As you are aware from our earlier posts, the Trust was asked to help rehome five donkeys, Sarah, Lauren, Ava, Humphrey and Bogart. See our earlier posts here and here.
It has been a busy month since the last post.
The main events concerned Humphrey and Bogart. We think Bogart is about 10 months old now and his nephew Humphrey is about 7 months old. Both boys were quite shy when they arrived but have Sarah’s calm and pleasant nature. Sarah is Bogart’s mother and Humphrey is her grandson. While they were still feeding off their mums, they were definitely old enough to be gelded and weaned.
The gelding was undertaken by Louisa and Kerry from Vet Services Wairarapa Equine. It all went without a problem. The day was fine and they were gelded in a clean paddock. They were observed closely for the next two weeks but had no after effects. It is much simpler and there is far less risk of infection when jacks are gelded at a young age.
The boys were then weaned from their mothers….and their mothers were happy to see them go. People wean foals in different ways. I started by separating them from their mums for a few hours each day. I also left Ava with them so it was not a complete shock. They would stay in a paddock they knew well during the day. At night they would come into a paddock that they could see their mums but they were separated by two sturdy fences. After 2 weeks I moved Ava away from them as well. I did not want them to bond too closely with her and I would have to “wean” them off her.
They are now happily in their own paddock and while they like to “visit” their mums and sister by saying hi across the fences, they are now roaming into the next paddock without a care.
Bogart has become very friendly. He loves a cuddle and a scratch. He is definitely the boss. But I have finally made some headway with Humphrey. As with many donkeys, you just have to wait for them to trust you. You cannot force it and yesterday Humphrey came up for a scratch under the chin. I am sure things will now progress quickly with him. They need a bit more handling with tying up and leading and then we will be looking for a new home for them. They will only be homed together.
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Humphrey and Bogart