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Author Topic: Has anyone kept Donkeys?  (Read 4656 times)

WhiteHorses

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • West Lothian, Scotland
Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« on: April 01, 2014, 03:45:08 pm »
My sister is looking for donkey experience for research as part of her Masters.
Below is her request for info. So please add your comments if you can help :)


Are donkeys...
Stubborn?
Stupid?
Comical?
Over-sexed?
Lustful?
‘Well-hung’?
Humble?
‘Christ-like’?
Stoic?
Hard-working?
Tough?
Inferior to horses?
Loving?
 
Do you keep, or work with, donkeys?  If so, I would love to hear your views on the above descriptions. Do any of them represent real donkey behavior? Do any of them definitely not? What is your experience?
 
I’m an MA Anthrozoology student, currently researching the representation of donkeys. The above popular - and often contradictory - characterizations are found frequently in mythology and religion. I’m keen to explore the extent to which the symbolic ideas are based on real donkey traits and anatomy. The world-over donkeys continue to often experience lives of over-work, abuse, and poor welfare so I’m particularly interested in how popular cultural portrayals of donkeys may positively or negatively affect the ways they are perceived and treated.
 
 
Voss Electric Fence

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 08:14:46 pm »
I only have one donkey and have only had him for around a year - so by no means an experienced keeper, but here goes  ;)
Are donkeys...
Stubborn? Yes, but only if you try and force them.....let them think it was their idea and no, they're not  ;)
Stupid? No, most definitely not!
Comical? Sometimes, yes  :D
Over-sexed? I have a gelding, so not that I've seen
Lustful? Ditto the above
‘Well-hung’? Eh? I've no idea.......
Humble? He's an unassuming character - is that the same?
‘Christ-like’?  Eh, no - he's donkey like  ;)
Stoic? Sometimes, a little maybe - but he lets us know if he's really not happy (or hungry)Hard-working? He lives a life of reilly here so I couldn't possibly comment  :D
Tough? Without a doubt
Inferior to horses? Pfft, no way! I've never met a horse with as few hang up's as my lad (but maybe I've not met the right horse)  ;)
Loving? Yes  :) They're gentle souls  :thumbsup:

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 10:37:50 am »
Are donkeys...
Stubborn?  Can be, but it's often a matter of mishandling and trying to push, not dissimilar from a native pony
Stupid?  No, far from it, they're pretty clever and occasionally wily
Comical? No but they have a sense of humour and play people up on occasion
Over-sexed? I wouldn't say so, but any ungelded male is like any other ungelded male, so not sure what "over" implies
Lustful? Ditto above
‘Well-hung’? Hadn't really thought about it but then I have had breeding stallions for a long time and haven't been a donkey carer since my teens in terms of regular work, just occasional since, like the local farm nativity etc
Humble? I don't see donkeys as having all these human characteristics, it's anthropomorphic and pointless, donkeys are straightforward, not pretentious if that counts, but nor are most animals proud or humble, they're just being what they are..
‘Christ-like’? Ditto above, it's Jesus rode the donkey not Jesus was a donkey for goodness sake!
Stoic? Pretty much like any native they get on with things as best they can if they can work out what you want, and some will suffer fools more gladly than others but in many situations they don't have any other experience of life so yes probably
Hard-working?  Ditto.  the ones I cared for were mostly pets and paddock keepers, they did a good job of that!
Tough?  Yes, resilient and survivors, but there again it's an animal thing generally
Inferior to horses?  Nope, different species and a pointless comparison, like is a zebra inferior cos you can't tame or ride one usually?  No but as a zebra, or donkey, it is what it is.
Loving? Can be in the right hands, the 4 I had charge of were except one that was primarily cheeky but he wasn't bad in any way, just not a cuddly boy in his teenage thug phase like a young pony or young anything I guess

I would say third world donkeys are used because they work for the job asked of them and are cheap and plentiful in those areas.  In the UK most are seen as pets and/or companions to other equines, rather than having a job to do.  A few are driven or ridden by kids or do the odd nativity show, but they aren't working animals here in the same way.  A bit lusher grass and the third world carrier might look at horses or oxen, a lot less and they'd need a camel, it's suitability and ease of availability, keep, experience that counts, hence traditions in cultures arise. 

