donkey questions

Discussion of the training, use, and management of guard dogs, guard llamas, guard donkeys, guard goldfish, etc.
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donkey questions

Postby lenajo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:00 pm

I was "gifted" an adult standard donkey - ungelded. I think he's about 4

He's nice to handle, ok with pet dogs around, but will chase dogs that cut through his pen without permission. He will also chase calves and sheep that come into the pen :(

Other than gelding is there any hope here? I don't know a darn thing about these animals as guardians. I have a friend who could use a guardian but I have no idea how to tell her if this would be possible or not with this one.


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Re: donkey questions

Postby lovetree » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:10 am

I always heard that you HAVE to geld the donkeys before being used as a guardian, not only will they chase and bite the sheep but will also kill them when it tries to mount them :shock:
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin

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Re: donkey questions

Postby OogieM » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:26 am

lenajo wrote:I was "gifted" an adult standard donkey - ungelded. I think he's about 4

We own a donkey jack. He has killed sheep. There is no way I'd ever consider him a suitable guardian. Even gelding him at that age will not necessarily change his behavior. Plus, gelding donkeys is not the same as gelding a horse, it's a lot more difficult so be sure you get a good surgeon to do it. The risk of complications is a lot higher as his equipment is larger for his body size than a stallion.

The people I know who are successful with donkey guardians all have sheep that are tight flocking breeds, only have a single equine on the place with no other equines nearby and have had their guardian animal in with sheep since weaning. Without all those in place I'd never trust a donkey to guard not kill the stock.
Oogie McGuire
Black Sheep Shepherdess

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Re: donkey questions

Postby hewittfarm » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:39 am

Our Donkey gelding is doing fine with our Katahdins which are a pretty tight group. Sunday we had a single Lamb that got separated from the flock because it was sick. We had the Donkey out and when we put him back in he went right to the lamb and with his nose and other antics he herded the lamb about 300 feet back into the flock and then ran down to the gate proud as punch for his praise reward. He is a better herder than my dog!

Another unrelated part of this is that the lamb died yesterday. It was messy it the rear, had good color in it eyes and was stiff in the back legs. I suspected white muscle disease and gave it a selenium , vitamin shot but it never got back up. Pulled fecal sample and waiting for the result. All my other lambs are fine.
Rod Hewitt
Katahdin & White Dorper sheep
Bellows Falls VT 05101

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