teaching all of us donkey owners what to do! LOL....

  6. Love the updates!!! gorgeous boy. long legs. Legs McGee. and fast Zip. okay, put in those 2 names but i know naming is important and requires a lot of consideration. can't wait to see what you decide on. he's a keeper!

  7. Love the pictures and updates. Handsome boy there, thus...Beauregard. just a thought. good luck with the name. get some sleep. he is a lucky boy! lots of caregivers. sweet.