Here other than being a nondemanding companion or pet donkeys get looked down on by some horseowners not as inferior but as unrideable in the leisure market horses fill (adults, competition) and thus unsuitable.  Also as carriers of lungworm that can transmit to horses but aren't prevalent without donkey presence, they can be seen as too dangerous a companion to risk when a cheap pony is readily available, or a free one, and has greater comparative needs to the equine they already have, tho not the same as some appear to think ;)

Personal views, as I said, I cared for 4 donkeys when I was an early teenager, have occasional experience since but nothing recent or current.  I like donkeys but don't have a job for them here so don't keep them.
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Hartwelljulie

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 11:45:00 am »

Are donkeys...
Stubborn? nope - unless what you want them to do isn't actually their idea first!
Stupid? absolutely not!
Comical? yes - playful and hillareous
Over-sexed? - hmmm- started off with 2 colts who were gelded at 18 months before they gelded eachother with their teeth!  Playfighting became a bit brutal towards the end
Lustful? - not experienced that yet
‘Well-hung’? normal anatomy
Humble? - well they each have their own individuality - my mini med is certainly humble
‘Christ-like’? Christ rode on a donkey - dont recall any scripture saying that the donkey was like him
Stoic? yep
Hard-working? nope - not yet!
Tough? yes
Inferior to horses? no - just different - more like zebra!
Loving? absolutely - mine adore human contact of any kind

Cactus Jack

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Tortosa catalunya
    • stevel100
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 12:38:13 pm »
My sister is looking for donkey experience for research as part of her Masters.
Below is her request for info. So please add your comments if you can help :)


Are donkeys...      Male.           Female
Stubborn?             Yes.               No
Stupid?                  No.               No
Comical?                Very.             No
Over-sexed?           No.                No
Lustful?                  No.                No
‘Well-hung’?            Yes.                .?
Humble?                      .?               .?
‘Christ-like’?  Both got hairy faces..
Stoic?                      Yes.               Yes
Hard-working?          Nah.             Never
Tough?                     Very.            Very
Inferior to horses?     No.                No
Loving?                   Extremely.        Even more extremely


I have two donkeys which are used only for keeping my land clean and providing manure. Definitely lovely huge pets
 
Do you keep, or work with, donkeys?  If so, I would love to hear your views on the above descriptions. Do any of them represent real donkey behavior? Do any of them definitely not? What is your experience?
 
I’m an MA Anthrozoology student, currently researching the representation of donkeys. The above popular - and often contradictory - characterizations are found frequently in mythology and religion. I’m keen to explore the extent to which the symbolic ideas are based on real donkey traits and anatomy. The world-over donkeys continue to often experience lives of over-work, abuse, and poor welfare so I’m particularly interested in how popular cultural portrayals of donkeys may positively or negatively affect the ways they are perceived and treated.

WhiteHorses

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • West Lothian, Scotland
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2014, 07:20:04 pm »
Many thanks - much appreciated I'll pass these on  :)

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 02:57:53 pm »
 Is the fact that this post was started on 1st April anything to do with the fact that there are some very strange, not to mention unscientific questions?
 I would also endorse the comments made by ellied to the effect that answers given by people in this country, who on the whole think the world of their animals, are of little relevence to the ill treatment of donkeys in third world countries.
 
The acccepted authority on donkeys in this country is the Donkey Sanctuary who will have far more experience of donkey treatment and ill treatment than almost any other single source of information.
Surely an MA warrants a bit more intense research than a questionnaire on a smallholders forum? ???
 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

WhiteHorses

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • West Lothian, Scotland
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 03:38:01 pm »
No it wasn't an April fool and yes, my sister did also contact the Donkey Sanctuary, (along with other welfare and aid agencies), who are quoted extensively in her dissertation.
The point was that the questions were specifically about the stereotypes regarding donkeys that  often originate in literature, myths, religion, slang, etc. but now circulate in common parlance, urban myth, etc in the UK.

 In exploring the persistence of such stereotypes, my sister was  interested in the experience and opinion of ordinary donkey owners, who would know donkeys' characters as individuals,  as well as the experts and so I offered to try and find some.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 10:57:30 am »
 Ok. Thanks White Horses.
 It's maybe me being cynical, and I don't mean this to be taken personally - it's just an observation.  :bouquet:
But looking at those questions, does anyone seriously really care?!  :idea:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 06:36:26 pm »

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 06:06:02 pm »
Love it!
So true!
Now the workings of a mule's mind - IMHO that really would be worth studying. :innocent:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2014, 12:34:54 pm »
Yep plenty of Mule trainers that can work Donkeys and Horses,not many horse trainers that can train Mules and Donkeys
What is it they say
Outsmarted by a Mule
Too proud to ride a cow
So went back to horses
 :roflanim:

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Has anyone kept Donkeys?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2014, 04:40:26 pm »
Haven't heard that one before.  :roflanim:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

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