Mules as Gaurdians - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-10-2020, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mules as Gaurdians

Who all uses a mule as a gaurdian animal for their broodmares and foals? Primarily one that was raised from birth and grew up around foals... Pros? Cons? Any issues of them attacking the foals?
I ask this because we live around a lot of wildlife... coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional mountain lion has been spotted. Plus, neighbor dogs that aren't controlled. We'd like to have some broodmares in the future and wish to take all precautions possible for their health and safety as well as their foals.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-07-2020, 04:14 PM
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I've had donkeys out with both cattle and horses. Pros? They run off predators. Cons? Had one that became very bonded with a mare. So much so that we couldn't do anything with her. He was traded to a guy who wanted one to run with his cattle.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-07-2020, 04:53 PM
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I've seen donkeys used as livestock guardians but not mules....different mindset is my understanding.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-08-2020, 07:26 AM
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Absolutely no experience with mules - they're few & far between over here. Tho I've seen a youtube vid of a hunter's mule attack & kill a cougar, so I imagine they can be quite donkey-like in mentality.

Lots of experience with donkeys... & embarrassingly, my donkey used to be very aggressive with my boyfriends when I was growing up!! They are commonly used as livestock guardians & Jacks especially can be deadly with strange animals(or boyfriends) that enter their paddock! Jacks can also be a bit unpredictably aggressive too & have been known to attack their owners and animals they live with. A stud owner I know had a Great Dane who grew up with the Jack & was a couple of years old when he was attacked. Every morning he'd go greet Jack who was otherwise friendless & they'd hang out together all day. One morning, he went out to his mate... who must have got up on the wrong side of the paddock that day - the owner watched him grab the full grown Dane by the back, shake him a few times, then throw him across the paddock! Poor dog lay wailing with a broken back until the owner was able to hit him on the head. And recently my son who breeds chooks sold some fertile eggs to a guy who said he recently lost his flock... after purchasing a mini donkey as a livestock guard... it was a jack who promptly killed all of them! I advised him he get the young man gelded ASAP!
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-08-2020, 12:39 PM
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Donkey's, yes. Never saw a mule for that purpose. Guardian dogs....depends on the horse. Two of my broodies would kill a dog on sight.

We have coyotes and Bobcats. Have seen one bigger cat. No problems with them. The big cat could potentially be an issue but if you have easier prey and well established populations of that prey they those two will not bother them. Only time we had issue was when neighbors killed off their normal diet and then killed all of them off because they started going after anything that moved due to starvation. Once they were gone all of the prey populations exploded. It took years for things to normalize.

Neighbors dogs if aggressive are removed on sight. Stout electric with narrow spacing and low to ground helps with them.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-08-2020, 02:29 PM
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A few years ago, a breeder that I know had a newborn foal killed by a donkey. I heard the story second hand from a mutual friend so some details may be incorrect. Apparently the newborn foal was in an adjacent pen and got under the fence, in reach of the donkey. I've been to this place before this happened and saw the donkey living in the herd with mares and older foals, so it's not like having foals around was a new occurrence.
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