I was told my new donkey had been exposed to a male and could be pregnant and indeed she is! She had a baby last year and her previous owners said she did well. They said she was very protective of the baby with other animals but would let the humans handle him.
So I have 4 horses, and the donkey will have lived with them for several months before she has the baby. I have been told it will be ok to leave mom and baby out with the horses since mom will protect baby from curious horses and the horses will see baby as one of their own and not try to harm it. Is this true? Or should I leave mom and baby in a separate pasture until baby is bigger?
My other question is about fencing. I have a top rail of flex fence and 4 rows of coated wire below it. The top wire is electric. Is this ok for a baby donkey when it is really little? The pastures are large - one is 3 acres and the other is 4 acres and I also have a connected small dry lot. Do I need to build a separate paddock with something like mesh fencing to keep baby and mom in until baby is bigger? I could leave donkey and baby in a 12x24 stall but I would think being out in the pasture would be better healthwise.
I would keep them separate from the herd (but in an adjoining pasture) for the first week or so. Just so mom and baby can bond and get to know each other. It is very unlikely that your horses will harm the baby but I would still monitor closely the first time turning them back out with the herd. As for the fence...that baby isn't going to wander far from mom's side while it's very little.
There are very few things in this world that are cuter than a baby donkey
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
When my BLM'er Donk had her "surprise" baby. I separated her from the herd. the baby was just SO little, and mama didnt need the extra stress of trying to constantly protect baby
I put her in a large pen with panels (like 50X50) with a shelter and I put up that regular fencing (you know the cage wire type) along the bottom the panels so baby didnt accidentally fall through.. yes, she was that little
Perhaps thats not how they do it in the wild.. but, they are spoiled domestic critters now