November 20, 2008
Is It Time To Separate Those Little Boys?
If you had any baby donkeys born early last spring, they should be getting close to 8 or 9 months old by now. When will it be time to separate the young boys from the girls?
While most young donkeys will not have much interest in breeding behavior at this young age, young jacks and jennets may become fertile at this age or soon after. So by the time your jacks are 9 months old, they should be separated from the girls (both young jennets, their mothers, and any other jennets or mares you don't want them to possibly breed).
While young jennets might be fertile at this age, their bodies are still not mature yet and they are not old enough to safely carry a foal for a while longer. It is best to wait until a jennet is at least 3 or 4 years old before breeding her for the first time. Breeding her prior to this age can damage her health. It is very hard for her body to support it's own growth while providing the nutrition to grow a baby at the same time. The extra weight of pregnancy can be very hard on her growing joints and bone structure, too.
Your young jacks and jennets at this age may not show any inclination toward breeding behavior when you are around, but that doesn't mean they might not do it in secret when you aren't around. So it's better to be safe than sorry!
If you plan to keep your young yearling jacks intact for a while longer, you should still be able to keep them pastured with another mature gelding to keep them company, as long as all are getting along together. If you aren't planning to keep them as a jack, then you should talk to your vet about scheduling to have them gelded. In colder climates, your vet will probably want to wait until the weather warms up some in the spring, but there's no reason to wait past then if he isn't superb enough to be destined to be a future stud jack.
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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at November 20, 2008 10:19 AM