News

Donkey births rare twins

By Jamie Salter

They’re double delights, also double the trouble.

But Kaiba and Clare are also defying the odds when it comes to the delivering of donkeys.

Multiple births in the breed are rare according to Hawaiki Stud owner Debra Baker – but what is even rarer are twins who actually survive.

It is the first time in 45 years twins have been born at Hawaiki in Girgarre and Debra said she was happy with the multiple birth, and apparently so was the mother, who she said was "milking really well".

“She’s feeding them herself, so I'm expecting them to grow into healthy donkeys,” Debra said.

The fraternal twins are just a few days old, but have been pronounced in perfect health.

Clare was named for Clare Williams Paterson, the vet from Kyabram Veterinary Clinic who helped deliver her after coming out to the farm on a Sunday afternoon.

Debra started breeding donkeys as an 11-year-old on her parents’ farm in Sutton Grange.

She always wanted a horse, and when her parents took her to buy one in Inglewood in 1972, they ended up coming home with a donkey named King.

From there, Debra started breeding, and the new twins are directly descended from King.

“About 150 to 200 foals have been born since then and I’ve never had a set of twins before,” she said.

“At the moment I have nine donkeys, when my husband met me I had 54 – but we've got two more jennies to foal in September.”

Debra said she sold her donkeys from Queensland to Gippsland and had a long list of repeat buyers.

“People come for them because they’re quiet and well-behaved, you can ride them and break them into harness, most often people keep them as a companion and then they come back wanting more,” she said.

“We won’t be selling the twins, they’re too special – we’ll probably never see this again in our lifetime.”