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heat cycles

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farmdude

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Do donkey's heat cycle every 4 weeks? When do they first come in heat, what age? My little girl is 7 months old. I am afraid of her daddy knocking her up. They are in seperate pastures, but have heard stories of them breeding through fences.
 
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shminifancier

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Here you go::

Jennets can become fertile at one year of age but if bred, can make very poor mothers and many will reject their foals (meaning YOU need to bottle feed, every 2 hours, 24 hours a day), others may abort early which can cause serious medical problems. Jennets can be considered for breeding after the age of 2-1/2 to 3 years depending on their overall physical and mental maturity. Miniature Donkeys, on average, carry a foal for 12 months. Average Gestation: 11 months, 3 weeks, 5 days. (Unlike other animals, donkeys can carry their foals from 11 months to 13 months.) Most are not rebred until their second heat cycle, some 30 odd days after foaling. Some jennets will not conceive until their foal is weaned. Taking all into consideration, the average jennet produces one offspring every 13 to 14 months.
 

farmdude

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Thanks for the information. I wasn't planning on having the daughter bred for several years if at all. The mother was in heat the third week of March. I was trying to calculate future heats. I heard that horses come in heat every four weeks. I was wondering if donkeys were the same way. I'd like to have the mother bred either this month (May) or next month (June). One more question; will the mother donkey wean her foal on her own, or do I need to seperate and at what age? Thanks.
 
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I have had some immature jennets come into heat as early as 7 months old. The immature jennets are the worst about going to the fence and teasing the jack across the fence(mouthing, squating, winking the whole bit), more so then mature jennys. Immature jennets and jacks are like teenagers...very hormonal!!
 

Jim Guerin

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Hi All,

I had a question some what like the one asked. I wrote to Vicki/Ladywife, owner of DonkeyMuleInfo group. She has a site here, http://www.donkeymuleinfo.com . The following is what she sent me. She is very knowledgeable, and has been in donks over 30 years.

I did see first hand, my jennet, Honey, who was just over three months old then, with her butt backed as far as she could up to the fence, showing for my mini horse stallion, Macho. She was hurtin!
It was so funny to watch!

Hope this helps!

Jim Guerin

Yelm, WA

JENNET ESTRUS CYCLING

A jennet is in estrus influenced by FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and

OEST (estrogen) for an average of 5 to 7 days, some jennets longer, some

jennets a shorter time. It depends on their age, health, diet, and

reproductive history. During estrus she will stand for a jack. Indications

are tail up, winking of the vulva, and she will have a relaxed cervix and

moist vagina. During the final 18-24 hours of her heat she will ovulate but

there is a narrow window of opportunity averaging 12-18 hours for sperm

introduced to fertilize the egg. You may see a sticky, mucus discharge on

the lips of the vulva when she ovulates. If you miss ovulation by as little

as a few hours no conception will occur because the egg has already been

ejected. It only stays viable for a short time. The instant the egg is

released from the ovary it triggers the production of LH (lutenizing

hormone) from the pituary, and PROG (progesterone) from the ovary and

usually within 24 hours after ovulation dioestrus begins and there is a

dramatic change in the jennet's behavior and she will lay her ears back and

kick at a jack. Her cervix is closed and her vaginal tract is dry.

Dioestrus can last 16 to 30 days depending on the jennet and then a new

estrus cycle begins and the pituary begins producing FSH and the ovaries

produce PROST (prostaglandin). From ovulation to ovulation the average is

21 days but I have seen it as short as 18 days and as long as 39 days.

Jennets under the age of 6 years old can have erratic heat cycles especially

those under the age of 3. Jennets begin cycling at only a few months old.

The youngest I've seen personally was 4 months old and so its important not

to allow young jennets exposure to a jack, even jack foals. Those baby boys

are born with viable sperm but lousy aim. While they are practicing they

can accidently hit the target and impregnant a jennet foal. Jennets usually

cycle year round but during the heat of summer and cold of winter their

cycles may be silent and they won't display. Vicki/ladywife, DonkeyMuleInfo Group owner
 

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