Our wonderful adoption donkey Ruby is moving to a different shelter. Read on to learn about how and why we move our donkeys.
As the days start to draw out and winter slowly gives way to spring, our team at Slade House Farm has reviewed all of our donkeys' living arrangements.
Looking after so many donkeys means continuously reviewing their needs and lifestyles, making adjustments to group sizes and locations to ensure each donkey lives life to their fullest potential. Our on-site vets check over all of the donkeys before any moves take place.
Last week, Ruby, one of our adoption donkeys, moved from Main Barn to Shelter 1. Wonkey, her best friend, accompanied her on this new adventure, and they are meeting some old and new friends!
Why has Ruby moved?
As donkeys grow older, their needs and preferences begin to change. Ruby is starting to get to a point where she would appreciate flatter ground and smaller group size, both of which Shelter 1 provides. The management of haylage and straw at Shelter 1 is the same as Main Barn, which should help the transition run smoothly.
Those who know Ruby will know that she likes to socialise with visitors to our Sidmouth sanctuary. While she's currently missing all of the attention, Shelter 1's field will have her up close and personal with all of our visitors once the sanctuary has reopened.
What happens when donkeys move to a new shelter?
At first, there may be a couple of rougher interactions as the donkeys reassess their herd's pecking order. This is perfectly normal and expected, and our team are present each day to help the movers settle into their new surroundings. Shelter 1 hosts a separate area that houses Ruby and Wonkey during the evenings while they acclimatise to their new surroundings and the move has been running smoothly.
Moving also provides an opportunity for our donkeys to make new friends and catch up with some familiar faces - both donkey and human. Buster, one of the current residents of Shelter 1, used to live with Wonkey, and the pair have been taking the opportunity to have a reunion. Ruby and Wonkey are also reconnecting with Rosie Baker, one of our wonderful grooms who helped care for them during the first lockdown.
Has Shelter 1 been Ruby-proofed?
Ruby has gained a bit of an adventurous reputation over the years and is known for unlocking barn doors and taking entire herds out for evening strolls. Since moving to Shelter 1 she has managed to open the gate to the summer paddock and treated the rest of the herd to some extra grazing, which proved to be a popular move!
Our grooms have done their best to Ruby-proof Shelter 1, so we can only watch and wait to see if she figures a way around these new measures!