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Country Discussion Topics
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Mini donkey - knowledge needed
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don t. - 9n180179    Posted 11-01-2003 at 17:25:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Many month reader, first time poster.
My wife has been wanting a donkey and some goats to go along w/her 2 llamas. She found a local guy w/a mini donkey for sale, 6mth old male. Both parents and a year older full sister on site. The adults stand about belt high. This animal is just short of that. All appear to be healthy.
We know nothing about these critters.

Anything I can read, should know, gotta do for them. Might get him tomorrow, next weekend for sure. All depends on how much work my friends horse trailer needs.

Thanks for your time.
I do appreciate it.
.....don t. .....


Tom A    Posted 11-02-2003 at 04:41:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
If "the boss" *has* to have him, I'd suggest buying him now and leaving him at the place for a few weeks while you read up and get smarter about their care. I have a full-size donkey and a mule. Both are wonderful animals, but they are different from all our other critters (we have goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats etc etc.).

Unless you are experienced enough to breed, get him gelded. Intact males are fine most of the year, but even a mini could be a hand-full in season. Experienced equine folks get hurt and killed because of this...you get lured into a sense of security because he is gentle most of the time.

Hoof care is a biggy. My guys need a farrier about every 3 months, and you can't put it off or it is bad for the animal. In our case, finding a farrier took a lot of time and phone calls--all the good ones are too busy to take on new work. Hooves should be cleaned daily to prevent problems.

Feed is also important. Find out what's being fed now. My guys get pasture free choice, and/or hay twice a day, plus supplements twice a day. Worming for us is every-other-month thru much of the year.

Gotta find a vet in advance who will come out and care for him. Like the farrier, sometimes easier said than done. Our goat/sheep vet won't do equines, so we had to find an equine vet. Turns out we needed him quickly after getting the donkey as he choked on feed the first week and needed to be tubed.

I strongly advice you put off your purchase for now. There's lots of "cute" donkeys and mules out there. They need care that you have to learn, and it is best to read up before you get the animal. I love my equines, they're great company for the goats and sheep and me.

Storey books has several books on horse care, and there are others. They're a start. Donkeys are different, so you may also need a donkey book...the American Donkey and Mule Society publishes a very good A-Z book on care, and you can find them with a search on the web.

Good luck, whatever you do.
Tom A


cowgirlj    Posted 11-01-2003 at 18:31:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We had a little guy. Find out first of all if he is gelded. If he's not, you could be in for some problems. Our little guy "ED" was a stud. Whenever our goat came in to heat, he would try to ravish her. He chewed her up pretty bad a couple of times, so I had to lock her up in the barn while she was cycling. You would have thought we were torturing her in there, the way she screamed when she was locked up. I'm surprised the neighbours didn't call the SPCA.
Then we bought a stud colt from the auction. The colt and ED became good friends and got along well, but with 2 boys, one had to be the BOSS. The colt won! The donkey got upset and started beating the crap out of anything smaller than him! He killed one turkey, and bit chunks of flesh off of 3 other turkeys. We finally had to find him a new home.

On the other hand. Where I used to live, my g/f had a mini donkey that she hand raised. He was the most lovable, comical, character on the farm! "Mr. Frislebee". Frisbee used to follow us along with the two dogs when we'd go horseback riding. He is a gelding though, and has never been a problem.

Mini Donkey's are cute, personable and friendly. But they can also be stubborn, tempermental and hot headed. They also naturally hate dogs, unless they are raised with them. They make excellent coyote guards. I would take some time to get to know him where he currently lives, before you decide to bring him home.


don t. - 9n180179    Posted 11-02-2003 at 03:07:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
I thank you for your comments/time to write them.
I do know he is not a gelding. The hour we were there, he seemed to get along w/the other critters (emus, llamas, goats, lambs, his sister, about 30 animals in same area).

Our llamas are a 3 y.o. female, a 7 y.o. gelded male. The female has yet to breed. I would think she should have by this time in her life. I would prefer to balance the llama heard, learn more about mini donkeys, before a purchase. Problem is he's just so cute (wife's words). I can't compete w/that (big grin).

Thanks again,
.....don t. .....


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