Donkey observations

I’m going to spend a bit more time on this blog looking at the daily behaviour of the donkeys and recording some of their social life on video. This video is mainly about feeding.

The two youngsters, Aitana and Morris (14 months) should have been weaned a long time ago. Morris was separated from his mother from June to September, when he was gelded and returned to be with the females (as recorded on the blog). Consequently, Rubí stopped producing milk shortly after Morris was separated from her. On his return, Morris tried unsuccessfully to get milk from Rubí but then discovered that he could sneak up on Matilde, for she was still producing milk for Aitana. In this video we see Morris having a quick passing grab at Matilde’s milk, then Aitana feeding from Matilde.

The tree browsing sequence is quite interesting because Matilde can reach higher branches than Morris, so he relies on her to get them for him. I hope to capture on camera the scene I observed last week, where Matilde was holding down a high branch for her foal Aitana to eat it. This is very social behaviour.

This blog occasionally reaches other people in far off parts of the world, which always surprises me, and I would like to hear from others involved in donkey observation.

Evening feed routine.

The evening feed is usually a third of a bale of alfalfa, to supplement the forage or straw that the donkeys browse through the day. This video is quite unremarkable, but for those who like to see the routine, here is the routine!


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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