Moody Donkey - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By Dehda01
  • 1 Post By Bluefeathurs
  • 2 Post By Mulefeather
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-17-2016, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question Moody Donkey

I have a mini donkey and he doesn't like our goats. I was wondering if anyone knew any tricks to get him to be nice to or like the goats?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-17-2016, 11:24 PM
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Many donkeys are aggressive towards other livestock. Is he gelded, if not, that is your first step. Not all donkey's are good livestock protectors. My own donkey cannot be trusted around sheep and goats (that was his original job... which he failed after he scalped a ewe and tried to kill her lambs...) and so he is with my horses as a companion animal.

Sometimes the guarding gene gets confused with them and they just get too aggressive. I find many males play too hard and therefore can't be trusted. The best livestock guardians I have found are often jennies or older geldings that were raised with their herd(or at least with he species) from a young age so they don't see the species as a threat. Otherwise, they are the new animal as a threat and will attack it like their guarding/protecting genes tell them too. My donkey has killed dogs, coyotes, skunks, rats and an opossum. He has threatened my barn cats and stray cats before but luckily they have been smart enough, or fast enough to get away.

My neighbor has two mini donkeys that broke their goat's leg even though I warned them it probably wouldn't work out. And my BIL's donkey killed two calves. Donkey's can be serious when they don't understand us vs them...
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-18-2016, 01:06 AM
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Idk about your jack, but our Jennie was penned up so she could see and smell the sheep and would get some feed if she was nice. She has become a better protector since the foal she had bonded with the sheep. Gelding him, if not already, is the first thing you should do. Jacks can be very aggressive. Try getting him to think that it's in his best interest to be nice to what he's supposed to be protecting. Nibble of food when he smells one without actin good mad.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-18-2016, 01:07 AM
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*acting mad
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-18-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you so much :)
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-18-2016, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you :)
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-18-2016, 05:55 PM
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Agreeing with @Dehda01 - not all donkeys make good livestock guardians, and intact jacks are actually the worst choice to put in with any smaller animals. Like stallions, they can be violent when frustrated or feeling as though they need to protect their territory. In the wild, jacks do not maintain herds of jennets like stallions have herds of mares - they maintain a territory, and then they mate with the jennets who come into their territory. So, they feel the need to drive out "interlopers" - predators, rival jacks, or whatever fills in that space in a domestic jack's head.

I would not try to build a positive association with the goats for him, because it's just too dangerous for the goats, and too risky if it goes wrong. Get him gelded immediately if you have not, and don't house him with smaller animals.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-29-2016, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-19-2017, 07:14 PM
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Agree with others. First & foremost, geld your Jack! If you're not experienced & knowledgeable and planning to breed. Jacks can be more of a handful than stallions & known to be aggressive. Don't keep him with goats or other small animals he can harm, if he shows any aggression towards them. He can live happily with your horses, or cows or other large beasts.

The stud jack where I got my donkey for spent a lot of time with the owner's Great Dane. They were good mates & used to play together. They were both lone animals otherwise, the dog being the only dog, the Jack kept alone because he was aggressive toward geldings &... inappropriate with Jennies... probably because of his social starvation. One day though, Jack was in a foul mood & when Dane came to say hello, he picked him up by the back, shook him a few times & tossed him to the other side of the paddock. End of dog!

My own donkey(gelded young) had never shown any aggression(except chasing away a few of my boyfriends when I was a teen!) when I brought him back to live with me. I had puppies. They were playfighting in the paddock, oblivious to their surrounds... until suddenly they realised, too late to run, that there was an angry donkey bearing down on them, ears back, teeth bared... I was too far away to do more than yell, imagining pulverised puppies! Don't know if the yelling had any effect, but donk charged them, then slammed on the brakes, reared over their heads & brought his hooves down on... either side of them. Then walked off as if nothing happened! I reckon he was warning them that he was to be respected around these parts. He never showed the slightest inkling of aggression towards them ever again.
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