Kicking donkey and food aggression

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Hannah Bj, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Hannah Bj

    Hannah Bj New Egg

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    I got a mini gelding donkey today,he was with cows,no handling other than leading and tying,I think his aggression comes from being handled like a cow, kept with cattle and having to fight for his food,any touching will send him into kicking mode.He'srt and knows how to get his way. I left him in with my 5 yr old donkey ,then brought my 20 + yr old mare,she's the boss and runs the show..I filled their water buckets,stood next to the buckets,he came up perked ears,I offered a pet,sure enough whips his butt around,I acted bigger raised my voice and chased him off,returned to my spot,again came in,offered again when he didn't move or offer to kick/bite,I released the pressure,just repeated this until he knew I wasn't going to let him have his way.I'm not sure how else to put an end to this nasty habit of his?Any thoughts?When I got my very first donkey he manged to kick,correcting was enough to put an end to that..but this one has years of getting away with nasty habits
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Kicking when you approach him is not aggression, it's going into defensive mode. A horse's first response to a threat is to run; a donkey's is to stand and fight. Did he pin his ears, charge and try to stomp/bite you?
     
  3. Hannah Bj

    Hannah Bj New Egg

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    Yes,pins ears and will bite if you're not watching out. So,I let him kick me and not do anything?
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Of course - getting hurt is always the aim when dealing with animals.[​IMG]

    You seem to want to interpret this animal's behavior as being angry and belligerent. I'm trying to suggest that maybe frightened, nervous and defensive are more rational ways for a small animal that has suddenly been put into a completely strange, new environment to be feeling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Party on Wayne, Party on Garth Premium Member

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    I'm going to have to agree he's going into defensive mode, donkeys are way different than horses, he's going to remember everything you do to him forever. I would stop and try to earn his trust. I wouldn't punish him, I would sit quietly and talk to him, and try to bribe him with food. He sounds traumatized by people, the worst thing would be to do anything negative. Back off and slow down, and try to be his friend without being a threat.

    Another question I would ask is if you know if he's ever been with other donkeys. A donkey will bond with whatever species he's raised and housed with and sometimes he doesn't know he's a donkey, that's why jacks used for breeding horses need to be raised with them or they often won't breed them.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    You just got him today.

    He's not been trained to respect people.

    You had what sounds like a successful session with him, correct?

    I think you're doing the right thing. It's just going to take time. A lot of time and consistency. It may take weeks before he respects you. But it sounds to me like you're on the right track. Just be patient and consistent.
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Y'know, I tried the "respect" thing with my mini mule when I first got her . . . . within a few days, I had results, but not the ones I wanted - it became extremely hard for me to get my hands on her. I had to "walk her down" for at least 10 minutes before she would just give up and let me catch her. Once I had her on a lead, she was very nervous and skittish; if I so much as used a "don't think about it" tone of voice around her, you could see her visibly tense up. That kind of thing may work with horses, but donkey brains are just different. They are incredibly smart, and they have a memory that will put an elephant's to shame. People talk about donkeys being stubborn, but that's not the way to look at it at all. A donkey thinks for itself, and it does a sort of "risk assessment" before it does anything. Once a donkey/mule learns to trust you, it will just about walk through a hail of bullets for you, but you have to earn that trust first. You have to be calm. gentle, patient, and consistent. If you get resistance from a donkey, it means you are asking too much and going too fast - you need to back off, slow down, and let them think about what they are being asked to do. Particularly with the minis, your first thought should be that any resistance comes from fear or confusion. Once they know what you want and decide that it is safe, they usually do what you ask willingly enough.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Party on Wayne, Party on Garth Premium Member

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    That's why I wouldn't try any punishment techniques, donkeys either shut down or strongly resist strong arm tactics, I would guess this donkey has been pushed around by a human one too many times and has just gone into fear mode.

    My husband once hit one of my donkeys during hoof trimming because he wouldn't cooperate, the next time the donkey was worse, it escalated, after a firm talking to my husband, the donkey is getting better after years of trying to undue those moments.

    I know donkeys, techniques used in horses will never work, kindness and patience are your best way to approach him, I'm not religious, but that's part of the reason donkeys and Jesus have a connection.
     
  9. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    When I first got the mini mule, she would duck her head if you got anywhere near her ears - clearly, she had been "eared" as a means of restraint. I have never, ever, pulled or twisted her ears (or allowed anyone else to do it), but in spite of all the gentle touching she has had in the years that I have owned her, she still often flinches when an ear gets touched.

    She was very protective of her feet when I first got her - particularly the right hind foot. At first, I tried to do what I would have done with a horse - just hang on to the foot, and wait until she stopped kicking. That didn't work at all; she escalated. She began trying to kick at me with her other hind foot. So there I was, holding up the entire weight of the hind end of this animal while it tried to kick me, and I said to myself, "clearly, we need a different approach." So I told the mule, "OK, if you are going to have a cow about it, I will let you have the foot back. But I will pick the foot up again. You may be half donkey, but I'm half Dutch, and you ain't got nothin' on me for stubborn. If I have to pick the foot up 20 times, I will, but the foot isn't done until I say it's done." Some days, I thought she was actually counting to see if I really meant 20 times - up, down, up, down, up, down . . . . . It's a long way down to where a 32" mini mule keeps its feet, you know? But gradually, she got better about it. She may still give an experimental bump or two when I pick a foot up, but I can usually get the foot picked out/trimmed in one "go" now.
    Undoing mistakes (even if they were made by other people) takes a heckuva long time with something that smart.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Party on Wayne, Party on Garth Premium Member

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    It is sad how many donkeys are abused because people don't understand them and get frustrated with them. They are more like dogs as far as training than horses, positive reinforcement and treats. Sounds like you have your mini mule figured out. I bred a few of those long ago, stinking cute, you're making me miss them. I hope the OP doesn't damage her donkey more, he does sound like he's shut down and needs some TLC.
     

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