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Bluebird 12-28-2012 06:20 PM

What is so good about DOnkeys
I don't have a donkey but I have a couple of heavy horses. In a couple of years I am intending to 'retire' to a farm with lots of land and I was to provide a home for rescue equines or retiring ones. I know nothing about keeping donkeys or how they get with horses. Apart from how lovely they look, what are the good and bad points of owning donkeys and what are they like as part of a mixed herd?

Joe4d 12-28-2012 07:35 PM

Probably not an issue in England. In the US people keep them as guard animals against stray dogs, and coyotes. Evidently they tend to be fairly aggressive against them.

waresbear 12-28-2012 07:46 PM

384 Attachment(s)
I'd say a big bonus is the the HEEHAW factor.

Red Cedar Farm 12-28-2012 07:53 PM

EVERYTHING about donkeys is good! They are generally of a calmer, more down to earth demeanor, and bond very closely with their person/people. They're hardy, they don't require as much feed or water as they are evolved from living in harsh environmental conditions. They never need shoes. Ever. There is the bonus that they will protect their herdmates, be it horses, sheep, cattle, whatever from any...and I mean ANY perceived threat.
Donkeys are absolutely wonderful, wonderful companions. I can't imagine life without them!

Endiku 12-28-2012 07:53 PM

Well besides the fact that they make your heart melt every time you look at them, I find donkeys to be wonderful companions. They always seem to have personality in excess and are very easy to keep compared to horses (actually ours are TOO easy to keep!) with hard hooves and the ability to thrive on grass hay alone in many situations. We have one of ours in a mixed herd and he does just fine. He hangs around our mules or by himself though, and doesnt really mingle. That may just be his personality though.

littrella 12-28-2012 07:57 PM

along with everything above, when spooked, then tend to freeze & think it over rather than bolt like horses. They are VERY smart! overall, just calm, quite, loveable little creatures.

Lockwood 12-28-2012 09:02 PM

I couldn't agree more with Red Cedar Farm, Endiku, and Littrella!
Donkeys are wonderful, however their minds don't work the same as a horse's mind. This can be a good thing or a bad thing... depending on how smart the donkey owner is. :wink:
Actually once you figure out what motivates them and how they look at life you begin to appreciate them for the unique animals that they are.

Endiku 12-28-2012 09:41 PM

Yes, their different minds can be...challenging xD I'm constantly having to revise my training techniques for my little up and coming miniature mule filly. She's not stubborn, she just realizes that even at 60 pounds she's evenly matched with me when it comes to strength, and that I'm not always the smarter one. She has to have a reason for everything, much like a teenager. Makes me have to have more confidence in my training and I think its really helping ME become a better owner! I'm absolutely in love with how much she bonds to me though. Her dam is a wonderful horse but never was and never will be the sort fo rely on a human or really look forwards to being around them, but my mule (Honor) craves human attention and will follow me like a puppy. She loves to be loved on and enjoys 'helping' me with my chores as well xD I couldnt ask for more in an equine.

flyinghighleo 12-28-2012 10:28 PM

they have amazing footing :)

LeighLovesLongears 12-29-2012 12:08 PM

They are the very lovable, curious, and make the best listeners. They can also make you smile, giggle, and laugh. They are incredibly smart and prefer to do what they want when they want. To get them to do something you have to make them think it was their idea, which is why a lot of people don't like to try and train them. If you scratch the inside of a donkey's ear, you will have a new best friend for life! They are fairly easy keepers. They have a strong dislike of dogs and coyotes which is why farmers use them to protect their cattle.

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