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Twin donkeys born on a central Indiana farm
By NANCY VORIS
Indiana Correspondent

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — Bud Bright has spent most of his 85 years raising and training donkeys and mules, and he’s never seen it. Purdue University and area veterinarians cannot find statistics.

“Someone thought the odds were 1 in 10,000,” said Jeremy Bright, Bud’s grandson.

On June 3, as Jeremy and his wife, Lorie, were celebrating their son’s graduation on their grain farm, their jennet donkey gave birth to twins, one jack and one jennet.

“The twin donkeys ended up being the show of the party and the talk of the town,” Lorie said.

Bud, a Whiteland resident, trained 25 teams and raised nearly 50 mules and donkeys over the years. Along with the late Bob Haymaker and his wife Mary, he helped set up the Sunday mule and donkey show at the Johnson County Fair for several years.

The younger Brights decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps last October when they bought a jack and jennet. The previous owner told them she was bred and would probably foal in late May or early June.

But the family noticed that she didn’t look any bigger and thought the man was mistaken.

While son Joey celebrated his graduation, the mother donkey went into labor. The female was born effortlessly, but Jeremy helped pull the little male. They were born at a healthy weight, he guessed at about 50-60 pounds each.

The Brights bottle fed the foals with colostrum and the mother took over about an hour later.

“According to Pa, if you rub on their ears they will be the best donkeys ever,” Lorie said. “They are the sweetest things. We have had quite a few people stop and look, especially small children.”

Their younger children, Jessica, 13, and Caleb, 9, are active in 4-H in Morgan County, and the twins have already been invited to be “guests” at the county fair.

The Brights have not named the little pair yet, and are considering a little contest at the fair to help name the twins.

Next year, fair officials said Jessica could show a donkey in the halter class of the horse and pony show.

Though the Brights have called Purdue and area vets and searched the Internet, no one is sure how common donkey twins are.

“We have been told by our local vet and several people that twin donkeys are rare,” Lorie said. “I have tried to research the probability of twins, but I have not found much information. If someone has more information, I would be interested in hearing from them.”

This farm news was published in the July 19, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

7/19/2006