Miniature donkey owners

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by farmchick897, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    6
    121
    Jun 20, 2010
    Kentucky
    I bought two mini donkeys a few weeks ago. Both were born in March 2010 and the little boy is extremely tiny. They were both not handled so are shy and have fuzzy coats. I noticed when I finally was able to touch them that they feel thin. I can feel back bone and hips but belly looks big. So I think it must be parasites since they have both gotten plenty of good hay and grain. I wormed them both with Equimax. I noticed yesterday the little boy is holding a back leg up and then he will alternate to the other leg holding up. It's very weird and something I've never seen before. To describe would be like a cat who gets his feet wet and picks them up. Anyway I checked both hooves, no warmth no sign of founder (which would affect front not back). No sign of any swelling or injury around legs. Any idea what this could be? When he walks doesn't appear to limp or walk strange. No sign of pain/discomfort. Before someone recommends vet, my horse vet isn't familiar with donkeys or miniatures and no other vet in this county can even do a pregnancy test on a miniature horse so I'm sure they are not knowledgeable on miniature donkeys.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    Congrats on the donkeys! [​IMG] I don't have donkeys myself, but if you go to backyardherds.com the sister site of BYC there are many knowledgeable people there that you can ask.
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Does he alternate standing on back hooves while he is standing around resting. If this is the case, it is perfectly natural. Also, founder is known to occur in all four hooves, but horses are much more prone to founder than donkeys.
     
  4. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    6
    121
    Jun 20, 2010
    Kentucky
    Ive never seen founder occur on back hooves only. He doesn't stand alternating weight he picks the whole leg up and lifts it off to the side then he switches. I also went to check on him and he was laying down when he got up he did seem stiff and he just doesn't have a lot of muscle mass in his rear legs. Could this be a sign of possible leg problems from the dwarf gene? I've stopped all grain, was feeding oats with a little bit of Purina Senior.
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,313
    2,461
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Is he eating and drinking OK? I've heard that donkeys don't get as dramatic as horses get with colic; this sounds rather like the one donkey colic that I witnessed in a standard jenny a few years ago (and a little like the one time that my mini mule colicked, too). The mini mule just seemed a little fidgity at first, wanted to lay down (but didn't roll), then just stood around and looked like she felt sorry for herself for a few hours. If your boy had a major worm load, an aggressive wormer like Equimax could create a large enough die-off to cause colic.

    I don't know what to think about his lack of muscling in the back, other than to ask, compared to what? A lot of donkeys don't have much "back there," particularly if you are comparing them to horses. Young animals often haven't much muscle, either.

    I feel I should warn you to go very, very light on the grain with your donkeys. Most of the people that I know with donkeys don't grain them at all. Donkeys have extremely efficient digestive systems, and usually can get by on much poorer rations than horses can. Donkeys that are fed too well will develop a cresty neck, and often large, lumpy "pones" on their backsides. These fat deposits are nearly impossible to get rid of. The standard jenny that I mentioned had a crest that had slumped and fallen over, which made her neck look absolutely deformed. Besides the heath concerns, these things just don't look good!
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Quote:I agree with Bunnylady.
     
  7. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    6
    121
    Jun 20, 2010
    Kentucky
    I do feed only oats as I was told by a lady who bred/raised/rescued donkeys for 30+yrs not to feed any corn products. But the oats I feed are only for a small treat and to do a visual wellness check on them everyday. These two little ones were seperated from the herd early this week to work on handling and that's when I was able to touch them and noticed you can feel back bone/hip bones. So I started adding Purina Senior to oats and wormed them Wednesday. The little boy was up this morning and went right to hay. Still lifting back feet.
     
  8. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    N.Calif.
    I agree with Bunnylady too, and although rare, founder CAN occur in the hind feet only. I would think any equine vet would be able to check them out, its kind of tricky diagnosing problems yourself, you may do more harm than good unless you hit it right. Were they trimmed recently? Could their hooves be sore from over aggressive trimming? Is there a fever? How soon after worming did you see this behavior? Sometimes if theyre very wormy they get a huge die off of parasites, the wormer you used kills off pretty much everything, and maybe it caused secondary problems? Hope you figure this one out, I would like to know how it goes anyway,
    Sounds like they lucked out with a great home, Good luck!
     
  9. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    6
    121
    Jun 20, 2010
    Kentucky
    I talked with my vet today and he said it's probably due to sore back legs from lack of muscle which would be seen in an underweight parasite filled animal. The one other factor that changed when I noticed this behavior wad he went from pasture to stall and the vet recommended I increase exercise by turning him back out and start graining him the Purina Senior again which is easy to digest and has lots of fiber.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by