Man Rocks Newborn Donkey to Sleep Like He's a Human Baby and It's Cuteness Overload

Shutterstock / KatieDamonPhoto

A homesteading family is going viral for the most adorablee reason—their tradition of rocking their newborn baby donkeys to sleep. No, you aren’t seeing things, it really is a grown man holding an entire donkey in his arms like a baby and cuddling him as he might any toddler. It’s the cutest thing we’ve seen in ages, and we have to admit, the donkey looks like he’s enjoying the attention, even if it’s not the usual kind of love and affection an animal with hooves often receives.

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“We have a new baby!” reads the caption on this adorable post. “It’s another boy and he’s the fluffiest little guy!” The farmers go on to explain that the foal is the offspring of one of their newest jennies (female donkeys) and they had no idea she was pregnant when they brought her home.

Related: Donkey Mom and Dad Proudly Show Off Their New Baby to Human Mom

This situation is not as unusual as it first appears. Because donkey gestation periods can range from eleven to fourteen months, it is entirely possible to bring home a pregnant donkey without being aware of the fact. Only your vet knows for sure. Many new donkey owners have been surprised to find their girls getting large around the middle and discover they are about to become proud donkey grandparents.

Caring For New Donkey Foals

Foaling is usually an activity that the Jenny manages all by herself, but you can help prepare her enclosure to make it as safe as possible for both mother and baby. For example, putting in fresh straw and removing any sharp edges or items that a newborn foal may hurt itself on, whether you arrange for your Jenny to give birth in a stall or a pasture. Either way, the area should be safe and clean.

Newborn foals should receive some veterinary care for tetanus as well as umbilical cord treatment. Usually after birth, the mama donkey will rest from her ordeal for a short while, then bathe the newborn donkey herself. The foal will be able to walk and—more importantly—to nurse soon after birth. Around this time, people will be able to approach the foal and administer any needed care or shots, as well as get it acclimated to human touch.

Cuddling—as seen here—is optional, but obviously appreciated!

Caring for Mini Donkeys

Mini Donkey foals will nurse from their mother for about four to six months, and will still need specialized feed for their growing bodies until they are full grown—a process that takes about two years.

As the name implies, these smaller donkeys may be petite in stature, but they have plenty of personality! Mini donkeys are highly social animals and need other equine companions (such as another mini donkey or even a horse) to have a truly fulfilling life. They also need space—at least half an acre— to run around in, and plenty of social interaction with humans. They are playful, gentle, and affectionate, and if you have the space, can make great pets.

And, again, cuddling and rocking to sleep is optional, but it’s definitely appreciated, both by the baby donkey and by the person holding him.

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