Posts Tagged ‘Donkeys’

Desperately seeking….

We’re desperately seeking new Guardians. Rentrée has arrived here in France and we need to find some new homes for 3 pairs of gorgeous donkeys. We have deadlines for all of them – so please help us to find them new loving homes.

First up, we have Coco & Roma, two brothers who have been handled since birth. They are both gelded and very friendly, we’ve known them for 3 years and even have one of their brothers in our own equine family. Unfortunately, their current owners have had to return to the UK following a change in circumstances and so we need to find them a home quickly. They can be seen in the Charente (16) where they are currently being looked after. They are both in good health and have had no welfare issues, always having been part of families and whilst they have not been backed, they are both suitable for riding and/or driving in the future.

These photos were taken on a very rainy day, so they are looking rather sorry for themselves….

Next up are Manon & Rowan – Manon was a broodmare in the meat trade and was purchased by a kind hearted supporter when she was left at the end of a meat fair after she had seen her long term partner and latest foal loaded onto a lorry destined for Italy. Manon was pregnant with her eighth foal, Rowan, at the time. Rowan was born a month ago and is a stunning little foal and has been handled since birth. However, they cannot stay where they are and so we need to find them a home where they can live out their days away from the threat of the meat lorry. Rowan will need to be gelded as soon as he is old enough but they are both in good health and well-handled. They can be seen in the Lot (Dept 46).

And last but by no means least are our very own Wilbur and Piona who many of you will remember from back in 2008. They were welcomed into a wonderful home in the north of France who have now been hit by some unexpected circumstances and can no longer offer a longterm home to the pair. Piona is 75% Baudet de Poitou and is in the ‘B’ Studbook. She has always been with a loving family and adores nothing more than standing and being loved by all around! Wilbur on the other hand was rescued after being abandoned in a barn for 6 months. He had the worst feet we have ever seen and took many months to rehabilitate – you can see a video of him on the right. Given his background, it takes Wilbur longer to trust new families and he is wary of new people. Having spent a lot of time with Wilbur during his recovery, I can confirm that once he is able to trust, he is a lovely donkey and full of character. Both Wilbur and Piona are large donkeys and can be visited in Normandy by appointment.

Piona (L) and Wilbur(R)

How much do we love each other...?

Please help us find homes for these donkeys by sharing this blog with your friends. Somewhere there are new homes waiting for all these donkeys.


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We thought Nanette deserved a post all of her own as the transformation in her from the neglected little donkey we rescued in June 2008, is nothing short of inspirational! Those of you who remember Nanette will also remember the dreadful state her feet were in, they had been neglected for many years.

X-ray of Nanettes foot on arrival

After x-rays were taken of her feet to assess whether she has any pedal bone rotation, the arduous task  began of trying to get her feet back into a decent state again. We thought that it was important to show you just what can be acheived with these rescued equines with time and care.

These were her feet on arriving with ERF….

Nanette Front feet

Nanette hind feet

And now…..

Nanette front feet

Nanette hind feet

We would like to thank Nanettes wonderful adoptive mum Caroline who has given this very special donkey so much time, patience and love since she has been with her….and also credit must go to her wonderful farrier!

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Long term donkey friends Daisy & Dora moved down to the Haute Vienne today, to live with their new adopters Shirley and Gordon. These two were probably the most well-behaved donkeys we have come across this year to load and travel. Luckily we got them delivered and settled in before the  before the heavens opened….


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Daisy carefully steps off the trailer....

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The girls head off to investigate their new surroundings!

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"I think we'll like it here Dora!"

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"ooh look Dora, our house"


Thanks go to their new adopters for offering them such a lovely home, and to their old owners for entrusting this special pair into our care to find their forever home.


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After delivering Brandy (Gucci) yesterday I called in to visit Maddy, Ellie and Poppy –  the 3 donkeys that were adopted by Tracie and Dave back in April. These 3 donkeys are just the funniest threesome and follow each other around everywhere. They are an absolute credit to Tracie & Dave and look fantastic with their very shiny coats!

Poppy, Maddie and Ellie...treble trouble!

Poppy, Maddie and Ellie...treble trouble!

The beautiful Maddie

The beautiful matriarch, Maddie

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We wanted to ensure owners of smaller breeds of ponies and donkeys, including miniatures, are aware of a potentially life threatening condition called Hyperlipaemia. This is not meant to make people panic or worry, but we feel it’s important to highlight certain illnesses and conditions so we know how to spot the symptoms and help prevent the causes.

What is Hyperlipaemia?

It is a metabolic disease that effects, in particular, small donkeys and ponies which more often than not results in death. In simple terms, they get increased fats in the bloodstream.

What happens ?

When the equine  stops eating enough, the essential organs still require a food supply, so the body tries to use the energy that is stored as fat deposits. The result is that free fatty acids are circulated to the liver to be converted to glucose for use by the body. This system is controlled by complex hormonal events, which should shut down the amount of fat released from fat stores as the liver produces the glucose for the body. Sadly donkeys and small ponies are not able to efficiently turn off the fat release and the blood soon fills up with excess fat in circulation. Large amounts of fat cause the liver and kidneys to degenerate and fail, and eventually all the organs in the body fail, this results in irreversible damage and death follows soon after.

What are some of  the contributory factors?

  • Being overweight
  • Food deprivation
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or lactation
  • Dental problems
  • Internal parasites

What are the signs?

  • Dullness
  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite
  • Depression
  • Jaundice
  • Rise in temperature
  • Weakness
  • Head pressing
  • Ataxia
  • Staggering around
  • Lastly animals collapse and have seizures before death

How can I help prevent this?

Carefully monitor your equines body condition and diet. Do not put on starvation diets as this is one of the main causes of hyperlipaemia. Do not allow to get obese (you also have the risk of laminitis with this). Avoid stressful situations or trauma wherever possible, especially in foal mares. Keep to a regular worming program that is recommended for your pony/donkey. In inclement weather ensure they have shelter and that old and thin equines are rugged.

If you suspect your equine is unwell or is showing any of these signs call your vet immediately. It is possible to be treated if diagnosed early enough but time is of the essence with this condition. Lastly, never be worried about suggesting possible conditions or diseases to your vet – you never know, it may just save your animals life.

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Each year on the first Saturday of August, Romagne plays host to the Fête de l’âne et du cheval. This rural fair, which can be dated as far back as 1901, gives owners and breeders of some local and famous breeds of horse, donkey and mule a chance to show of their equines in their true beauty.

Baudet du Poitou


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Balto and Jenna finally found their forever home and today was the day to move them there. They have both gone to live with Yvonne and her husband in the Charente Maritime where they are going to be treated like royalty. Jenna has had a tough life being rescued a few years ago, her friend Balto was lucky enough to be given away with her. Balto & Jenna have a very strong bond, so much so that Balto actually got badly beaten up by some ponies trying to protect his pint-sized friend. Where ever one goes, the other is not far behind….which made it interesting trying to load them in the trailer today! They travelled excellently though and hardly moved as you can see

Balto & Jenna on the move!

Balto & Jenna on the move!


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