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Irishgirl

Donkeys

Just wondering if anyone keeps Donkeys.
A few weeks ago we took in two Donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary in Co. Cork.
They are absolutely beautiful.  As we are complete novices it would be great to be in touch with other Donkey owners.
bullcross

We used to have one, sadly no longer with us, his name was Wednesday and he was a real character. They love company and ours was very friendly and never a bit of trouble.
We had Rotties at that time and Wednesday thought he was a Rottie too , he was however a tremendous "guard dog" in the fields
SuzyJ

We have a donkey here in Bulgaria and as much as I love her she's the most stubborn and at times obnoxious animal ever! She will bite and threaten to kick if she doesn't want to do something and is akin to a teenager throwing a tantrum.

She hates the other animals, shouts when she wants to be out or brought in, wants water or feed (frequently), each times she sees one of us or generally just when she feels like it.

On the plus side she's a good alarm clock and eats almost anything. But she hates rain, snow and wind and will not have her feet picked up without a fight, usually lasting around an hour just to clean her hooves - our blacksmith hates coming to see her.

But she does quite enjoy a wander around the garden and tolerates chickens sleeping on her back. She's a good lawnmower too and will never go back into work as she'd had a very hard life before we bought her.
conundrum

SuzyJ, I think it was probably her life before you that has structured her "thinking" about life. It will be very hard for her to get out of years of ingrained issues.

Donkeys are generally fun little souls, but they are very protective of there friends, be it another horse, sheep, or "their" dogs. A lot of people keep them to guard sheep, and they can do a great job keeping coyotes away.

I have one mini donkey right now, but am probably getting a full size as well.  Trouble is already becoming quite the character, he loves his food, and bawls long and hard if he thinks I am late (I don't feed at exact times, so how he works out what is late or not is beyond me) He will pick up his football and run with it, throwing it quite far at times.....dear little souls!
mogs

hi irishgirl

yes i keep donkeys. i have 3 at the moment. i also have horses. the donks i have are a Poitou entire, a Catalan and an Adalusian jenny. both girls have been covered by my lad, so hopefully within about 14 months we should have some new arrivals.


i am no expert, but perhaps we could swap notes  
SuzyJ

conundrum wrote:
SuzyJ, I think it was probably her life before you that has structured her "thinking" about life. It will be very hard for her to get out of years of ingrained issues.


Yes that's true Conundrum. Life for "Working" animals here is pretty tough and they aren't usually treated as well as they should be. Our 2 Bulgarian mares also have issues that we've been working through for the last 2.5 years. Some days are good while others not.

Luckily for them they won't ever go back to the life they had and slowly the laws regarding treatment of animals are changing here, although it will take a long time before any real progress will be seen.
mogs

suzyj

time, patience and a routine will work wonders.
donkeys need a routine. they need security and this is one way they can find it.
they are very misunderstood by folks tbh, and stubborness is one way this happens.
a donkey is an animal that really does think for itself. if you are asking that donkey to do something, and it feels it is not safe for it to do it, it wont. lol. it will stand there and work it out.
your donkey sounds bored.
could you not get another for company?
if you could you would see so much difference in it. honest. but if you do, remember, that a donkey will form a bond for life. if you take that donkey away from its ' friend' the donkey could very easily die. it will go into a sort of grief, and will mourn the loss of its friend, become aggressive, and very very sad,depressed and literally give up the will to live.

i did not believe it when i was first told this, but...........
when i first got my lad, i was told he had been living with horses not donkeys for a long time. (which turned out to be a lie )
when he got home, he was fine with my two, followed the youngster all over the place and seemed to build a bond with her, but was very docile, to the point of looking sad.
now,  i have always believed that any animal, should be with at least one of their own kind, if for no other reason than to communicate with them. so i started looking for another donkey to keep him company. a friend of mine had the two girls i have now and wanted to sell them, so i bought them. he was here a month before the girls came, and he was not looking any livlier in fact he was looking even more sad.
when i got them home, my lad was a different animal. his ears pricked up, he called to them, he was dancing on the spot. he had life in his eyes again.
now the three of them are getting on great. they are his girls and he protects them. in fact i would say he now has a new glint in his eye.
he is still trustorthy and i can handle him wonderfully. i take him for walks down the local park, and he is as good as gold. he loves people making a fuss of him specially children, who love him.
he does however, have a slight issue with dogs, but then it is in a donkeys nature to kill dogs, so i have to keep dogs away from him, ( bearing in mind he is 14.2hh and could do a lot of damag ) although he has never been nasty to them, just wary of them.

