Here is Aitana in her smart new head collar bought yesterday at Cocentaina All Saints fair (see yesterday’s blogpost).

Aitana's new head collar November 2 2013

Aitana’s new head collar November 2 2013

Nov 2 052The new pony-size head collar was needed to replace her foal-size collar which she has outgrown.  However, despite reaching full-size, Aitana is still feeding from Matilde, and she is two years and one month old today. The photos below were taken just before putting on the new head collar, and show Aitana feeding from Matilde.

Nov 2 047Nov 2 050Nov 2 051

Matilde is still quite happy to be milked by Aitana and makes no attempt to push her away.  All the donks had finished their morning meal by that time, so Aitana had no need of milk, so I wonder what is going on here?  I commented on this a few months ago and asked for advice, but still have not heard from anyone with experience of weaning overgrown foals off milk!

Maybe this is a question for Ben Hart the “donkey whisperer” when he finishes his donkey behaviour symposium in California (second day today)


The website is up, but the dream is yet far off….


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 Aitana

  1. grace says:

    boy, she looks beautiful with her new head collar!!!

  2. Alys says:

    Very smart! I’ve done some donkey research and I think she is going through a teenage fad phase – she’s heard that donkey milk is good for her complexion!

  3. I think you will have to find a way to separate them so that mom’s milk will dry off. Once that happens she will be much less likely to let baby nurse. Most moms will wean the baby on her own somewhere between six and twelve months, but if there is no new baby and plenty of food some won’t. It won’t hurt Matilde, but Aitana does not need the extra calories. Still, if both their weight is ok and you can separate them if needed, it doesn’t really hurt anything. They do it for comfort.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    Thank you for that helpful response to my question about feeding. I suppose there’s no real harm in the situation, as you say. It just seems a little strange! Morris used to feed from Matilde too (after he was separated from Rubí and her milk dried up), but he seems to have stopped now. Instead he has taken to fighting with Matilde!

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