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DocKaren, Large Animal Vet
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63
Experience:  Ambulatory veterinary experience with camelids, sheep, and goats.
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I have been bottle feeding a donkey since birth when the mother

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I have been bottle feeding a donkey since birth when the mother didn't want anything to do with her. She is 11 weeks old and healthy. Now I am giving her 2 bottles a day each approx 3 to 4 pints of the special formula for lambs, goats and foals. She grazes in the pasture and I give her the 14% creeper pellets and several cups of Omolene 300 growth sweet grain.   When can I begin to wean her and how do I go about it? She won't drink the milk from a pail. Never raised an animal on the bottle before and really need some advice.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  DocKaren replied 7 years ago.
Sounds like a fun project, although I can imagine you are getting weary of playing "mom" after 11 weeks on the job!!

The earliest I like to wean is 4 months/16 weeks, so if you can keep on for another 5 weeks, you should be fine. It is encouraging to hear that she is doing well, and is beginning to eat grass and grain.

In 2-3 weeks, you can start lessening the amount of milk you are feeding until you cut her off completely at 16 weeks. I would be careful with the amount of sweet feed you are offering - she probably only needs 1-2 cups at her age and stage. Too much sweet feed can cause colic/founder/other problems, and she will get 90% of her nutrition from good grass and hay.

It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with her! Good luck, and I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions about her!

Thanks, XXXXX
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