when we get back to the field, he runs up to his girls calling them on the way, and checks them over then goes back to munching his grass or straw.

it has brought out the best in him. he is secure now. they all have a routine, rain or shine and it suits them. they even have games i play with them so they dont get bored. simple things like filling bottles with treats, making a small hole so the treats can come out then putting them on the ground. they will pick them up, rattle and shake them so the treats come out, and that keeps thier mind active because they are working out what to do, and they have superb memories.
a donkey needs simple tasks to do, they need routine and they do like to work.
ClaireK

mogs wrote:
suzyj

a donkey needs simple tasks to do, they need routine and they do like to work.


Mogs your donkeys sound like they have a fantastic life and are very lucky to have found you.

The last sentence sounds like my husband, can he come and live with you?

Claire
mogs



awww, shucks.   thanks claire.
ClaireK

You don't want my husband then??

Claire
mogs

darn it, i was trying to avoid that one..................  
ClaireK

Bugga, looks like i'll have to keep him then
bodger

Only because it was raining mind you  but yesterday afternoon I made myself a cup of coffee and switched the gogglebox on. They were showing a rerun of Ben Fogles 'Escape in Time' Its quite a light weight programme but quite enjoyable all the same. Each week, they take two famillies who compete against each other at various tasks to see who are the best Victorian farmers.
In yesterdays programme, the family used a donkey cart with Dusty the donkey between the shafts to do a number of tasks around the farm. It was a most enjoyable watch and I didn't realise what potential the humble donkey has. I always thought that donkeys were just something you looked at in the field but I'll look upon them in a slightly different light from now on.
mogs

nice one bodger.

i didnt realise how useful a donkey can actually be about the place, until i owned one, and started looking into the species.
the way i look at them, they are as comparible to horses, as goats are to sheep. both similar to look at and people assume they are the same, but they are very very different in breed, and characteristics. anything you can do with a horse, you can do with a donkey, plus a lot more besides.
also very underestimated, and quite intelligent.
bodger

See ! I've got you at it now Mogs.     I've just noticed that I used the word 'quite' twice in the same paragraph in my previous post. I'm quite concerned.
mogs

   
SuzyJ

mogs wrote:
suzyj

time, patience and a routine will work wonders.
donkeys need a routine. they need security and this is one way they can find it.
they are very misunderstood by folks tbh, and stubborness is one way this happens.
a donkey is an animal that really does think for itself. if you are asking that donkey to do something, and it feels it is not safe for it to do it, it wont. lol. it will stand there and work it out.
your donkey sounds bored.
could you not get another for company?


Hubby would have a fit if I arrived home with any more large animals unfortunately and with 11 pigs, chickens, 6 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses and the donkey were almost out of barn space too.

We did have another donkey here for a while while her owner was away but they did not get on and poor Maggie was not impressed at all. The only time she actively seeks company of other animals is when she's in season - that's when she usually tries to make a bid for freedom and visit the jack donkey down the street, luckily for us he's ancient and too tired to "befriend" our girl if you know what I mean!
mogs

lol, with that many animals suzy, i recon one more wouldnt make any diffrence.  

SuzyJ

Ha it probably wouldn't make much difference but since I'm the lucky one who gets to feed and muck them all out I'd be shooting myself in the foot so to say if I bought anything else.
Irishgirl

I'm a bit late in catching up here, but thanks for the offer of advice Mogs.  Very kind
Gill

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