Got our first donkey.....have some questions about caring for him.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by imq707s, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. imq707s

    imq707s In the Brooder

    May 8, 2013
    We picked up a small Mediterranean donkey a few days ago to put with our two Scottish Highland heifer yearlings. According to the lady we got him from, he's around 2 years old. He's not gelded yet, but is very affectionate, calm, and will follow you around where ever you go.

    He's obviously been worked with quite a bit, he let me pick up each of his feet to take a look at his hooves the first day we got him, and he didn't have a problem with it at all. He doesn't seem to mind our two dogs either....they will run into the field, and he will just walk up and sniff them, and then walk off.

    I had a few questions about taking care of him.......

    1. Do I need to worry about gelding him? He seems extremely calm, sweet, and non aggressive.

    2. I've got a salt block out for him, but I've noticed that every now and then I'll see him licking on the 20% protein lick tub that I have out for the Highlands....will that hurt him at all?

    3. How often do I need to have his hooves trimmed? And how do I know when it's time to get this done?

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You'll see the hooves crack and curl. If you don't see that and they look neat it shouldn't need to be done.
    I doubt the protein block will hurt.
    If he's nice at that age I wouldn't worry about gelding.
  3. You'll want to check the ingredients on the cattle lick tub. Some tubs contain ingredients that are toxic to non-ruminants (monensin is one to look for...). Usually there will be a warning on the label stating something like, "not suitable for ...). It probably won't list "donkeys" but would list "horses" instead. They have the same digestive system, so if a horse cannot eat it, neither can a donkey.

    Personally, I wouldn't wait until the donkey's hooves crack and curl to trim them - that can be very painful and is considered neglect/abuse. I would find a local farrier, and discuss hoof care with them. Most horses/donkeys/mules benefit from routine hoof maintenance including trimming. Prices vary in different regions, area, but usually a scheduled trim isn't too awfully expensive, and you may only have to do it every few months (or longer, it depends on each animal).

    Gelding is up to you. It is usually safer/easier to do on a young animal (and 2 years old is still considered "young"). So if you think you might ever want to do it, then do it now. If there is a chance you might ever have another horse, donkey or mule around, whether male or female, then I would recommend gelding the donkey now, to prevent future headaches. Intact donkeys can sometimes be idiots when other equids are around. Is your life going to be in danger? Probably not, but they can be stupid about chasing other animals around, possibly causing injuries, busted fences, etc. If you're thinking you might want to breed the donkey at some point, then you'll want to keep his parts intact....

    It sounds like you've gotten a wonderful donkey that someone has spent some time working with. Priceless! Look around for info/videos, and you'll find you can continue his training to include pulling a cart or giving rides to appropriate sized kids.
  4. chixie

    chixie Songster

    Apr 6, 2009
    kountze texas
    we have an donkey that is 12 yrs old. we did not geld him and now he is a monster. he kills anything that gets in his pen. he is so high strung now we cant pay someone to take him.
  5. PrairieK

    PrairieK Chirping

    Apr 23, 2013
    I don't mean to high-jack but I have a question. I have a 10 month old intact mini donkey. He horrified me yesterday and now I'm ready to get rid of him but wondering if cutting him would possibly solve the problem. I bought a new goat a weak ago and she stayed in the holding pen for a week as I do all new animals. They all were fed together (mini donkeys,mini cows, 2 other dairy goats). So they all saw the new goat, including the male donkey for a while before I let her go out the pen yesterday. Well... He chased her and caught her by the back of her neck and ran around the pasture with her in his mouth while the female donkey ran on side of them kicking my poor goat!!!! Horrifying!!!!
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    This is why some people use donkeys as guard animals, but also why others say to use only female donkeys. The donkeys know the goats that they have been penned with. This new goat was a stranger, and they treated her as a threat (even mini donkeys have been known to kill goats - please tell us that she's ok!!) It seems that entire males are more likely to show this kind of behavior. I don't have a donkey, I have a 14-year-old mini mule molly, and I've seen how she is with goats and dogs. She knows my goats, knows them as individuals, and would recognize a strange goat in a heartbeat. The way she treats dogs - well, it ain't pretty!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  7. PrairieK

    PrairieK Chirping

    Apr 23, 2013
    She's fine, thank God. But that's why I had her in the holding pen for a week before I let her out, to prevent this very thing. I know for a fact that he's checked her out on more than one occasion in there. And I feed them all by that holding pen so they see each other. I don't know. It was horrible. And I can't chance him grabbing one of my mini zebu calves when they are born!!! :(
  8. nok13

    nok13 Songster

    Dec 8, 2012
    said it before and will say it again: donkeys and goats cannot be together. and what happened to you is why.

    donkeys are very protective. , males will do that to new foals also if their mums dont protect the foal. so a new mom who doesnt bond well with her foal will lose it to the jack donkey who will kill it. another way to develop strong animals. a bad donkey mom will not be able to continue her bad genes (being a bad mom can be genetic and environmental/behavioral i.e. mothering is not just a natural activity but also learned from the jenny's mother/sisters/herd members.

    our jango killed several foals until the one mother learned to protect her foal. third time round, she protected her foal, the male never tried again...

    but goats? and dogs? what out...

    and cutting doesnt change much once behavior has been learned. stallions that have been gelded after studding, and dogs who have been active secually, will still mount and show other behaviors of agressive maleness, tis just a matter of how much, and if u can change the behavior.
  9. PrairieK

    PrairieK Chirping

    Apr 23, 2013
    Yeah, he went to a new home. :(
  10. animals1981

    animals1981 Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    you can get a female standard

    male donkey do better with horses and lama and birds. Animals they cant really bully as easy.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

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