Help with Donkey information!!! ASAP!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MamaBear1988, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. MamaBear1988

    MamaBear1988 New Egg

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    Feb 21, 2017
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    Ok, I have recently (last 4 days) have added a donkey to my property. I have looked up a lot of information, but I need the black and white conversations, with people who know what I mean! I have a lot of questions, and cant seem to find the exact answers I am looking for!
    ****Main questions:*****
    1) How do I "work" or "play" with my donkey in an appropriate way? as in what activities/toys??
    2)Right now I have been "spoiling" him, as I am trying to make him comfortable and trying to get a feel for his character. I don't want to mess him up or have problems later though. advice on ways to get to know him, and him I WITHOUT treats or sweet feed?
    3) I have a 4 year old son or has a minor disability. The donkey seems very interested in him. But as a 4 year old will be.. he is loud, has sudden movements, and doesn't pet gently( I am teaching him, and not allowing him to be crazy around the donkey, but everyone knows kids will do there way when you are not looking/around) He is not cruel in anyway to animals, he would never kick or hit nor yell at him. should I still worry about him getting kicked or hurt?? like forever?? The donkey has shown NO signs of trying to kick, even when we were trying to trailer him for the drive home... which was a bit crazy as he had never been trailered.
    4)How do I know what he feels/likes/doesn't like? like what does ears back mean, shaking head, trying to nibble, braying? I want to protect myself and family from unsafe reactions from him...
    5) Where do they like to be pet/held? he likes the neck ok... but ears go flat back when I touch his face, neck, back, and sides.
    6)How do I "correct/redirect" bad habits and behavior WITHOUT hurting or him feeling abused??

    that's all I can think of right now really, but I'm sure I will have a thousand more lol but I would like to give y'all a bit of back story. doesn't take long but might be relevant.

    We had two mini Nubian goats for a little over 4 years. we have younger kids (15,12,and 4) and after only a few months they lost interest in the goats completely and it had fallen to my husband and I to give attention/care to them. We both work full time and the goats became destructive and "annoying" we couldn't work in the yard or do anything without goats in the way. So though we didn't want to.. We gave them to a friend/neighbor. They were there around a year. A few weeks ago the guy called to tell us another neighbors dogs got in the yard and had attacked the goats. which the result was one dead(the leader/head cheif) and that our smallest one Shadow who followed Chief EVERYWHERE had gotten his ear ripped off and was being mauled when he realized. He shot the dogs and shadow, threw vet care, is only missing an ear and we are not sure if he is deaf or what... So then the guy asked us to take our goat back as he no longer wanted him. I know goats should not be alone. they need a companion. I looked everywhere. SPCA, animal control ect and no one had a goat. (we can NOT buy a goat they are way too much) But found that a neighbor was giving a donkey away for free. He's around 2 years old and been around goats. He was so sweet, no biting loved pets and seem to enjoy the kids. Our main decision came from needing a companion for the goat but also a protector for him as he is most likely deaf. I have already fallen in love with the donkey and my family and I are currently "arguing" over a name lol. We really want the donkey to be happy with us and not have to worry so much about if we turn around he might kick or bite us. We have 2 acres and the set up gives them a run in stall that will be open 90% of the time (10ft by 10ft) but can be closed to only give them about two yard so we can handle if need be. but mainly they will have the whole acreage. If there is ANY information, suggestions, or advice you may have or know PLEASE PLEASE let me know. I want whats best for the animal and my family. plus, the more information I have the better donkey owner I can be. All of our animals, down to the smallest chicken is a pet, we love our animals dearly. Thank you so much for reading and helping me out!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  3. MamaBear1988

    MamaBear1988 New Egg

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    Feb 21, 2017
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    Thank You! I see you moved it for me! Have a great day!! <3
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    I'm far from an expert on donkeys (I've only been owned by a mini mule for about 10 years) but this website is a good place to start:
    http://www.lovelongears.com/
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Is this donkey a gelding or a jack? A jack can be more difficult. Is this a standard or a mini (or a mammoth)? Donkeys are very cautious around new situations, this is often seen as stubbornness but patience and observation will teach you what they are trying to tell you. If he doesn't want his face touched, he may have been hit in the face. Let him feel a kind hand. They like their withers and jowls scratched. You want the donkey to like you, and not be afraid of you, but also know you are boss. One very important thing to do with a donkey is make sure he gets used to having feet handled so that you can trim hooves when needed..if no one has ever done this, it can be introduced gradually. One more thing, too rich a diet, such as fescue pasture, isn't good for donkeys, they can get fat.
    I suggest you check out the American Donkey and Mule Association pages...http://www.lovelongears.com/main.htm
    Good luck on your long ears adventure it will be a lot of fun!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. MamaBear1988

