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Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Unexpected Birth

If you're a regular reader, or even a semi-regular reader, of my blog, you might remember this post here. It was about a number of different things, but among them, was the question I posed for any donkey experts. Namely.....is my donkey, Willow, pregnant? She was looking a bit rounded to me. A little "Reubenesque" even! Some of you commented that you weren't sure. Some of you thought she might be. I personally thought she was just chubby, perhaps on account of having previously had a baby donkey.

We did obtain Willow with her gelded son, Springfield. We got them from the Animal Rescue League. We were told that her son had been gelded and that she was not with other donkeys at her foster home when she was recovering from her abusive past. So, there really was never a question about her status - she was never supposed to have been pregnant.

Well, sometimes, mistakes are made. This, was CLEARLY one of those times!

So how did we discover this today? Well, first of all, finally, FINALLY, we have a vet who is able to take us on as a new client! Hooray! The vet was visiting for the first time today. We wanted him to look at our other angora goats (remember, the one that died? And remember, her necropsy showed nothing? Well, we wanted blood work done on one of the others, just in case). Also, the vet was going to geld Rosco, our young male llama. So, I was with the vet in the goat pen, holding down Cirrus, while he was taking a blood sample. Kelly had gone to round up Rosco and get him on a lead for the "procedure" to come.

Suddenly, Kelly called to me from the llama area "Claire, you're not going to believe this!" and I'm holding a goat who is having blood drawn so I say "What?" and he says "Come here!" and I say "I can't, I'm holding a goat!" So he says "You've got a baby donkey over here."

WHAT???!!! I nearly dropped the goat. As soon as I could, I rushed over. Sure enough, we had a baby donkey. A walking, dry, perfectly happy, black baby donkey. Totally adorable. He must have been born several hours beforehand, and we just had no idea. Donkey gestation is a full 12 months, so we have no idea exactly where she was a year ago today, but evidently, there was a man in her life at the time!

The vet still gelded Rosco - an interesting procedure. He had a bizarre reaction to the initial shot of opioid that was supposed to help him chill out for the procedure. He seemed to have a little seizure of sorts and went down. We all worried for a while but he snapped out of it after trembling and shaking for some time. Once he was standing, the vet went ahead with the procedure, which included a shot of lidocaine directly into the testicles. Rosco didn't even flinch. He behaved tremendously well. I watched carefully because surgical procedures fascinate me. It was much less bloody than I would have thought, and so quick - he was walking around right afterwards.

Anyway, the vet advised that no initial shots were needed for our little donkey. Kelly is still thinking of a good name. He is so unusually dark - I don't think I've ever seen such a dark donkey. I'd like to name him Espresso, but Kelly gets to name the male animals on the farm, so it's his choice.

Willow is a very good Mama Donkey, helping protect her little one whenever any of the goats or llamas went near. She also seems to be nursing successfully.

Truly a special donkey, born on the first day of spring, and such an unusual colour. I am sure he is a special soul.

27 comments:

JLB said...

He's adorable! I can have him right?? Please pretty please...

Glad to hear you found a vet :) Guess you wont need my advice anymore ;)

Oh, and I definetly agree...surgeries are fascinating!

Nancy K. said...

What a wonderful Momma Donkey Willow is! To have kept that big boy a secret and carried him to term with no special care ~ even having come from "less than ideal circumstances" ~ and gave birth to him with no fanfare or support! And LOOK at him! He's 1/2 as big as his Mom and clean and dry and well fed. What an amazing story...

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Unbelievable that that honkin' big baby came out of that donkey's belly!!! Congratulations; can't wait to hear the name!

Lola Nova said...

Oh my gosh! That is the cutest donkey ever, I can't believe it. I am just silly over the unexpected news. Congratulations Ma and Pa Whispering Acres!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww! There's always something interesting and amazing going on at your farm. :)

He is precious. I don't think there is anything cuter than a baby donkey!

He looks like an Onyx to me. Or if you want to stay with the tree theme (like Willow's name) Black Walnut would be fitting, and you can call him 'Wally' for short! :)

Congrats!

