Guard Donkey?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Omniskies, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're thinking about getting a donkey, both to keep our filly company and to guard the property against predators. What we're wanting the donkeys to protect are our poultry and waterfowl. Both are kept penned up at night, but it'd be nice if we knew something else was out there for any stragglers.

    Will donkeys protect geese or a flock as part of their own herd?

    We have a problem with opossums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, the occasional stray dog and potentially a bobcat. Is there anything on that list donkeys _won't_ chase off?

    Any other input is appreciated. This is a big expense and an animal we'd have around the house for at least a decade, so we want to make sure we know what we're getting into before giving it serious thought.
     
  2. chicks for better health

    chicks for better health Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering the same thing earlier in the week.

    I actually looked for a few donkeys. I haven't been able to find anyone with experience with both poultry and donkeys. Hopefully someone here has.
     
  3. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised Mammoth Jack stock for many years. I can tell you that donkeys have a general dislike for dogs and as opposed to horses face them and use their front feet to strike. I nearly lost the ex wife's bull dog under one of them. She was not bright. My heeler quickly learned how to stay away from them. I think if your stock was penned with the birds you would get some benefit. Varmits passing through are not going to get chased as long as they are not bothering anything in the vicinity of the donkey. Donkeys are very cool animals and you will not regret owning one.
    I had many fox travel through my pasture with the donkeys in it and the donkeys did not give them a second look. However if they had been hanigng out threatening something in the pasture it would have been different. They are not like a LGD that is looking for something to chase.
     
  4. legacyln

    legacyln Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am considering the same thing for my chickens. FYI- in case you weren't aware of it, there are sometimes donkeys and mini donkeys on Petfinder.
     
  5. Puff of Fluff

    Puff of Fluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if donkeys will chase other critters, but when I was young we had two donkeys on our ranch. One hated dogs and skunks and would attack them. Cisco the other donkey, HATED! porcupines for some reason. At least once a month each year, during warmer weather, Cisco would attack a porcupine. Then dad would have to cut the tips of the quills off and spend at least an hour, up to half a day pulling them out with pliers. That donkey would have quills in his front legs from just above his hoofs to above his knees, his muzzle, a few inside his mouth, sometimes even his belly and back legs. Dad thought Cisco might be trying to bite the porcupines from the way the quills were in Cisco's face and mouth. Then he would attack the next one that came through. You would think he would have taken on something safer after the first few tries, but no it was always porcupines. Dad finally sold him to some people that lived in an area that was not as porcupine inhabited.
     
  6. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    We had a donkey a few years back. We put him in with the cattle, hoping he would run dogs off. [​IMG] No such luck he wouldnt run anything off. [​IMG] But most of them will.
     
  7. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, when I was looking into guardian animals, I considered donkeys until I read about one that liked to use one rancher's newborn goats for toys, killing a few in the process. I was afraid the same would happen with chickens. Mind you, many have used donkeys for guardians and seem pleased with them. Our cattle ranchers around here almost all have a few in their pastures w/their cattle.

    Same thing w/llamas as guardiansw. Many swear by them, but I read about one that didn't like poultry--others that did. But it was enough to discourage me.

    We've decided on a legitimate livestock guardian breed dog and no other breed other than those bred for centuries only to guard livestock. Getting a puppy to raise/train with the chickens seems the best answer to me. It takes some time invested and care to start with for sure, and you want the dogs to bond more with the livestock than you. The dogs are good decision makers once trained and will even go after hawks, snakes, etc., things a donkey or llama would probably ignore because they are not a natural threat to their own kind.

    If you do a search on the internet specifically for livestock guardian dogs, you'll be surprised by how many breeds/choices there are. Reading about the things they do for their livestock is fascinating.

    If you need protection against big preditors like coyotes, bobcats, etc., you need more than one, depending on the territory or number of animals to be protected.

    Hope this helps.

    Connie
     
  8. Appytaz

    Appytaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a mini donkey in with the full size horse. Our chickens free range the 2 acres also.

    Horse: in the beginning the donkey tried to dominate the horse - he soon figured out the horse is larger and he is the underdog. Donkey will still try to test the waters, however, they really seem to have it all worked out between them.

    Dogs: I also heard that you can not have donkeys and dogs together. This was a problem in the beginning also. They both hated each other. This donkey was raised with dogs so I know it was just his instinct and not something that happened to him. It did take alot of work, but for the most part every one gets along fine together. The way I stopped their "bickering" was to put them both on leashes/ leadropes and taking them for walks together. Every time one would make a face at the other there were "consequences" from me. (I have a bright yellow dressage crop that they just have to SEE that will end any issues now) You can train them to get along - it just takes time/work & refresher courses.

    Chickens: I have not seen the donkey protect ANYTHING at our house. He gets along just fine with the chickens. They can run all around him without any problems. When he is eating and they come around his feed he will pin his ears and shake his head - but that is as far as he goes. I have seen him chase a chicken. Not really in an aggressive way - more as a playful thing. Ears were up ect. He's never hurt one - just once in a blue moon likes to hear them scream :)

    Over all I love the little guy. He is a great pet - but has no really value except as a companion for the horse and to steal treats ;-)
     
  9. IndyBlue

    IndyBlue Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens and peafowl and guinea hen are in the back...i was wondering if we put a donkey in the front more land for him or her? Will the donkey still help with predators?
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Donkeys work as guard animals because they will go after any foreign animals in their pasture, from coons, to coyote, dog, cats, and will chase and stomp them. I've even had mine stomp my escaped goats and a few years back they were after some of my ducks and killed a drake.

    Donkeys aren't always reliable, but if they can't get to the predators they will do nothing for you but bray when something is amiss or if they are hungry.
     

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