Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Dylan gets a little sister SEREN

Wow, things have got really hectic here at the Dyfi Donkeys; our open days are in full flow and the foals are keeping us all on our toes.

Dylan's little half sister arrived on 18th July at 13.40 to everyone's surprise. All the books say that donkeys will give birth during the wee hours of the night , obviously Poppy doesn't read!
I was happily trying to relocate everyone to accomodate a visit from our friendly farrier, Dorian, when i realised that poppy wasn't just lying down because she was a little weary. Luckily the birth went without the same trauma as Dylan's and Seren popped out of her own accord.

Seren - about an hour old!
Seren means Star in welsh. Seren's vital statistics were height 82cm tall, ears 21cm long, weight 20kgs.  She looks much finer than Dylan, has a very curly coat and a beautiful cross on her back.
I was luck enough to watch her make her first steps and her first steps are available to view on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200717007180398&set=vb.548717721815216&type=2&theater - check it out as it is really special, Bambi could have taken some lessons from young Seren.

A week on now and Seren has totally found her feet and she is spending her time racing around the field with Dylan.

If you get the chance get down to one of our Open days and check them out. We are getting nothing down down here on the farm because we are spending all our time foal watching!!!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Donkey Picnic for Cylch Meithrin Corris with added DYLAN!

Cylch Meithrin Corris visited Dyfi Donkey Wood yesterday (10th July) for their summer picnic. 
 The donkeys welcomed 16 children, assorted parents and Anti Val , group organiser into the woods in the glorious Welsh sunshine.  After a leisurely picnic under the shade of the trees in Muffin's Picnic Meadow everyone headed up to Mosses' marquee to try their hand a grooming a donkey. Almost everyone overcame their nerves to get up close and personal to the donkeys, who stood calmly and patiently despite the excited chatter and click of numerous camera shutters!
Once the donkeys were shining brightly from all the grooming up came the shouts " Can I ride a donkey?"  Normally on an Open Day rides aren't available but anything if possible with a pre-booked group so Mosses was swiftly saddled up and off we all went. Up through the track and over the bridge towards the stable for the extra surprise of the day.  All the children shared the ride up to the farm; no mean feat to organise that one and many thanx for Anti Val for coming up with the idea of alphabetical order - no wonder she's group leader!

So what was the surprise or should that be who?  Our newest addition of course, Dylan made his public debut at just 1 day old. He should have been too shy , his mum should have been too protective but in true donkey style - they love a sense of occasion - once everyone was gathered round Daisy peeked out of the stable ; checked everyone was holding their breath in anticipation and with a quick nod to Dylan out she came. Well of course he had to follow her.. to a chorus of aahhhh's and ohhhh's. 
He stood and looked at everyone before scurrying back into the stable. Well , would that be it? Sixteen 3-5 year olds and all their grown ups starring at you is enough to scare anyone, let alone a day old donkey. But Dylan is not just any day old donkey, he knows he's a Dyfi Donkey and meeting their adoring public is in the blood! He scampered out again and proceeded to parade along the fence letting children and adults alike have a stroke and feel just how soft his coat is. By the end of the visit he was really working the crowd.
Everyone agreed that they had had a fabulous summer picnic and that Dylan was just the icing on the cake. Afterall it's not every day you get the chance to cwtch a day old donkey. Dylan has proved that he is a true Dyfi Donkey and its really looking forward to the group from Ysgol Aberdyfi who are coming to see him next week. Who knows he may have a half brother or sister by then!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Baby Donkey - Daisy is proud Mum!

Welcome to Dylan, our new Dyfi Donkey. He arrived eventually at 1.55 this morning, 9th July.

As with everything donkey there is always a story so here goes.

As I tucked the two girls up late last night I took a long hard look at Daisy and something told me I'd be seeing her again before morning. Off I went to bed to be rudely awaken - and believe me that is an understatement - by a bellowing donkey. I was out of bed and into my jeans before my eyes openned. I had no idea of the time but it was still very dark so at this time of year you know its the wee hours.

The air raid siren like bray broke the quiet night air as I tore out of the kitchen door and across the yard to the girls' stable. I don't know what I expected to see but it was certainly not the sight that greeted me.  Everyone tells you that a donkey will foal in the night and it's really unlikely that you'll see it so imagine my surprise and delight when I peeped over the stable door and there was Daisy in the throes of giving birth. One donkey head , two donkey legs... very long donkey legs. "Just in time", I thought, "how lucky". I stood waiting to see the foal plop to the ground,  all the research I had done suggested a donkey's birth is usually very quick and uneventful.

Poppy was watching over like a good midwife; "how sweet" I thought until she let out another enormous bellow and I realised it had been her who had rousted me from my bed. She looked up at me and those deep meaningful eyes bore right through me .." this isn't right" they seemed to say. Sure enough I turned back to see Daisy straining but absolutely no movement from the foal.

Years of watching James Herriot as a child kicked in and I rushed into the stable. Close up it was obvious that Daisy was having a bit of trouble expelling the back end of her baby. I gently felt the foal who was alive, alert and seemed relatively undistressed, although in a rather unbecoming position, just hanging there with his nose almost bouncing off the floor. The problem; two rather large hips attatched to two more very long legs. There was nothing for it, dragging every episode of All Creatures Great and Small through my memory banks I took a firm hold of each of the two foot legs and with a soothing suggestion to Daisy to push I slowly began to pull the foal. At first nothing happened and then like a cork from a champagne bottle... pop... out he came , tumbling to the floor. One quick check to make sure he was unhurt and Daisy was in order behind and I scurried out of the stable to let nature take its course. That mother / baby bond needs no human interference.

I ran into the house like a lunatic shouting  "Get up, get up we have a baby!!!".

More later on Dylan's first steps and introduction into the big wide world.