PDA

View Full Version : Donkey shedding question



SMF11
May. 13, 2010, 11:56 AM
We took in our donkey less than a year ago, so this is the first shedding season I've been through with her. All my horses are shed out, but she's still very wooly. Today, I was scratching/rubbing her withers and saw she was starting to shed. So I groomed her with my hands (like my fingers were a curry comb). Anyway, there were two patches on her shoulders where all -- all -- the fur came off. They are 4" circles. It doesn't look like a fungus to me. Any idea what this is? Surely this isn't normal?

Thanks!

justdandy
May. 13, 2010, 12:29 PM
This response is based on my personal experience. I am by no means a donkey expert. I've only owned one donkey and he's been with us for 8 years. :)

I went through the same thing the first summer I had my donkey. I was very concerned so I asked the vet. Vet said that most donkeys don't shed. My guy also sheds in patches on his body. I just plan on clipping him every year around this time. The first time it was :eek::eek::eek:. Now....it's not a problem. I just clip his head, neck and body. I leave his legs so he has hair to protect them from the bugs.

manyspots
May. 13, 2010, 12:43 PM
Glad someone brought this up! My little guy (less than a year) is still wooly too! :lol: Course, he has been nice and warm the past few nights when it has dipped into the low 30s. I figured if he doens't let it go, he will get clipped come June. Right now he is shedding slowly in patches. He is definitely less puffy, but hairy!

Personal Champ
May. 13, 2010, 12:47 PM
Mine gets so hairy in the winter that I have to let his halter out a notch or two, lol. :lol:

He usually finally sheds around July, and starts growing back in August. So he is sleek and shiny for a maximum of 6 weeks. I have never clipped him as he does not seem to be overheated. He loves the shedding blade and is more than happy to oblige to a good brushing.

sublimequine
May. 13, 2010, 12:55 PM
There's a donkey in the pasture with my mare, and I guess the BO said she doesn't even start shedding until like June. :eek:

SuperSTB
May. 13, 2010, 01:00 PM
Donkey's eventually shed out... eventually. Then before you know it- they grow the coat back again ;)

Clipping is the easiest way. As much as the donks perfer you grooming and dotting over them- your arms & shoulder muscles will thank you in the long run.:winkgrin:

goodhors
May. 13, 2010, 01:03 PM
Donkeys and mules don't shed like horses. I would continue grooming him, but not expect him to lose much hair until way later in the season. They NEVER reach a slick stage for more than a few minutes, before fuzzy hair starts growing back in!

I think of donkeys and some mules as having "terrier hair" instead of smooth, shiny horse hair coats. Comb or brush a rough-coat terrier as much as you like, he will NEVER be smooth coated unless you body clip them.

At this EARLY time of the year, I would not body clip any donkey or mule, removing his scruffy weather protection. Might be more convenient for grooming him, but he WILL need covering and protection from cold, damp days up in NY area until later in the season, Mid June? Anyway until days are hot upper 70Fs and nights are warm, above 65F, regularly. I have heard that thing about flies biting donkey legs very hard. Guess I would leave that hair on too. Our mule never got bloody legs, but she was not a donkey, so maybe tasted different. She was dark red haired, a black legged bay, if color makes a difference.

The mule we had would finish shedding, be slick for a few weeks in AUGUST! Had to look fast, that donkey hair would almost immediately start growing after shedding off. She LOVED being hot, layed full out in the sun with temps in the 90Fs, high humidity. Horses were hiding in the shade or wanting to come inside the barn to be cooled off.

So at this time of year, I would just keep grooming him, maybe with a real steel curry comb to get thru the hair. Shedding blades might help too. Grooming keeps the skin stimulated, he is rubbed well, smooths hair all in one direction, for a couple minutes anyway. Ha-ha! They are kind of a "wash and wear" animal with that fuzzy haircoat. Some brushing with a bristle brush is nice to take off dust in the hair. They seldom look truly WELL-GROOMED as a horse or pony will after you spend time on them. Donkey does LOVE the grooming though!

Something you might add to his paddock would be a good sized sand pile or sandy area for rolling in. Should be deep sand, since once the donkey/mule gets rolling, they do dig into it, to make his rolling hole. He will truly bless you for a sand pile! Our mule would go roll in the sandy spot several times a day, she liked it that much!!

Wildwood
May. 13, 2010, 01:06 PM
I was just starting to get worried about our mini donk too! he's furry and rubbing on everything even after a good grooming. new jersey gets so humid even before july.. maybe i'll have to clip him... if he'll tolerate it!

goodhors
May. 13, 2010, 01:28 PM
I was just starting to get worried about our mini donk too! he's furry and rubbing on everything even after a good grooming. new jersey gets so humid even before july.. maybe i'll have to clip him... if he'll tolerate it!


