Urgent- will john donkey kill baby - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Urgent- will john donkey kill baby

I just got a Jenny donkey on Saturday which is very prego. I have her separated from my horses and my standard gelding donkey in a round pen in the paddock. I was told that she was not a mini and she did look big compared to the mini Jack she and some other jenny's were in with However when I got her home she is very small compared to my donkey, Homer. I have her in a round pen which is in the paddock where the herd ( 3 horses and Homer) stay from 5pm until 5 am and then they are let down to pasture. Homer is very excited over her. At first I thought he was being agressive as he was running around her pen with his ears back and sticking his head through the round pen. Now I think it is just that he wants to be in with her as he comes and stands at her pen most of the day. He is still sticking his head through but they have touched noses and he does not seem aggressive toward her.
I have not put them together as she is much smaller and very prego. Also I dont want her to have the baby in the pasture in case he would try and hurt or kill it. I dont think she could defend it from him because of her size.
Now my problem is that I am afraid that when she has the baby he could possible bite it through the round pen or even pull it through. I have heard that Jack donkeys will kill babies but wonder if because he is gelded would he be okay with the baby?
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post #2 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 12:49 PM
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I'm not a donkey owner, but I would say, yes, he will kill the foal. Stallions or Jacks fight off competition and only protect what they think is their own get. Even then, mares, or jennies in a herd will protect the foals, and sometimes it's against their own Stallion or Jack.
Why don't you cut him?

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post #3 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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He is a gelding. That is why I thought is would be okay
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post #4 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 12:53 PM
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He STILL wants to take out the foal, judging from your description.

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post #5 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 12:57 PM
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The foal hasn't been born yet.
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post #6 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 02:12 PM
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Can you not put her in a stall and walk her? If he'd been used for breeding prior to castration then yes, he will have stallion traits. Why some try to kill the foal is to bring the mare back in to heat.
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post #7 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 03:53 PM
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he will probably go after the baby. Keep them seperated! put more wire up so he can not reach through

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post #8 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 08:12 PM
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'john' is a term for a gelded donkey, for those who do not know.

That being said, OP, do not put your jenny in with him under any circumstances until she has foaled and the baby is old enough to fend for itself (older than weaning age.) Donkeys can be VERY territorial and will not stop at killing a baby, or injuring mama/causing miscarriage when they're working things out.

We had three donkeys for a while. A jack who stayed separate, and two johns, all minis. At that time we did not realize how territorial or possessive donkeys can be, and we allowed our mini mare and her three week old colt to be in a pen with the older john, who was very mellow and quiet around other horses and donkeys. Thank goodness we didn't leave them alone because while they seemed to get along just fine for about ten minutes, grazing and minding their own business, after a little while the john seemed to notice the colt, perked up, and suddenly went on a mad dash towards the colt and grabbed him by the neck. My boss's son immediately jumped in the pen to save the colt, but when he kicked the john and tossed the colt out of the way, the john actually turned his aggressive on the boy. Donkeys do not let go after they have sunken their teeth into something. It took my boss and two other adults to get the donkey off of the boy, and by that time he had five DEEP bite wounds on his arm down to the bone, and two on his face. He ended up having to have two surgeries, drainage tubes, and a ton of therapy to restore his arm, and they even dug two teeth fragments out of his arm. He contracted TB (skin form) from the bites as well, and nearly lost the arm. He still has terrible scars from the incident. The donkey was shot that day.

I'm not saying all donkeys are that jealous or aggressive towards babies, but some definitely are. We had NO idea the john would ever do that to a colt OR a human. He was friendly and even used in a petting zoo beforehand.

That being said, our other john that we still have, James, is a great babysitter for the yearling minis and has never acted aggressive towards anything. He's low on the totem pole. It sounds like your guy is already exhibiting 'studdy' behavior even though he's cut though, so I wouldn't risk it. I wouldn't even let them share a fenceline unless it is VERY strong and he can't get his head through to grab the baby.

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post #9 of 42 Old 05-14-2013, 08:51 PM
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Yeah I'd reinforce that fence with some chicken wire so he CANNOT get his head through if you have to have them sharing a fence line. Just not safe... I don't even have experience with donkeys but from what you're describing here:

Quote:
At first I thought he was being agressive as he was running around her pen with his ears back and sticking his head through the round pen. Now I think it is just that he wants to be in with her as he comes and stands at her pen most of the day.
I am inclined to say that is not friendly behavior.
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post #10 of 42 Old 05-15-2013, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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This does not sound good at all. I guess I will call the lady that I got her from and see if she will take her back. I am sure she will not reimburse me but from what you guys are saying I just cant risk having them.
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