Lady, Harewood’s female donkey, gave birth unaided last night to a new foal. The latest arrival is Lady’s first baby and both mum and baby are doing well.
The gestation period for donkeys is twelve months so when Lady arrived at Harewood in August 2016 she was already pregnant.
Nick Dowling, Bird Garden and Farm Experience Manager said: “We began to notice that Lady was widening a few months ago. At first we considered she may be gaining weight however it soon became evident that she was pregnant – much to our surprise!”
“We’re really pleased to have this latest addition in the Farm. Lady is doing all the right things and is showing signs of being a fantastic mother.”
“At the moment we are leaving mum and baby to bond. We suspect that the new baby is female although this is yet to be officially established. Once we confirm the sex, we will name the latest arrival.”
At birth, foals usually weigh between 19 and 30 lbs. (8.6 to 13.6 kg) and can stand and nurse after just 30 minutes. Harewood keepers are keeping a close eye on the new baby ensuring both Lady and the new addition are getting the best care around the clock.
Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the new arrival to the Farm. Harewood House Trust relies on visitors and our members to support the work of the charity. We hope our latest addition will be a positive new attraction this summer.”
Visitors to Harewood will be able to see the newborn in the Farm this weekend.