~Lisa

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooh! Oooh! Two more name ideas for Kelly:

Ebony or Obsidian! :)

Lisa

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

Awwww, what FUN!!!
We had one of those kinds of births here not too long ago as well! Have fun with the new little guy! Take lots of pics! =)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

It's a male? yes, beautiful color. How 'bout Keister? donkey - ass - keister.

Funny - here, the girl animals are a little more mine and the boy animals are a little more Mike's. So he gets to name the boy animals too although we both have to agree on the name.

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

Oh My Gosh I just can't believe it....I'm also surprised how big he is. I had a goat who "wasn't pregnant" according to the vet so when we found her we decided to name her Serendipity which was so fitting. I think Serendipity would be a great name for your donkey. How incredibly sweet he looks.

Kara said...

He is adorable is right! Congrats! What a great surprise!

Deb said...

That little guy is just too cute! Congrat's Claire :)

Sharrie said...

Wow! He is a doll!! and sooooo big.

BlueGate said...

We missed you last night, but holy cow, sounds like you had a day-full!
Congrats on the new babe, he's a cutie for sure!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Claire: OMG he's adorable! What a wonderful little surprise. Your farm is growing by leaps and bounds lately. Don't you just love the wee ones?! Congrats.

Corinne R. said...

Awww, he is so adorable! I bet he would like a little Shetland friend MWahahahah (evil laugh).

thecrazysheeplady said...

I thought she looked pregnant ;-). What a nice surprise. Totally adorable and what a good momma!

Mom L said...

OMG - Diane's visit was just a tad too early!!! Baby donkey is gorgeous, as are all your babies. Look at those eyes!

How is Rosco today? Sounds like he was a trooper.

Congratulations, Claire and Kelly, on your new baby!

Nancy

Becky Utecht said...

Oh what a great story! Perfect for the first day of spring. He's so darn cute, too. Congratulations to Willow on a job well done!

Apifera Farm said...

Beautiful little guy! Sadly Claire I think people say all sorts of things to unload equines[not sure if that was the case here, but, buyer beware]. I'm glad you have a vet now too!Little donkeys are adorable, you'll love him, and now you've been through one gelding so you know what to expect [I didn't think his reaction to the shot was that strange though?]I would love to breed Lucia, but I also know the expense and pasture/worm load issues- look into that there, you can end up with a lot of animals on too small a space. [vet is a starting point, to ask]We've always been careful, but after the lambing season I'm revisiting everything!
Cheers to your animal family!!!

d/iowa said...

he is so cute! and to think i had just asked you if willow was knocked up or just fat!!!!!
i am so mad that he didn't come a few days sooner so i could have seen him in person!
luna will be so jealous of a new baby animal!
congrats!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I'd like a fuzzy like that! See? I told you to lean over and look at her private parts like my mom told me to tell you! hee hee Load him right up with Tulip and Luna and bring him to our farm! Goat kisses from Isobelle!

Christy said...

What an amazing surprise! He is adorable. If he needs a home when he gets older we'd love to have a donkey raised around small animals.

kenleighacres said...

Oh my goodness - what an awesome surprise!!! I like the 'Wally' suggestion :) Very cute name for a very cute donkey. I want to come over and snuggle and hug him!

Mare said...

My Goodness Claire! How did i miss this post! I am so happy for you! He is just beautiful...I hope Kelly gives him a Spring-like name! I would love to visit you and your critters someday. It must be a very special, magical place to be.... :)

Blue Goose Farms said...

How Awesome!That is just great! We love our Donkey his name is Alluicious.

angie said...

LOVE him. I am obsessed with donkeys these days. I almost drove off the highway the other day because I was so busy looking at 3 donkeys in a field. Luckily, Bill grabbed the wheel! :)

Claire said...

JLB - Ummm...you can have him when he's weaned, unless you want his mom too! LOL! Still need your advice!

Nancy K & Michelle - do you think he could be the offspring of a standard size donkey with his mom? He's so big!

Lisa - you win! Kelly named him Onyx. He really liked that suggestion.

Mom L - Rosco is doing great! No swelling or other problems. He is a trooper!

Christy - he's getting along with the goats really well already! When he's weaned, we would be thrilled to give him a good home where he will be loved. We really hadn't anticipated a 3rd donkey. He'll have a home here as long as he wants, of course.

Mare - you are welcome to visit anytime!