OK, they are not horses but does anybody have experience with mini donkeys? My local Craigslist has two for sale for $150 each. Unfortunately, both were exposed to a stud in May but they've not had pregnancy checks. Apparently, they come for treats but that's about it. One will let herself be petted and the other leaves after getting snacks.
The only reason I'm considering donkeys is that we have 26 acres and need to keep the grass down. Do donkey help keep other critters away at all? I'm a bit concerned about coyotes. In IL they are rather large, about 40-50 lbs. We have chickens and horses and I'd like some sheep next year.
I've heard that donkeys are great "guard dogs," but maybe that was mules, or maybe a full sized donkey. o_O
I know, I'm so helpful. =]
I have a standard jenny that we got for free after hurricane Ike, but she is about 11 hands, so she is on the small side.
She is the absolute best about keeping anything and everything that moves out of the pasture... we were watching her one day and saw her chase a squirrel up a tree and then wait at the base of it for it to come down. This is why our ducks can't go out to the pond! (:
But she is the sweetest little thing and I don't know if it's because we have had her since she was a yearling, but I can do anything with her and she follows me around like a puppy. I have learned that pretty much all donkeys have a huge personality.
I have a mini burro that I have had for about 23 years. I rode him when I was little and drove him for a while. They are certainly a trip (fun). If you are looking for something to protect your other animals though, you might want to look into either a standard size donkey, mule, or maybe a llama. Minis will fight but it wouldn't take many coyotes to take a mini down. However, they are great companions and would make the most adorable driving team. :)
Donkeys are good little guards. They don't have as much of a flight reflex. They stand and think it through. This is why they make such good guard animals, because instead of running they attack. Mini's will not stand up to brush wolves though; they will surely be eaten.
They aren't like horses. Well, actually, they are like a horse, but more so if you get what I mean. You can't force them to do anything and anything you train them to do will have to be 'their' idea to begin with.
All in all, donkeys are very good pets, but they love you like a cat, not a dog. I personally love cats so donkeys are great. :D
I've got a pair (although they're for sale). They certainly keep you entertained ;) My gelding is trained to drive and I crack up the whole time hehe :) They are great "watchdogs," I always know when someone is here haha :) They'd likely work for coyotes, but nothing larger unless you went with standards.
If you are in livestock, you typically need herd guardians, and Donks are great. Unlike dogs just scaring them off, Donks chase and buck the predator away. im considering getting one lol, we have friends who breed them and theyre great pets :)
Donkeys and lamas are the only animals you can keep here to save your stock from coyotes. I strongly recommend them. Those donkeys are awesome for that. I almost bought one when I bred miniature horses to protect the foals from any stupid wildlife that might have attempted to get that them.
The other option is lamas. The bonus with them is that they eat pretty much everything so they help maintain your pasture(tho 26 acres for only 1 or 2 animals is A LOT to try to maintain for just them).
If they weren't super friendly when you saw them, I wouldn't be to concerned. Chances are they were never worked with and taught that people can be pretty awesome ;)
You can easily retrain them to come when they are called.
Good luck with your search :)
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