Is My Donkey Pregnant? How To Tell

Did you have your jenny bred, or did you get it as a gift, purchase, or rescue? In any of these scenarios, you have reason to suspect that your new donkey is pregnant. Alternatively, you could have a nice quiet jenny in your pasture who slips away for the day or is visited by a jack or a stallion.

In any case, you may soon notice unexplained weight gain and behavioral changes that make you wonder if your donkey is pregnant. Continue reading to find out how to tell if a donkey is pregnant.

How to Spot a Pregnant Donkey


If you’ve been keeping track of when your Jenny goes into heat, you’ll notice that she’s not doing it anymore; however, this could be a very subtle sign because female donkeys only go into heat seasonally, and owners frequently fail to notice.

Naturally, if your donkey is pregnant, you may notice significant weight gain in the midsection. This could simply indicate that your donkey is consuming more grass and hay and has gained weight.

If you notice that your weight gain is concentrated in your stomach and nowhere else, you may be pregnant.

A pregnant donkey’s weight gain may be a little lopsided. If you notice more weight gain on one side than the other, it’s likely that a baby is on board.


You’ll notice that your jenny’s udder has swollen about three weeks before the expected birth. This indicates that she is starting to produce milk in preparation for the new arrival.

You may notice milk dripping from the udder a few days before the baby is born.

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The female donkey’s pelvic muscles will begin to slacken as the birth date approaches, and you may be able to feel some mobility of the bone surrounding the base of her tail.

In order to prepare for the birth, your jenny will naturally seek out a quiet, private location. She might become docile and lose her appetite.

The lips of the jenny’s vulva will begin to swell within a few hours of birth.

How Long Does A Donkey Stay Pregnant?

All of these symptoms will appear gradually over a long period of time.

The average donkey pregnancy lasts 11 to 14 months.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away and have him or her come out to make a proper diagnosis.

Prenatal care for donkeys is just as important as it is for humans.

What to Expect When the Joyous Event Comes

If your donkey is in good health, you may miss the entire show. A healthy, strong jenny will usually give birth quickly.

If you notice thick, waxy milk dripping from your donkey’s teats, your new baby donkey will most likely arrive within the next day or two.

Bring your jenny into a dry, clean stall with plenty of clean straw for bedding. Even if she has lost her appetite, you should keep plenty of fresh hay and water available.

Otherwise, you shouldn’t have much to do. Just keep an eye on her to make sure everything is fine.


Your Jenny will most likely deliver her baby lying down, but if she does deliver standing up, you should be nearby to catch the baby so it doesn’t fall to the ground. If she trusts you, she will not object to you doing so.

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Your Jenny will most likely immediately clean the baby’s face and nose so that it can breathe freely. If she does not, clean the area with a soft, clean, damp cloth.

How Long Will It Take To Give Birth?

Overall, it should take no more than an hour from the time the amniotic sac ruptures to the time the baby donkey is delivered. Call your veterinarian if your jenny appears to be in distress or if too much time has passed.


If your Jenny is strong and healthy, as well as the baby, the cord should break naturally as the two of you move around. This may take some time, but please be patient.

Don’t cut the cord or get involved. If the baby is born and the placenta is passed without the cord breaking, contact your veterinarian.

What Happens After the Donkey Baby Is Born?

Typically, the jenny will immediately clean and dry the baby. You should stay out of the way because this is an important part of the mother-baby bonding process.

When the baby is clean and upright, it will look for its first meal. Jenny will most likely pass the placenta as the baby begins to nurse. If this does not occur within an hour of the baby’s birth, you should contact your veterinarian.

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If the mother allows you to handle the baby, examine it carefully to ensure that its eyes are open, bright, and clear. Examine the baby’s mouth to ensure that the gums have progressed from dark pink to the normal, bright pink gum color.

Once the baby has been cleaned and is walking around, it should be breathing normally and hungry. A jenny who has previously had a few foals will encourage the baby to nurse.

If this is your Jenny’s first child, she may be at a loss for what to do. You may need to assist the baby in getting to its first meal.

It is critical that the new baby donkey consume a couple of quarts of first milk (colostrum) within the first twelve hours of life. This first milk provides the baby with essential antibodies that help protect it from disease.

Colostrum is only produced for the first twelve hours after the jenny gives birth, so the foal must feed well during this time.

Plan carefully!

Baby donkeys are extremely adorable, and you may be tempted to breed your jenny just for the joy of having a cute little one around. But, before you make this life-changing decision, make certain that the little donkey has a secure future and that someone will look after them.

A number of qualified adoption agencies have a large number of nice donkeys in need of good homes. It’s always better to adopt if you don’t really need a brand-new baby donkey.

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