how to help a greiving donkey


10 Years
Apr 6, 2009
kountze texas
He has been sad since scarlet died... he looks for her everywhere. he got out and went and looked for her at the neighbors today. he calls for her all night long. we did let him spend sometime with her body after she died. he hangs around that spot. when anyone went around scarlet he would run over there and try to ptrotect her body. they have been together since he was 6 months old. he is now 13yrs. as much as I dislike him riht now it breaks my heart seeing him this way... any advice on how to help him? i really dont want to get another horse . I have thought about getting him a girlfriend(donkey)... but not sure if I want another large animal...
my donkey Kills goats. we had goats when he was younger I sold them and someone gave me more and he broke in there pen and killed them all... I have mini ponies that he cant be with because he is mean to them. It would have to be something his size or bigger... I think that is the one reason DH wont rehome him... : ( he is also picking at his feed... he will eat but he wont eat it all at once... I am afraid he is gonna grieve himself to death
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Another donkey would be awesome. There are many, many that need homes right now. The horse market has tanked. Your boy is gelded, right?

If you really don't need another animal right now, you'll need to help him through it. He needs attention: grooming, walks, riding, etc... If he isn't very well trained, this is a great time to start him on a regiment to take his mind off of everything. The best treats to use are crimped oats so they don't make him too fat. You can just shove some in your pocket and walk around your yard, rewarding him for doing new things. Anything to busy his mind.

If you need assistance, there is a great mule/donkey trainer that will answer questions online for free. Look up Lucky Three Ranch. Meredith Hodges is a talented lady and also has books and videos about donkey behavior and training your donkey.
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This is slightly off topic, but I am really shocked at your description of how agressive your donk is to smaller animals. I grew up around several donks and they were all gentle as lambs. I have never heard of an aggressive donkey before. He actually broke into your goat pen and killed your goats? Like, maliciously? I am just bewildered. Was abused prior to living with you? Or is that just a normal donkey thing and we just lucked out with gentle donkeys??
he was not abused before i got him. he is a jack. he was raised with goats. I have had him since he was 6 months old. he got along great with the original goats. I sold them because Iwas gonna move back to town but we decided to stay where we are living... someone gave me several goats and then we had a hurricane and i went and stayed at my moms down the road i would come home daily to feed and check on everyone. and I would found him in the goat pen and my goats had broken necks. since then he doesnot do good with other small livestock. he doesnt hurt my dogs or my chickens . my husband wanted a mule from my mare but she would never give him the time of day. he is not agressive towards people. he loves people
I haven't a whole lot of experience with donkeys/mules, though what you are describing sounds pretty typical. They bond pretty tightly to other animals, and when their companions are lost, they take it very hard.

Other people with donkey experience have commented on problems with jacks and goats, too. It isn't necessarily that the jack is being hostile, he may be playing, but donkeys play really rough! Grabbing a goat by the neck and slinging it around is exactly the behavior I've heard described.

You may have a really hard time re-homing an intact jack. A lot of people are as leery of them as they are of stallions, for the same reason. At 13 years old, it would take a long time for any change in behavior to be seen, if you were to geld him. You probably need to think "durability" when looking at any potential companion animal; another jack wouldn't work for obvious reasons! Even a jenny might have problems, like I said, donkey boys play rough!

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