Miniature Donkey Owners - Questions for you!

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by Jinba ittai, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Jinba ittai

    Jinba ittai Senior Member+

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    I am looking at getting a miniature donkey when I move out to the farm, but I have some questions.
    • Fencing - do you need different fencing for the mini donkeys? I plan on 60% wood rails and 40% barbed wire (no judging, it's what I can afford, and if strung properly can be relatively safe). Do you need to put extra rails or strands, or do you use mesh along the bottom? Or do you leave the fencing as is?
    • Feed - I've read that you need to feed donkeys differently. What type of hay and grain do you feed your mini donkeys?
    • Feet - do most farriers trim donkey feet? If trained properly, of course.
    • Harness training - how hard is it, really? I would love to have a little cart and harness for my donkey, but don't want to rush or mess up his training. I somehow get the feeling I'll have a very young, unbroke donkey, or a middle aged halter broke one. That's all I've seen in my area, anyway.
    • General training - what do you do with your donkey outside of harness training? I am thinking about doing lots of in-hand "trail" type courses. Also a lot of manners training. Any tips on training a donkey vs. training a horse?
    Any other tips and pointers out there would be awesome! I can't wait to have a donkey! It's gonna be AWESOME!
     






  2. Jinba ittai

    Jinba ittai Senior Member+

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    PS: I may look at a weanling or yearling, depending on the market.
     
  3. Jinba ittai

    Jinba ittai Senior Member+

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    No responses from donkey owners?? Is it because I don't have cute pictures?

    [​IMG]

    Here! ^^ I stole this cuteness from google!! Admire! Squeee! Swoon!

    Now answer my questions!

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
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  4. shenanigans

    shenanigans Senior Member+

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    Subbing in. I would Love to learn more about their diet & nutritional needs also :)
     
  5. Jeserah

    Jeserah Senior Member

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    Now, Jinba, I don't *personally* own a miniature donkey, but I DO have a little sister who happens to be about 15 years old, and whom I very much consider to be a miniature donkey in many respects. Here are her requirements:

    Fencing - Consider the height of the beasty. My sister, she will roam, but has never busted through a fence to do so. She climbs underneath. Sneaky snake. They're not much for jumping, not like goats (but that's a whole different story, I won't get into my cousins :/ ). Remember, miniature donkeys think they know everything so you can't tell them what to do. Not at all.
    Feed - the more expensive the better. Give them some nice "home grown" food and they turn their noses up at it. Take them to a fancy dinner, lets say, the Olive Garden, and you've got yourself a deal. I frequently feed my miniature donkey pizza, although my folks get upset about it? Not sure why....
    Feet - yes, a farrier is necessary. No matter HOW much they tell you the nail polish looks great, it does not cover up the fact that they haven't been trimmed in a good 2 months. gross.
    Harness training - donkeys are stubborn, especially my sister. She's been asking for harness training in order to drive for the last couple of months, but we've told her she's not allowed to have it until she's a little older (state of CA laws, not our own). She gets all fussy about it and brays for hours. Gawd the sound is awful.
    General training - A miniature donkey learns to do household chores pretty well, but for some reason will innately avoid all chores assigned to you. They will NOT do your laundry. They will NOT clean your room. Weird, I know.

    Anyway, sorry for hijakking (won't let me spell it) your thread. I hope you get your answers!
    PS mini donkeys are by far the cutest things!

    Friendly Bump and subbing to learn more!
     
  6. Jinba ittai

    Jinba ittai Senior Member+

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    Very nice! LOL I compare my SO to a donkey as well - only he isn't nearly as cute! LMAO
     
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  7. aladatrot

    aladatrot Senior Member+

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    I love mini donks - the ungelded jacks especially. I was once told that a jack was the most useless animal on earth, so from then on I only had jacks. That's just how I am. I can't help on fencing because we have pipe and panel. On feeding, just feed good quality hay or grass and very little grain. Donks are proned to getting overweight and once the donkeyfat is on him it won't ever come off. They get horrible crests down their necks and buttcheeks like jlo. Unlike a horse, you want to be able to see a little of their backbone at all times. Not sharply, but you need to be able to see it.My farrier did my donkey feet no problem but trims cost just as much as big horse trims. I think they should be more than big horse trims because chances are your farrier will be on his knees trimming him. Work with your donk daily with his feet. They are smart, so you can get cute with it if you want. I always trained mine to lift his foot when I stood next to it and snapped my fingers. Here is the important part: not all donkeys are cut out to be driving donkeys. I went through several. My spotted jack seemed to love it and had a stride and a mind for driving. Nothing else I had turned out like him. Either they would sull or their strides were too short to go anywhere. You really need to keep your goal in mind when choosing your donk if driving is what you ultimately want him to do. I will have to dig up another post I made on cart training a donkey because it is different than working a horse. Some hard and fast horse rules don't apply.For now, I need to go. I have animals starving to death in my barn because I am late feeding.CheersM
     
  8. Jinba ittai

    Jinba ittai Senior Member+

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    Thanks so much! Actually, I'm not overly concerned if I can't drive the little guy, I just want to have one around!

    So if I plant my field to hay, can I put a bit of alfalfa in it? I would like to have a bit in there for the horses, but I suppose I can feed them alfalfa cubes.
     
  9. aladatrot

    aladatrot Senior Member+

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    Better research growing alfalfa. Not sure how it works in cooler climates, but mature alfalfa will actually kill off young alfalfa. That and blister beetles may be an issue if you don't take steps to rid yourself of aphids. I wouldn't personally want a donkey grazing alfalfa all day because they do get so fat. Seriously look up fat cresty donks because it looks awful compared to a sleek and nicely kept donk. Idk, I always had mine on mostly grass hay with just enough alfalfa so that they weren't feeling left out.

    Driving is fun. If you are up to it, buy a little donk and try to drive him, but also get a mini mule about the same size. They can interchange harness if they are similar size and the mule will drive bar none. The mule will also be hard on dogs and coyotes just like the donkey. Many times that trait is passed on.

    Cheers
    M
     
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  10. farmeress

    farmeress Banned

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    Dang...wish you were not so far away....I have two little fellows staying with me looking for a good home (owner took very ill and can no longer care for them)

    They are the easiest keepers....grass and grass hay is all these two get...no grain..as aladatrot mentioned...they can get fat fast..heck....looking at a picture of a hay balke will put 10 pounds on these fellows.

    They are in page wire but came from electric fencing....I have really never found donkeys to be fence breakers unless there is absolutely no food to be had.

    They are trimmed in the horses schedule and take to training quite well....but...these are not a force animal...and they will test your patience...lol.

    When you get your fellow....I will need lots of pictures..."K"..thanks.
     
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