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Author Topic: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome  (Read 5430 times)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« on: September 28, 2015, 12:13:35 pm »
We're farmers and have never kept equines but my OH has recently become enthusiastic about keeping a couple of donkeys to have around for guests in the farm holiday cottage.  Many guests expect the farm to be like a zoo, with livestock both handy and enthusiastic about selfies and petting (yeah, right!).  I'm far less enthusiastic about keeping yet more livestock that aren't rare and that won't end up on a plate, but willing to consider.  Pluses and minuses from folks in the know would be gratefully received.
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sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 12:18:06 pm »
Much as donkeys have the cute factor, will your guest like the noise they can come out with.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 01:22:06 pm »
We had a jack donkey. Used to bray at first light. We weren't too bothered but you could hear him several miles away. Not sure that females or castrated males would do that. They do like company of some sort and become very attached to other donkeys. So much so they can pine badly in the event you find yourself losing one.


They can live a long time. Donkey Rescue are apparently very helpful.


They need regular hoof trimming and worming and they need a shelter in the bad weather.


My first horse was very attached to the donkey at the place I bought him from. When we bought our donkey some years later my horse got very excited the minute we unloaded the donkey, despite our donkey being a completely different colour and gender to the first donkey he had known. They were immediately friends and the donkey used to follow me on hacks across the fell.


He went to a new home when we were contacted by a very distraught lady who had two donkeys and one had died. The remaining donkey wouldn't eat and was becoming ill. We though their need was greater than ours and we dropped ours off and the effect on the pining donkey was immediate!

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 01:53:08 pm »
wev never had a donkey but do have a mule. huge huge character.

Oopsiboughtasheep

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Hampshire
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 05:13:56 pm »
I have 2 foster donkeys from the donkey sanctuary at Sidmouth. Great to be able to give them a good home and the sanctuary offer great ongoing support to anyone thinking of getting them or who have re homed them (very useful if not experienced with equines). We have 2 boys and they are brilliant, happy, playful and make me laugh every day. Everyone loves them and no one seems to mind their occasional braying, it's part of their charm and what donkeys do. Actually one of them sounds like a foghorn and the other one just squeaks, so not a very impressive bray between them! Have horses all my life and donkeys are a doddle in comparison. Must live in pairs as already mentioned. Ours love visitors and are very friendly. Might foster 2 more..............
Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 05:19:54 pm »
Noise not likely to be that great an issue, as we keep peacocks, turkeys and many, many cockerels .....

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 06:41:47 pm »
I have 2 foster donkeys from the donkey sanctuary at Sidmouth. Great to be able to give them a good home and the sanctuary offer great ongoing support to anyone thinking of getting them or who have re homed them (very useful if not experienced with equines). We have 2 boys and they are brilliant, happy, playful and make me laugh every day. Everyone loves them and no one seems to mind their occasional braying, it's part of their charm and what donkeys do. Actually one of them sounds like a foghorn and the other one just squeaks, so not a very impressive bray between them! Have horses all my life and donkeys are a doddle in comparison. Must live in pairs as already mentioned. Ours love visitors and are very friendly. Might foster 2 more..............

Considering doing the same .....  what sort of cost is involved in keeping (I've never kept equine) ?  Also how do you deal with them not getting fat or laminitis on too much grass?
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
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Oopsiboughtasheep

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Hampshire
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 09:01:14 pm »
Hi Linda, you might find this link useful http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/foster-a-donkey

There is loads of info on their site and you can just ring and ask to speak to someone as a 'potential' fosterers. They don't put any pressure on you at all and they offer free training days whether you take on their donkeys or not.

Re costs, having had horses forever, the donkeys seem cheap to me  :roflanim:

However, for the uninitiated, costs will include provision of grazing, stabling/field shelter, fencing etc. if not already in place. Then there's vet insurance (the donkey sanctuary have an arrangement with a company that offers it cheaper, so I have that as it was outrageous with the horse ins..company) they need a farrier regularly, every 8-10 weeks but it's much cheaper to do than for my horses. They need worming but the donkeys sanctuary will do FEC counts for free so that we don't have to worm unnecessarily. Their teeth need rasping every 6-12 months, depending on the donkeys. I have mine done annually now as they are fine and I combine this with their annual vaccs so as to only pay for one vet visit. They eat barley straw which is much cheaper than hay. They do need a bit of hay though in the winter but nowhere near as much as the horses. They tend not to need rugs unless they are poorly or elderly.
Grazing does need to be restricted because they can get fat quickly and easily and it can be hard to shift the excess weight. They educate about this though, so once you know, it's easy to manage, you just have to be vigilant and never give them access to too much grass. I was very worried about this at first but it has been easy enough to manage.
Hope this helps.



Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2015, 09:15:10 pm »
Linda, Cwmcwrth Farm at Capel Isaac have just rehomed 2 donkeys. I'm sure they would be happy to share their experience so far
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2015, 10:24:34 pm »
Donkeys are delightful animals to keep and fit in well on a farm and are always popular with visitors.They are particularly good with children who seem to gravitate to them.
We have several (and a mule) and rotate their grazing with our sheep and cattle, so they help keep the pasture free of worms.   They are also excellent for getting rid of thistles.
 As mentioned, they need access to shelter, athough in summer trees can provide this, and they should be kept at least in pairs. They are seldom ill, so I personally wouldn't bother with health insurance. We have about 12 donkeys and have only had to call the vet out twice in the last 5 years.
 The only downside that I've found is that some donkeys do not like other animals. All ours are unbothered, but I have known some that will chase cats, dogs, or even sheep. So they need close supervision when introducing any other species.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Backinwellies

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Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 07:09:22 am »
I wish I hadn't read this thread..... Wanted a donkey, or two since I was about 2!....... AND they eat thistles! ...... Please someone give me a really good reason not to have some! 
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 08:03:08 am »
If anyone can't keep a donkey at home they can adopt one from Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary (makes a lovely gift for a child!)
Also, admission to the sanctuary is free every day of the year except Christmas day and there is lots for children to do there.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 08:06:55 am »
I wish I hadn't read this thread..... Wanted a donkey, or two since I was about 2!....... AND they eat thistles! ...... Please someone give me a really good reason not to have some!


I can't give you a good reason not to have them as I have always wanted them too. Used to love them when we lived near the New Forest.
Holiday guests love them too Linda  ;D
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Backinwellies

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Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 01:17:04 pm »
Thanks Sallythat really helped! :innocent:
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Donkeys - Your Views Welcome
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2015, 09:23:01 pm »
You can sometimes pick up a good donkey cheap, I did at the horse sales where I went to look at a pony and came home with a fifty guinea donkey.  He does not have a donkey friend but lives with two mules and a pony.

 

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