All About Our Donkeys - latte.gr

The donkeys are stabled at a farm covered in olive trees with a total area of 50 stremmata. In the centre of the farm there is a fenced off area of 5 stremmata where their stabling is found, which is used as a refuge during cold weather and during the Winter period.

The donkeys have access drinking water from a water well drilled and owned by the farm that is also found at this point. The water is transported from the well by a special pump to a specially designed area and divided into special troughs, so the animals always have access to clean drinking water. During the day the donkeys are free to move around the whole farm and graze on the vegetation. In addition to this and during winter months, when grazing is more difficult, the animals are fed on selected feeds that meet certain criteria.

Donkeys require daily care and overseeing. Frequent veterinary checks are necessary both for the health of the animals and to ensure a top quality product.

The pregnancy of a donkey is 11 - 12 months and they bear one young and in rare instances two. Of course, during the last weeks of pregnancy the animals monitored more closely and moved to another area, away from the other animals.

The process of milking the donkeys

The milk appears at the birth of the baby. For two months the little ones feed without restriction. Then they are separated from the mother during the day and the donkeys are milked every three hours. However, for the mother to be willing to give her milk she must always have visual contact with her baby. The donkey's udder does not allow a great deal of volume of milk so it must be milked regularly to collect the milk (1.5 litres per donkey, per day).

At night, after the last milking, the young ones, that have been well fed throughout the day meet the mother once again to breastfeed until the next morning. This process is repeated until the babies are 11 months old. After this time we wait for a new birth to be able to have access to the precious milk once again.

Milking is done by hand with full respect for the donkeys. Due to the small quantity of milk collected it is not possible to use electric milking machines. After each milking the milk is simply filtered without any chemical processing, the raw milk is packed in containers of 200ml and frozen immediately in minimum temperatures of -18 ° C., ready for consumption or for the manufacture of expensive cosmetics. The bottling and handling areas observe the hygiene conditions of the European Union under license from the Ministry of Health.