Donkey Question!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by poozer, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. poozer

    poozer Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 26, 2012
    I just bought my first Miniature Donkey named Gus
    He is 6 years old and a stud. Gus lives in a large enclosed area all by himself. He has never lived alone before, he has always had a mini horse or buddy. Today is his first day with us and he has paced a little bit and brayed a little bit as well. He loves it when we visit him but I want to make sure he is happy as the days go on. I want to make sure he will be alright by himself. We run a mission so he will be gettting A LOT of people attention! What are signs I need to look for of him being distressed by himself. I know it is possible for them to be happy on their own, I just want to make sure he is happy on his own. It will take a few days for Gus to settle into his new home and become "homed" but Im looking for signs. Anyone have any suggestions or things I should look for?
     
  2. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If he has plenty of human companionship, he should be good. Donkeys in the wild (Africa) are mostly solitary in nature. They come together for breeding and in temporary herds. However, donkeys are very smart. Domestic donkeys need social activity too. I see where you have goats in your avatar. Could you give him a goat friend?

    My donkey loves my cows and my mules. She acts like a second mother to my calf.
     
  3. WallabyOfChaos

    WallabyOfChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is the key word there - she. Female donkeys can be good guard animals for other livestock. Intact jack donkeys... Not so much.

    Unless his services are required for breeding, I would castrate him as soon as possible. Jack donkeys can be just as aggressive and unpredictable as any stallion ,and if he is going to be interacting with people a lot I think he would be less of a liability as a gelding. Also, intact jack donkeys are known to be aggressive towards other animals and small livestock. They will often stomp or try to mount and breed them, and are capable of killing or fatally injuring animals that can't get away.
     
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  4. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree on castrating non-breeding Jack's. I had a standard intact Jack (on the large side of Std too). He was gentle 100% toward people but 99% of the time toward my cows. He would attack my Bull from time-to-time (the Bull would agitate this by head butting him).

    However, the OP has a miniature donkey here, & I have seen threads of them being killed by a single dog. No single dog would kill a standard Jenny much less a Std. Jack so I don't know how much killing a small animal like that can do. How much violence can a miniature donkey wrought? I always saw them as pets and not "dangerous." I've not owned one of the little ones so those who have had them can tell us. I don't picture them like I do a large animal.

    For those who don't know Donkeys come in 3 basic sizes: Mammoth, Standard and Miniature. Only the Standard and Mammoth may (or may not) be effective as a LGD by taking advantage of their territorial instincts, especially against canines.
     
  5. WallabyOfChaos

    WallabyOfChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't suggesting that he be employed as a guard animal. I agree that a miniature is much too small to handle that.

    In the instance of pasture companions though, we still have to keep in mind what sort of animal we are dealing with. From miniature to mammoth size does not matter. They are all donkeys and the mindset and general behaviors are the same. The same goes for miniature horses and miniature cattle as well. Shrinking them down and wrapping them up in a cute little package does not diminish what they really are, and it does not automatically make them "safe" to be around. A miniature horse or donkey is every bit as capable of kicking, biting, stomping, pawing, and other dangerous behavior as their larger counterparts are. Miniatures still need someone with the knowledge and skill to handle them and teach them right from wrong so that they can be good pets.

    Could a mini jack seriously hurt a full-sized cow? Probably not, though he could become a major annoyance for her. Could a mini jack seriously hurt a sheep or goat? You bet.
    I'm not saying don't turn him out with the goats. I'm just saying please be mindful of the potential consequences.
     
  6. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not think you were suggesting them as guard animals. I was pointing out that an animal that small is not very dangerous to much of anything. Heck, he needs protecting himself (something might hurt him). For instance, I have Dexter Cows which are small compared to other cattle breeds. The danger level of a Dexter Bull is very small compared with that of bulls of larger breeds; Bulls of larger breeds can be downright dangerous. Not only are Dexters small (still large compared with people), but they have docile natures, even the bulls. Dexters have been bred to be this way. I only have to be careful there is not an accident (like getting my foot stepped on or getting lodged between barn and bull, etc.)

    From what I have been told by someone who breeds them, these miniature donkeys have been generally bred to have nice temperaments too (this carries over to the Jacks as well) -- I am only going on what one miniature donkey breeder told me & it may or may not be true. If you are speaking from the experience of owning miniature donkeys or hearing different from several folks who keep them, then probably more valid than my limited information.

    Your statement certainly applies to Standard or Mammoth -size donkeys. An intact Jack of such size can be dangerous to people or other livestock. Nevertheless, if not breeding him (just like I would all dogs o& cats), for many reasons, I too recommend neutering him. Not disagreeing there.
     
  7. jorey

    jorey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i agree you need to geld him first thing. A friend who raised him had a mini jack ungelded who couls not be trusted with other animals at all. He severly injured one of her mini horses and her halflinger. She was trying to find a pasture pal for him and started with a mini the same size and after that incident went to halflinger. Needless to say she no longer breeds. Not worth the worry.
     
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  8. poozer

    poozer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much!! This was all great!! I did try one of my goats only because I knew he could get away if he needed too and Gus reacted very badly to his presence. He has in fact paced so much being alone that he has worn a line in the side of his pen. I do think that a mini something or standard something is needed. His previous owner dressed him up and did literally anything she wanted to him. Our farrier said he is the most tame Donkey he had ever dealt with. Gus used to be with a mini horse and loved him, Im thinking castration may not be the "big thing" rather finding him a gelded friend and going from there. Obviously a friend that can handle themselves not a mini goat or something but a friend nonetheless.
     

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