    MamaBear1988 New Egg

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    Thank you for the information, and web site! I will check it out now! And I believe he's a Jack, but not sure.But hes a standard for sure!
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    My donkeys will go after my goats and stomp them if the goats get out into the donkey pasture, so not every donkey gets along with other animals. Donkeys play by grabbing each other by the neck and biting and pushing down, so even if they get along the donkey could harm the goat. I would keep them penned side by side for a while to determine the donkeys temperament with the goat. I personally wouldn't keep them together.

    Jack donkeys aren't as dangerous as stallions, but a intact Jack donkey can still be a bit more aggressive than jennies or one that is castrated. So getting it fixed is important for better behavior. A donkey that hasn't been handled or handled correctly is a pain, and can be dangerous. Donkeys remember poor treatment forever, and they can take a while to rehabilitate.

    I would recommend feeding only hay or pasture to a donkey. They require no grain.

    Donkey hooves are different than horses so they need a farrier who knows how to trim them. They need trimming every 2-4 months.

    Donkeys require patience and kindness, with a bit of firmness if they get pushy. I recommend spending time brushing him, and gentle handling, along with occasional treats.

    My donkeys bray every time they see me, especially if they want food. They also bray when the coyotes howl.

    Ears back is an angry donkey, ears forward is curious, and ears moving about is cautious.
     
  8. MamaBear1988

    MamaBear1988 New Egg

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    Thank you so much for the great information you have sent me! It was very enlightening! If you wouldn't mind messaging with me for a bit to help me understand more and glean some of your knowledge, that would be great! Thank you very much again for taking the time to help me out!

    The donkey doesn't seem to have much interested in the goat, but the goat loves him. I have seen our goat bump him when eating but donkey doesn't seem to care. I was thinking about building and extra pen for the goat though, That way they can have the companionship of being together but safely apart, but every time I take the goat away and put him in a different area then the donkey, He does a Houdini and figures out a way to get back to him.... When the goat beds down (unfortunately that would be my hen house :( ) the donkey stands right next to the high rise shelter looking at goat, and that's where he stays for the night too....

    We recently have figured out that he seems to be gelded, he is starting to settle a bit more too. Still not interested in really getting any attention other then wanting food. What kind of treats do you give yours? like apples and bananas? I have decided that this weekend we will test him a bit. starting with letting me brush him, then haltering and lead rope, see if he will let me lead him or if hes not gonna have it, then last I will try to lift every foot to do a feet check. That should let me know about where we stand. I am of course going to be cautious but I understand that I have to have confidence or he will be nervous too.

    I have a farrier who is coming next week to do first feet check and trimming :)

    I am certainly trying to be patient with him, he does seem to kinda be bossy. Like wont come without food, and will even stand where i cant touch him unless I go get in the pen with him. Then he has his ears back and just plain seems like he is being forced... He has not shown a temper or done anything aggressive, I have heard that unlike horses donkeys do not show warning signs before acting out. He did stomp a back foot at me today... Not sure what that mean... Only did it once and I thought maybe he did it from a fly or something, but I had my arm around him petting the side of his neck. He had his ears flat back. Also just a question, but is there a reason why he would not want attention from me and Want attention from someone else? To explain my husband is not home all day and only is in the pen to help build or something. Yet I go out 2 hrs every morning and pet/treat him, talk to him, fill water ect. then during the afternoon I clean out the stall and grounds of mess, then feed him a cup of sweet feed in the evenings and pet and talk to him. So why would he WANT attention (because he follows him around the pen, inside and out) from him, but plain doesn't seem to WANT attention from me?? Also, What is the best way to be firm exactly? Like as in how I talk to him, body stance? Sorry I'm not so sure. With the miniature hoses that I worked with the owners would have me stall them and bring them out everyday until they behaved or did what they were wanting... but I was never sure if THAT was a good way... I am mainly trying to get him to trust me while being able to get him to do what I need/ask.

