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Hello folks. I got a seven year old donkey. He has no vices and is as sweet as ever. My three year old grandson loves him. My hope is that the donkey will guard the sheep. I turned him in with the calves and lambs yesterday after spending the prior day in an adjoining pasture. He is content and seems to be fine with the young stock. After two days there has been no issue.
My question is...Is it okay to have him on pasture eating as much grass as he wants? I know not to get him too fat, but wonder if too much grass could be an issue.
Is it possible to assume that he will indeed bond with my sheep flock. He hasn't chased any of the lambs around. He seems to just watch them and accept them in his pasture?
His feet are good and will let me pick them all up without any issue at all.
So, Vince, Sharon or Bob E. is there anything else I should know or be doing?
Thank you!

NoraWI says 2017-09-16 06:18:44 (CST)



I'm not Vince, Sharon or Bob E., but would like to give you my 2 cents' worth.

Yes, donkeys can and do founder on too much grass. They need pretty much the same precautions as horses, sometimes more. Donkeys are desert animals and the lush grass of the Midwest can harm them. They need the same vaccinations, worming and hoof care that we give our horses. And they love to be groomed. Don't know your specific situation nor where the sheep are pastured, but you really should keep an eye on that donk and listen to what your farrier has to say about his hoof condition. Most donkeys do not have to bond with the sheep to protect them. The instinct to stomp and kill anything that resembles a canine is in them. I would not let your dog(s) into that pasture until you are sure your donkey won't harm them.


1 month ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-09-16 10:24:04 (CST)



Ralph, we have a mini donkey with our goats which in turn share the pasture with ten head of our neighbor's cattle cattle. He is pretty round, but obviously seems to know when to quit eating and then comes into the barn with our Haflinger and another horse(also our neighbor's) which are on the same pasture. No issues. I do not have the Percherons on the same pasture, though. Makes it too complicated when I need the horses for work and everybody else wants to come along, too. Gandhi, our Haflinger, I can get through the gate without the others. I especially enjoy Snickers ( our donkey's name) braying when he sees me first in the morning.
Enjoy your new asinine friend! ( asinus = Latin for donkey!! Therefore here not meant as an insult!)


1 month ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-09-17 20:35:53 (CST)



Nora, thank you for that great information. It was exactly what I was asking for. The little fellow has great feet and has been given regular trimmings every eight weeks or so. I do have him turned in with some lambs and some recently weaned calves. He just hangs out with all of them. I introduced them for two nights in an adjoining pasture. He is fitting in perfectly. The grass he is currently on, is not lush. It is plentiful, but not much clover or fine regrowth.
He doesn't mind our dogs. I introduced them when he got off the trailer. He does watch them, but as long as we are around, he pays them no mind

Klaus, no harm done, I loved the asinine comment! Thanks for your answers as well. I did let him get to meet the horses. They are not too thrilled with him...especially his loud strange voice! I'm sure it will all work out in time, but I will move slowly with the introduction. He really wants to be with them...they just don't know what to make of him. They have all smelled each other and touched muzzles...to be continued... LOL


30 days ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2017-09-18 20:27:07 (CST)



Donkeys are very thrifty with their food. As the saying goes, donkeys and mules can't stand too much prosperity. 'They will get too fat and can founder on too much grass. Most owners that use them as guard donkeys don't pay too much attention to that. Being as they don't get a lot of training they can be replaced relatively inexpensively.

I don't have much experience with donkeys. ( mostly mules here.)

Most I see that are pastured 24/7 are usually overweight but not many actually founder.

The donkey market, especially mammoths, are seeing an uptick in the market price around here as many folks are finding out what good riding mounts they can prove to be.

If you don' t have much money invested in it, and it is protecting your sheep, I wouldn't worry about it.


29 days ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-09-20 07:06:20 (CST)



Thanks Vince for your comments. I think I will be careful with him as far as when I move the sheep. I won't put him on lush pasture like when we flush the ewes. I think Nora is right about him not really bonding with the sheep. He tolerates them and doesn't bother them, but he doesn't miss them either. Moving the sheep first to an adjoining pasture won't bother him in the least. Once the pasture has been eaten down some, then I'll move him too.
"The stock is fattened by the eye of the master" I will keep my eye on him and monitor his condition.
Thanks again everyone for your insight , experience and replies.


27 days ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum


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