A first taste of ass’s milk

The photo says it all… “How much longer do I have to bear this weight?”

Having discovered yesterday that Rubi has milk (see yesterday’s post), the birth of the foal appears imminent and I am really hoping to see it happen this weekend. We’re into October now, and the vet said ‘three weeks maximum’ a month ago! The school where I work goes onto a longer school day from next Monday, as the weather is cooler, and it will be a bit more pressure to add to the mix. Sleeping in the tent near the stable in case of an emergency, I have lost so much sleep this term that my school preparation has not been 100% and I am hoping that these photos are the last of the pregnant Rubi and the next photo will be a foal!

Please have the foal, Rubi! You have a huge blog following, so it’s time to deliver the pretty foal pics!

The vet said I must check for milk to make sure it is flowing correctly, and also check that the foal is able to drink. The first 24 hours are crucial because the milk contains important material to ensure the foal’s immune system functions well.

Intrigued by the legends about ass’s milk (Cleopatra bathed in it for its nutrients and skin care qualities), I tasted it this evening. Yuk! It was bitter and had slightly rancid aftertaste. Maybe it was some of those special ingredients for kicking the immune system into action. It certainly kicked my revulsion system into action… Give me my carton of standard full-fat cow’s milk any time! Sorry Roobs.


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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3 Responses to A first taste of ass’s milk

  1. karin says:

    I wonder if, as with humans, the milk will change as the little one grows and the needs change. I’m finding it fascinating that they actually begin to lactate before the birth! Good luck!

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes indeed the milk content changes and the special supplementary stuff to help the infant’s immune system is just present for the first day or two. It is fascinating. I’ve studied my donkey care handbook very carefully and I think it a great privilege to support such a lovely animal in its most significant life event so far. She’s only two and a half years old and a bit of a silly little thing, but I expect she’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes. I’m not sure why the milk begins before the foal arrives but it must be a clear signal that the foal is imminent.

    I’ve packed up the tent now and I’m going to sleep indoors. A month of waiting in the tent has been too, much waking up evey morning with the noise of the local dogs barking – so I need a good night’s sleep. That’s when it will happen, I suppose!

  3. karin says:

    Which is of course what happened..she appears to have done a fab job too!

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