    The end goal... like very end goal is have him where my kids or anyone else can put a halter and lead on him and walk around the property or even down our country road.Be able to ride him a bit and also carry things, and come when called without using food or treats. Basically listen. We like to go camping and the like, and would love to take him with us. I want him to want/enjoy being with us, also it be safe for him and others. He would be for companionship but also to help carry supplies and kids.

    Any other special ear, stance, noise, or behaviors that would help me understand him better??

    Thank you again for taking the time to read and send messages back and forth with me! It is a great help and very much appreciated!
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Donkeys are different than horses, but I have successfully used the horse whispered join up to get control of an unruly donkey. I recommend starting with gentle handling first and seeing how that goes. If he's pushy a short crop used to poke him in the side to move him back away can help. It's possible your husband is more dominant, or that he is just more used to men and not women. Donkeys do more thinking that horses, but appear to be stupid at the same time, but are very smart.

    Horses are trained usually based on the fact that they move away from uncomfortable stimulus. Donkeys often will freeze in place which make people think they are stubborn. A donkey must be a willing partner, and need to be asked not told usually.

    If he appears to get along with the goat than you may be okay. I have 3 so mine don't need the goats. A platform can allow the goat to escape any rough play by going under or on top of it. Otherwise they could form a strong bond as donkeys bond tightly with other donkeys.

    My donkeys will eat literally anything. Favorites are apples, carrots, a small amount of feed like sweet feed, corn, or oats. Mine also like bread and doughnuts. You can see what he likes. Be aware the more you treat the more they bray at you.

    My donkeys don't really kick, or even bite. I think after positive treatment he will start to trust you better. When a donkey is irritated they will stomp their back feet, usually mine do it when I remove their mom and they can't get to her. Boys are definitely more troubles than females, and can be more mouthy.

    You should be confident around him, as a boy he will be a bit more pushy in my experiences, so don't be afraid to push him back if he crowds you, never hit a donkey, they never seem to forget it.

    Donkeys are often abused because they are misunderstood. Most people think they are like horses but they are more like big dogs.

    He should make a fine pack animal. When ridden donkeys mostly walk and trot, and don't really gallop unless pushed. You probably will have troubles separating him from the goat if they bond, so you will probably have to take the goat along too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  10. MamaBear1988

    MamaBear1988 New Egg

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    Feb 21, 2017
    Santa Fe, Tx
    That was extremely helpful! Thank you sooooo much!

    I am going to stop giving him treats several times a day for sure. I mainly was doing it because it is his first week here, and wanted to show him GOOD things were associated with me going out there to him. I see now that I have been giving him rewards without merit . I think I will try a bite of something, but only after he does something for me. For example put on his halter and lead-small bite of apple, lead him around for 20 minutes or so-small piece of apple, walk to post and wrap lead around(not tight) and make him stand for 10 mins with light petting and talking-small piece of apple. That sound like a good way to kinda train and I can only use a certain food for only that. Does that sound correct? Main point would be instead of a whole apple or a whole cup of sweet feed just because. After all that, he would get 3 small slivers of apple in the course of handling him for responding and cooperation. Making him more apt to do so in the future.

    I was really wanting to do a small cup of sweet feed in the evenings to bring him closer to his shelter and our house at night, plus I would like a way to call him from the back of the property (200 yards or more) or if he doesn't want to come due to distraction (by shaking feed). In your experience, Will he still be healthy or will it cause any problem's later? Meaning if this is normal routine every night. Will this be fine as long as its not more then a small cup? Also any behavioral problems you see that it might lead to Now or later?

    Yeah we kinda figured the goat will need to tag along :) good thing is goat is well behaved for a goat. Downfall is hes an attention hog and needs a person(when we are around) constantly talking or petting him. Hes very very mouthy and vocal if you don't!

    We decided (Thanks to your advice ) instead of a new stall for the goat and upsetting both animals by seperating them. We will build the platform (A goat roost if you will! :) ) idea! He will be able to go under and on-top to get away, and we have a few places like that on the open property as well! That was a really great idea, Thank you!

    Lastly,I would never abuse any animal. When I heard donkeys were way more sensitive during interaction, I got way more worried about using any kind of harsh tones or pushing. But a small push and a light poke would just be more of a correction then anything that could or would build resentment... That makes a lot of sense!

    Once again, Thank you for your time and consideration, it is greatly appreciated. (I know I can be a bit necrotic about my donkey lol, So Thank you for enduring my novel size questionnaires hahah. )
     

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