We have owned one horse, one mammoth donkey and one mini donkey for a little over five years now. I have worked extremely hard to keep my donkeys and horse healthy and at times it has not been easy.
Did you know Donkeys can dig?
Donkeys when bored or just because they are donkeys can dig big holes looking for roots and creating a nice soft dirt place to lay and roll. Donkeys love old stumps and you guessed it they love to eat a wood barn 🙂
Donkeys love to eat and they will indeed eat themselves literally to death as they founder and get laminits
Owning donkeys is like owning an exotic animal they take special care and consideration and a human who will do their very best to keep them healthy emotionally, physically and mentally. Owning any equine is not for the lazy person as it takes great responsibility and the work must be kept up even when the human is sick or on vacation.
The learning curve for donkey care is not easy as well donkeys do not have the same documentation as a horse has for care and ownership thus the creation of the Donkey Whisperer Farm website, blog, facebook and twitter. It is my way of giving back and sharing information to help you the owner and human leader to provide optimum health for your donkey, mule or horse.
Donkeys cannot stand in brush as they are easy keepers they will get sick, get too fat founder and get laminitis. Thus why I repeat over and over test your hay for sugar content and protein and feed small meals to keep them from colicing. Donkeys cannot stand in a pasture day after day and hour after hour. Donkeys cannot stand in the rain they need a place to keep their hooves dry. Donkeys were created to live in the desert and well the Pacific Northwest is a far cry from the desert.
Donkeys and horses need clean water and warm water in the winter to help them drink and not colic.
Please remember Donkeys, horses and mules need their meals to be on time
When it is freezing cold outside wind chill is making it in the teens outside a donkey will stay healthier and happier with a blanket added I highly suggest making sure you have a blanket that is clean and ready to go for winter and emergency health needs. Donkeys are not a goat or a cow donkeys are donkeys!
Copied from Facebook – A message from Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, Oregon City,OR
The following was our e-mail reply to someone wishing to adopt 2 Thinking of using Donkeys as brush clearers and herd protectors here in the Pacific NW………what are your experiences?….
As for your desire to have donkeys for herd protection, a few words of advice. Yes, some donkeys can make wonderful herd protectors and are used for that purpose quite frequently. However, they are primarily used in this manner in the drier climates of the Southwest and Texas.
Donkeys are descendants of the African Ass and as such have developed and evolved to forage in desert conditions. They can process nutrients from desert scrub and often forage while walking miles each day.
Placing a donkey in the lush Northwest in a pasture all day is a recipe for disaster. We know, we see it in nearly all of our rescues and surrender cases. A donkey left out in a pasture for more than 4 or 5 hours a day in Summer and even less in Winter/Spring conditions will most certainly founder, a serious condition that affects the donkeys hooves.
Too much starch and sugar from the grass will overload the donkeys digestive system that is designed to extract nutrients from sparse desert vegetation. Obesity is also another by-product of leaving donkeys on pasture.
This in itself can lead to serious health issues. It is a certain death sentence to leave a donkey in a pasture in the PNW 24/7.Also, donkeys do not do well in the rain. Unlike a horse, their skin produces less oils to repel the water leading to rain scald and numerous other skin issues.
They need a large enough dry shelter to roll in and lie down. Additionally, donkeys need to find dry ground to prevent other hoof issues such as thrush.Donkeys are wonderful, amazing animals. That is why my wife and I have become so involved in helping them. But to be quite honest, donkeys here in the PNW require a great deal more care and special treatment. This is not their natural habitat. We are responsible for what we domesticate and as such, we owe them the best treatment possible.I encourage you to find another means of protecting your goats and chickens.
Many donkeys that have never been around other small critters will often chase them. We’ve had major chicken trauma because our chickens found their way into the donkey paddock and were promptly stepped on. Because of the stated reasons above, PVDR does not adopt donkeys out to be used as herd protectors/brush clearers here in the Pacific Northwest. Our donkeys go primarily to homes that would like a pet quality donkey that can serve as a horse companion, pack animal (with strict restrictions on weight), or as a mount for children.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to ring us at 503-655-4106. Thanks again for your inquiry.