Hi FR, what an interesting thread!
We took on three donkeys two years ago, and two of them were obese. It's really hard slimming them down and they always insist they are starving to death! Here's our three not so long after we got them. It's a hyperlink, when you get to it press the LEFT ARROW to get to the two other donkey photos.
I started a slimming thread on this forum because I was so dismayed by the glacial progress of the weight loss. Even in grazing muzzles, they needed locking into a no-feed area at night as well...
About the lack of braying: Maybe it's something to do with being in a new area. Ours were really quiet when we got them. Two years later they are really noisy! Especially when they think they need sustenance. In the morning we have the 7am donkey alarm that tells us they think it's time for them to go on the pasture. It's got to the point where we talk to them, and they talk back - very cute. My husband is totally besotted with them.
...and for anyone who hasn't seen this internet classic:
Trumpet and Donkey - YouTube
Ruthless never brayed, just did the pre-bray panting. We know this because of his "fan club," a couple who were his neighbors in the city and come out to visit him weekly. They were really shocked the first time he brayed while they were here! I'm not sure what did it, but I am so glad he does bray now. His bray is deeper and warmer than the jenny's.
They really are a joy to have around. Here is a little video of them playing one night when it was windy and we were fixing fence (every equine-lovers favorite pastime!).
I hope that worked. Its only my second attempt at video links.