We've lost a donkey very mysteriously. She just vanished without a trace from a small pasture right here close to the house. We live back in the woods away from traffic and everything else. I can't imagine what has happened to her. She was quite old, but has a baby about 2 to 3 months old. Is the baby old enough to survive without her mom? What should I feed her...milk (cow), milk replacement, or just feed and hay? I've seen her nibbling at the grass (not much available, of course) but don't know if she is actually eating much. Tomorrow will be day three since we noticed the mom was missing.
Was she gentle enough for someone to have "taken" her?
We lost a donkey jack last year the same way - searched for days but nothing ever came up and the neighbors all say they never saw him either. He even had a female donkey with him and she didn't leave. Thought maybe he got hurt and died but we never found any body . Very Strange. He was such a pet and usually stayed close to the house so we can't imagine what happened to him.
Anyway about the colt - she should be fine without the mom. You will want to go ahead and start feeding her though probably a grain feed and hay. You could get some milk replacement powder to mix with the feed. If possible you might want to bring her closer to your house so you can keep an eye on her during this adjustment period.
I don't know if I can offer much else - we don't have donkeys - the jack was the only one we've ever had and he lived at my DS and DIL's house with their female donkey (jennet?). We have horses but I bet someone on this board has donkeys and can pitch in with more advice than I have.
I am sorry for your lose though I remember how frustrating it was to just not know what happened to ours.
Very peculiar. I'm hoping maybe she came in season and went looking for some lovin'. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one for you. My small (just a smidge over the official mini donk height) is quite an escape artist, and I can testify that a donkey can and will get down on his knees and belly and crawl under a board fence with 18 inches of clearance, and under a barbed wire fence with as little as 9" clearance if the bottom wire has some slack. Some of them are excellent jumpers, too.
If your donkey did die, you may not have spotted her yet because she's blending into the background (that amazing donkey stealth coloring). If she's out there dead, you'll spot her in the next few days; she'll bloat up and stand out more, and the buzzards will arrive and show you the site, and eventually, there'll be the odor.
Baby's a little young for weaning, so some king of milk or milk replacer for a few months until you get her well started on hay and grain. There are some excellent donkey/mule web sites that can give you are the particulars, but I'm not familiar with any of them. I do recommend ruralheritage.com (teamster and drover magazine); go to their Front Porch, then click on the Draft Horse, Mule and Teamster Forum (you have to be a subscriber to post questions on the Veterinary Forum). You can post questions there and get advise from some of the donkey folks, and they'll also be able to recommend other donkey/mule sites. Meantime, keep as much soft high quality hay in front of baby as she'll eat and get her started nibbling on some kind of grain (I'm not a fan of sweet feeds or pellets for horses myself) until you get some good advise from them what's been there. Best of luck, and please keep us updated.
Still no sign of our donkey. I'm sure she is dead, I don't think anyone would steal an old sway-backed donkey when there are two new four wheelers in the barn. She was an old sweetie, but only had value to us. We've seen a few buzzards, but still no body. There is a very steep banked creek outside the pasture fence. That's the most likey place to lose an animal...we've lost a couple of cows there. It is very curvy and brushy and is difficult to impossible to see down in there. The baby is doing okay so far. Eats a little sweet feed and a little hay. I tried her on milk replacer, but she wouldn't have any of it. Mixed it in dry and she ate it one day but refused it the next. The jack has apparently taken her under his wing and watches out for her. I am worried about this cold rain we have now. There is no permanent shelter in the field. We moved a portable "house" out to the field tonight, but I doubt any of the animals will be brave enough to go inside so soon. She is quite wild, so catching her and putting her anywhere is out of the question. Hopefully she will be okay. Thanks so much for the advice. Kathy
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