Making space for foals

It seems only yesterday that I built my eco-friendly donkey stable, but it was six months ago, and now I have stripped all the brushwood exterior from it and rebuilt the structure to make an extra ‘nursery’ space for the two soon-expected foals. The main area remains the same but I am creating a foal-friendly space with a lower roof height, so the adults cannot ‘corner’ the foals. There will be a wooden bar at foal height to prevent the adults entering the last two metres of the stable.

Matilde and Ruby, who have been excluded from their stable for the past twenty-four hours, are watching the whole process intently. They stand and stare at the rebuilding work, fretting perhaps that I have decided to move in to the property myself and evict them! So each stage of the process is marked by explaining it to the donkeys, cuddling them and reassuring them it will be theirs again soon. Meanwhile, the pregnant mums roll in the dust, showing off their big round tummies. I just like to imagine the tumbling muddle of lanky legs, big floppy ears and soft hooves of the little foal inside.

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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.
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4 Responses to Making space for foals

  1. karin says:

    Aww a donkey nursery!! So, from a new grandmom…congrats!! and here’s to finding out…boy or girl! Do you have possible names picked out???

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    I have been thinking about names, but it’s nice to se what the donk looks like before naming him/her. Having said that, I am quite keen on the name Morris for a male foal, but I’ll have to wait and see if he looks like a ‘Morris’…

    Today, my new vet practice told me that the most likely time will be the next new moon, as donkeys tend to wait for a moonlit night.

  3. Kathy says:

    Will they be happy to share the stable once the foals are born, or will they want one each? Is the first foal likly to be harmed by the still expectant mother? I hope it all goes well.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    I will have to keep the other adult away from the mother and foal initially. That will simply be a matter of isolating the stable with electric fence. The newborn’s mother is likely to act aggressively if the other comes too close. I’m hoping to manage the situation without building two stables!

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