Launching a breeding programme for Baudet du Poitou donkeys is not necessarily straightforward, be it with thoroughbred or mixed blood animals. Here is some advice :
Starting a breed is not easy. For several reasons, starting with a B book donkey is easier than a A book :
Starting from Book 0 (zero) :
it will take about 15 years to obtain thoroughbred (book A) animal.
In fact, from the seventh generation, the females are considered as belonging to Book A
The Poitou s donkey does not like being alone. It is a gregarious animal which needs company; ideally another female or castrated male (not necessarily of the same breed).
In an ideal world, the strict rule of one hectare per animal applies. However, it is possible to reduce slightly the living space if food rations are increased. The Poitou donkey likes neither damp, nor cold wind, and therefore needs a shelter.
WhatÕs more, this is essential for birthing. An ideal shelter is open on one side, and is orientated so as to face away from prevailing winds.
The Baudet donkey is a herbivore, his main occupation and major source of nourishment stemming from grazing in pastureland. In al cases concerning young animals, gestating females and weaned foals have the greatest needs, and it is necessary to compliment their food with hay, hard feed, and a mineral salt lick.
The food ration of a Baudet du Poitou must be less rich than that a horse. It is also important to know that over-feeding a female has great risks attached: laminitus, infertility, and the possibility of osteo-articulary problems.
Here is a list of compulsory needs in the life of a Baudet du Poitou :
In the case of a female who fails to gain weight, one has to consider the possibility of dental problems or internal parasites.
There is six families of baudets (males) and six families of females.
A rotation in the choice of the maleÕs family every three years is advised in order to avoid consanguinity.
By rotating the available females with the available males every three years, every family of females meets every family of males.
Animals from the same family will only encounter one another approximately every 21 years.
The mating plan is both a way of keeping the variability genetic and to enhance the Breed.
For every one hundred pregnancies, just over 50% result in successful births which implies a high rate of miscarriage (and here we are talking of animals raised in good conditions).
As regards weather conditions, two scenarios need particular mention :
In both cases, careful supervision is essential. The lose of the foal whose birth has been awaited for a little over twelve months (the gestation period for a female) would be great shame.
After the birth, it is important to check that the placenta has been evacuated completely; otherwise the female may risk infection.
In the case of twins: usually, following conception, once twins detected by means of a scan, the vet will only keep the stronger of the two. It is worth noting that, to date, no case of viable twins has been recorded.
It sometimes happens that the amniotic sack fails to break naturally or that the mother is too tired to achieve this sufficiently quickly. In order to prevent the death of the foal by strangulation, man must intervene quickly and tear the sack so that the young one can breathe.