This afternoon, Tessa went back to Riding Buddy's place for the rest of the winter, which means that my little baby mule (who is just shy of 8 months old now) got weaned for reals today.
We've been working on separation a bit here and there, but I only have the one barn so he wasn't really weaned. Now, he is looking for mommy, who stepped into a big, red box and disappeared.
Meanwhile, mommy is out visiting with her beloved Hawkeye and a new boyfriend, Sammy. She has her hooves full and is not worrying about her offspring.
She got all prettied up before she left
Speaking of hooves, she even got a full pedicure before she left, which Qilin felt the need to inspect in great detail (Ramsey has a fascination with hooves and, apparently, so does Qilin. It must be a donkey thing as I have never seen horses do this, but have heard of a few other donkeys and mules who do).
Another step in the growing up stage and it went very smoothly. Qilin had a very brief temper tantrum when I led Tess to the trailer and left him behind, but I came back, tied him up and gave him a good grooming and some extra hay and he settled right down. I have gotten to hear his odd, rather mystical sounding Qilin Call (a cross between a unicorn and dragon is about as good a description of that sound as you can get) a number of times today, but there has been no other drama.
The fact that Qilin is almost 8 months old helps a great deal. I believe strongly that babies should not be weaned too early unless there is a pressing health related reason to do so. Six months is the earliest I would do it and later is better, especially if you have a good mom like Tessa teaching him how to behave. At eight months, with a herd of donkeys to keep him company, it is no big deal deal.