Is this donkey pregnant?

When Barbara visited in December and helped me to select another donkey from Paco in the Sierra Bernia, we found Matilde, who I hadn’t noticed previously because I was besotted with the classic ‘pretty donkey’ Rubi who I had immediately bought on first sight! Matilde is, however, a much more practical donkey for my purpose, i.e. carrying a pack saddle.

The only complication was that she was pregnant, due to foal in August 2011. So I bought her with a long term view, for walking the Camino de Santiago in 2012 after her time with foal at foot. Later, in February as we were discussing the plan to move the two donkeys from Sierra Bernia to Elca Seriu, I asked Paco if she had been tested for pregnancy. No, but he was ‘pretty sure’ Matilde was pregnant… Not quite as definite as his first confident pronouncement in December! Comparing the photo of Matilde taken in December (above) with a photo taken just now (below), there is a definite difference in her shape, and looking at her belly it is certainly lower than before. That may, however, be simply due to a change of diet. These two donks have eaten a whole pasture in the space of three weeks and reduced it to dust, as if they were a pair of over sized long eared locusts.

I cannot afford to get the vet out here to do a pregnancy test or a scan on Matilde, as I am just surviving on the meagre pay I get from my teaching job. (I also have to plan for an unpaid long summer break, so I am putting aside my rent money for July, August and September!) I have just come up with a brilliant idea to solve the mystery. Will it work? I am thinking of buying a simple pregnancy testing kit from a chemists shop and simply collect a sample from Matilde next time she has a wee. Any ideas, folks? Would that be completely mad?


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Is this donkey pregnant?

  1. Geert Bakker says:

    Please post a few foto’s from the front and from behind showing whether her sides are evenly curved or is one side protruding? [Sorry, Matilde, for being so blunt; I’m a Dutchman!]

  2. RatBag says:

    Given that “Foalguard” have two different products, which test for two different hormones (according to their website) at two different stages in pregnancy, it seems to me that you couldn’t trust the results from tests meant for humans. The Foalguard products are for horses, donkeys, zebras – closely related animals. Although the basic biology is the same for most mammals, details will differ and the tests will have different sensitivities according to the species they are tuned for. Don’t waste your money unless you can afford the correct test. Observation (visual and/or tactile) will serve you better.

  3. brynevans says:

    If you must try a human test kit, then get one for each donk, so that you have
    a “control” test. If the results are different that should be an indicator of foal
    if they are the same then it can only indicate fool.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    I was told yesterday by my local farrier friend that there is a chemist in Benidorm that sells horse sized pregnancy testing kits. (Prolly due to the number of horse sized tourists…)

    I remember going into a chemist at the age of twenty three to buy condoms and losing my nerve. I left the chemist clutching a packet of Rennies instead. Now I must go in and ask for a pregnancy testing kit for my girlfriend who is a donkey. I may just come out with another packet of Rennies…

  5. RatBag says:

    My Saturday job for pocket money, from the age of 13 until I went away to uni, was working in my parents’ chemist shop. I think you can probably imagine what was the most embarrassing item I had to sell. And my customers didn’t usually settle for Rennies, either 😦

  6. Barbara says:

    Rofl ! You can usually collect a specimen (which is fun…..not) and take it to the chemist in a clean bottle. I expect you can get the bottle from them in advance. But I don’t think a human type kit will work on equines. Oh, and use a funnel, or a mega clean bucket for the acual collecting. I don’t think there is anywhere with a lot of sheep near you, is there? If so the ultrasound man might just do a detour. But she is what, five or six months? A bit soon for it to show from the outside as it were. A better guide would be if she doesn’t come into season. Rubi will, and when you have two girls together they will normally sync their cycles. Two lots of PMT at once! Dalie and Rosie have already had their first this year, so in the earlier spring your way I would be surprised if Rubi doesn’t start getting ready soon. Look for tooth gnashing, as if she is chewing gum, peeing a lot more often, with cloudy urine and a strong smell, and of course calling for a male ( and I will pm you the rest of the signs so as not to be censored….)

  7. Barbara says:

    PS When was she served? Gestation can be up to thirteen months, but is more usually twelve.

  8. Frere Rabit says:

    No idea when Matilde was served. Paco was a bit vague about the whole business! I have now been told of a DIY equine pregnancy testing kit available from a local chemist in Benidorm. I will explore. On the urine front, both donks are producing cloudy urine. Another noticeable change is that Matilde has become distinctly skittish and also rejects any stroking and affection, turning her back on me, while Rubi remains affectionate and happy to receive attention. (Still biting…!)

  9. Barbara says:

    Email on the way.

  10. steve says:

    So anyways I sees this guy with an all new 2,3 litre ford focus in silver with matching trim In the car park. Not allowed into Brighton these cars of course unless you can prove that you are a vegan), driving away from me with no donkeys or straw in the back. On the pull I thinks. But no. Full of posts and straw. But that comes later.I don’t doubt the capabilities of this donkey owner. As the third Estrella Galicia goes down with an air of fraudulent approval., it starts to get warmer and we stop being teachers or benidorm brits of the piss.

    Still says good morning to me. Only one that does. Good man that Thomas bloke. And he has the common sense not to use windoze

    Cheers to, all, Steve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s