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Archive for ‘November 13th, 2012’

What A Donkey Needs

Friends of the Donkey Whisperer Farm

The Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC is a small business located in Sequim, WA. We train the owner or caretaker to train and care for the desert equine the donkey. I pray you will not have to learn the hard way and our experiences will help you be the best human partner for your donkeys.  Donkeys come in two’s. After purchasing our donkeys I learned really quickly how limited information is available for the health, care and training of donkeys and mules thus the beginning of the Donkey Whisperer Farm a virtual hot spot of detailed information.

We were going along pretty good with our donkeys and horse until I was in an almost fatal car accident.  Suddenly we could no longer take them out for long walks on the trails or even short walks as well life was all about helping me.  Our donkeys started getting really fat this is not just a thing that is uneasy for the eye to see a fat donkey this can cause an early death.  Horses need to have their weight monitored too or they will get the same health issues.  Donkeys tend to gain weight much faster and do not show any sign of illness until they are limping and can’t walk.

Why Photos Help?

Humans really do not see how fat our beloved equine are getting just like we don’t notice how fat we are getting ourselves until our pants do not fit or someone takes our photo.  I highly suggest taking photos of your donkey, mule or horse and stepping back and looking at them every couple of months to see if your equine is getting fat.  Pictures are wonderful for trimming the hooves a way to watch and ensure all is being trimmed correctly.

Why Share This Information?  Honestly donkeys do not make much money in our world unlike the horse with all the unique professions.  Vet’s really do not have much experience with donkeys in Vet school and the donkey is a left with people guessing what is needed.  Thanks to the horse world the donkeys are starting to benefit from all the equine science medicine.  Please do your part and share information to help a donkey or mule living in your part of the world.

Sadly donkeys have always been the underdog of the equine world as most people think a donkey can’t learn or do anything.  Donkeys are still the most expensive thing some people own in our precious world sadly these donkeys live on very little food and pay the ultimate price death at an early age.  Donkeys in the United States Of America are being abused in another way over eating and eating the wrong thing.

The donkey who is free to eat brush, trees, deep grass will get sugar diabetes in the human form called laminitis the hoof falls apart, white line, abscesses and colic.  This is all preventable if we understand owning a donkey is like owning an exotic equine we must understand how much hay and what kind of hay to stay healthy.  Donkeys require a low sugar diet with clean water and salt along with exercise.

It is not wise to make donkeys live apart from their buddy. Donkeys bond for life. If the donkey needs to go to the vet take his buddy. 

Donkeys evolved in the desert GOD gave them big ears to hear the predator and to swoosh and cool them down in the hot desert heat.





What Do Donkeys Need?

At least one other donkey to be a buddy as they are very intelligent and get lonely and bored very easily.  Additionally, donkeys play different with another donkey than any other animal. Donkeys need safe toys, a orange traffic cone, rubber bowl, jolly ball. Donkeys grab the neck and play tag and tug.

Low sugar hay no alfalfa hay ever no need for grain if they are not working hard.  Clean water, some clean loose salt and I like to add a white salt brick

Hoof trim on a reg. basis just like the horse, vet checkup at least once a year. Dental at least once a year.

Hooves trimmed every seven weeks

Do not leave the halter on – teach the donkey to catch you

Need to see the vet at least once a year

Sedation can be tricky – Make sure your vet understands how much and the proper doses as death can occur or allergic reaction such as sweating and sneezing

Gelding a male donkey is vital to a happy life for a donkey, gelding is tricky  Make sure you have a donkey vet. Donkeys must be tied off and some can react odd to drugs.

Need the human to be have a friendly relationship with donkey before attempting to train – This does not mean letting the donkey boss the human around it’s all about balance and humane leadership

Need fecal test performed with the vet to see if they need to be wormed – I suggest not worming unless they need it have the fecal test confirm they need it

Shots West Nile is absolutely needed along with tetanus, please let the vet help you as each donkey and farm is unique

Shelter to get out of the heat, wind, rain and harsh weather

Equine Dentist at least once a year – Just like us people equine need the oral part taken care of or great infections, loss of life can occur resulting in a bigger vet bill with more tears

Meals to be on time.  We like to use the slow feeder they are never ever screaming and crying for more food as our current paddock is a dry paddock.  Be careful to get a slow feeder the donkey will not eat and chew on on.  I just found this slow feeder at Valley vet and it works perfectly.

Talked to, loved on and they make great counselors for us humans

Donkey Whisperer Farm, E-TRAINING take us to the farm with you. Select Donkey 101 VIDEO ON DEMAND.

Donkeys need the human to understand they think different and react different from the horse.  Donkeys are smart not stubborn. You can not force a donkey to do anything.  Donkeys are seriously into self-preservation. Feet do not move when scared and if really scared they will not eat or drink. Donkeys can be extroverted and over react. Donkeys can jump, kick and rear.

Learn best by being left alone and watching the honor equine do the tasks the donkey will be asked to do in the future.  What do I mean by honor equine?  The equine that can stand and get brushed, pick up feet without a fuss, take a walk on-line, whoa, back up, trot on command, walk, get in the horse trailer calm.  My arena is built directly in front of the the paddock so my donkeys can watch my horse and me.  Donkeys can learn to do things without us humans having to do much if we give them time to think and digest what we want them to do.  More time thinking less time drilling, never drill a donkey always end a training session with something the donkey loves to do as they are going to think about this over and over.

Donkeys are not goats – Please don’t treat them like one.  Donkeys love to eat wood but it is not healthy for them to eat green bush and trees as well they are easy keepers and this can make them get the diarrhea and gain too much weight along with fat necks, hoof abscesses, laminitis and colic.  Best to treat the donkey as what they are an exotic equine needing low sugar/protein hay.  In the Pacific Northwest Orchard hay or Timothy hay is the lowest sugar hay.  I have my hay tested before purchasing for the year as we can not look at hay and know how much sugar is in it.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!


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