DONKEYS, OUR FRIENDS
Donkeys are the foundation of our company and we are committed to protect them by all means.
We exclusively work with a trustworthy friend and donkey milk producer located in the southwest of France. In the countryside at Gers, his donkey farm is a small holding of 8.5 ha and it is certified Organic Agriculture by Ecocert France. This farm is also a conservation center for the Pyrenees donkey, a local low-numbered breed. The animals – about fifteen of them – are outside year-round and they also have shelters. Their food is all natural: grass, hay and barley. The foals help protect the Pyrenees breed, a local race that has been mistreated.
Producing donkey milk is extremely complicated. This makes it a rare product. As for all mammals, lactation is triggered by the birth of the baby. The animal has only two teats and no reservoir, and therefore it can only be milked three times a day, to get between 1.5 and 2 liters of milk. Also, milking can be done only from four to five months, since all the milk is left for the foal for the first two months.
In contrast to a cow that gives an average of 30 litres, year-round. The milking of donkeys is done manually, and the foal needs to be present, otherwise the jenny will not give milk. In fact, lactation is set off by the secretion of a hormone, oxytocin, which is activated by the foal. In DONKEYS& Co. we are far from intensive farming. All producers work cautiously and always respecting the animal’s welfare. Of course, the jenny continues to breastfeed her foal for the entire milking period, and gradually the young donkey diversifies its diet.