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.