Many of our visitors watch the donkeys in New Barn through our webcam where you can see around 47 donkeys all varying in age - just like Caramel, aged 29, who was relinquished into our care in 1999.
We find that the elderly donkeys or the ones, who find it hard to maintain weight, feel the cold and for this reason you may see them wearing rugs.
We have different thickness and sizes of rugs and we can monitor how many rugs and how thick the rugs need to be for each donkey that needs one. Some donkeys do have their rugs off during the day if the weather is good. However, as a rule once a donkey is rugged up for the Winter, then the rug should stay on until the Spring.
Our staff take the rugs off regularly and give the donkeys a groom. We are lucky to also have a rug washing machine which means they get cleaned and changed regularly as well.
With the arrival of Spring, we keep an eye on the weather and usually around April, the donkeys are let out onto their paddocks if the weather is good and the ground is not too wet. It's also a chance for the donkeys to have a good roll around - just like Gerald in this short video clip.
Gerald is seven years old and is a friendly and bright individual. He is cared for at one of our farms - Woods Farm. Gerald is currently on a diet, living in a special 'weight watchers' group.