Be VERY careful if you don't know how he will react to clipping. Donkey can do the stroke from muzzle to WAY behind him in a heartbeat, with his hind leg. You DON'T want to get hurt doing this "kindness" for him. Their flexibility is part of the reason donkeys are such successful fighters. He may give little or NO WARNING that he is not happy, is going to cow kick like that. Small and mini size has less force behind the kick, but any kick is GOING TO HURT. Bigger donkey, that kick can do SERIOUS damage.

Donkeys and mules ARE NOT horses, don't think the same at all. He needs to understand what you are doing to be cooperative. He is a SERIOUS equine who CAN HURT things, NOT a stuffed animal, when you deal with them in new situations. So be aware, be VERY CAREFUL, working with him and body clipping in new places.

Husband was there to trim two CUTE little (11-12H) guard donkeys at the sheep lady. Vet was there to tranq them. Husband looked at them looking back at him, told the Vet they needed more meds. Vet looked at them blinking, tied to the fence, said "Nah, they were FINE." Husband said "YOU pick up the foot." Vet laughed at him, walked over and lifted a front hoof, had his hair parted with the hind leg!! Done kicking faster than he could drop the hoof! Had to take the Vet in for stitches, just sliced his head WIDE OPEN, and head wounds bleed a LOT! Vet did administer more meds, donkeys were QUIET and FINE to work with then. Trimmed both and done in 20 minutes. Husband is FAST with experience of many years. Costs more to get the Vet, trimming done twice a year, than donkeys are worth. However they do an excellent protection job with the sheep, so are part of the cost of doing business. Working donkeys. None of the other ideas, llamas, LGD's worked out for this lady. Never get hoof handling any other time of year. BLM donkeys usually don't tolerate that well at all, though other handling, leading, grooming is accepted OK.

So be careful, be SAFE in donkey handling, they can do a lot of damage real fast.

Tamara in TN
May. 13, 2010, 01:36 PM
Anyway, there were two patches on her shoulders where all -- all -- the fur came off. They are 4" circles. It doesn't look like a fungus to me. Any idea what this is? Surely this isn't normal?

Thanks!

no that does not sound normal
donkeys and their kin the mules she in about july aug and have it all regrown by Sept,one reason that mules that are used for any real work are kept shaved

Tamara in TN

justdandy
May. 13, 2010, 02:22 PM
Be VERY careful if you don't know how he will react to clipping. Donkey can do the stroke from muzzle to WAY behind him in a heartbeat, with his hind leg. You DON'T want to get hurt doing this "kindness" for him. Their flexibility is part of the reason donkeys are such successful fighters. He may give little or NO WARNING that he is not happy, is going to cow kick like that. Small and mini size has less force behind the kick, but any kick is GOING TO HURT. Bigger donkey, that kick can do SERIOUS damage.

Donkeys and mules ARE NOT horses, don't think the same at all. He needs to understand what you are doing to be cooperative. He is a SERIOUS equine who CAN HURT things, NOT a stuffed animal, when you deal with them in new situations. So be aware, be VERY CAREFUL, working with him and body clipping in new places.

Husband was there to trim two CUTE little (11-12H) guard donkeys at the sheep lady. Vet was there to tranq them. Husband looked at them looking back at him, told the Vet they needed more meds. Vet looked at them blinking, tied to the fence, said "Nah, they were FINE." Husband said "YOU pick up the foot." Vet laughed at him, walked over and lifted a front hoof, had his hair parted with the hind leg!! Done kicking faster than he could drop the hoof! Had to take the Vet in for stitches, just sliced his head WIDE OPEN, and head wounds bleed a LOT! Vet did administer more meds, donkeys were QUIET and FINE to work with then. Trimmed both and done in 20 minutes. Husband is FAST with experience of many years. Costs more to get the Vet, trimming done twice a year, than donkeys are worth. However they do an excellent protection job with the sheep, so are part of the cost of doing business. Working donkeys. None of the other ideas, llamas, LGD's worked out for this lady. Never get hoof handling any other time of year. BLM donkeys usually don't tolerate that well at all, though other handling, leading, grooming is accepted OK.

So be careful, be SAFE in donkey handling, they can do a lot of damage real fast.

Agree 110% with this. My vet and farrier both laugh at the fact that the expression on my donkey's face doesn't change one....single....bit. He'll have the same expression when you're hugging him as he does when he's about to bite/kick you. Never....changes!!!!!

Fortunately, after many years of clipping he's okay with it. But that first year was :eek::eek::eek:. I learned something about donkeys the hard way that year. Fortunately, I didn't get hurt, but it was a royal PITA!!!!!!!

Tamara in TN
May. 13, 2010, 03:35 PM
[QUOTE=justdandy;4862119]Agree 110% with this. My vet and farrier both laugh at the fact that the expression on my donkey's face doesn't change one....single....bit. He'll have the same expression when you're hugging him as he does when he's about to bite/kick you. Never....changes!!!!!

tidbit from the super.duper.secret.donkey owners manual:

give el burro a bit of something tasty before you fiddle with him...as long as he keeps chewing you are good to go...when he stops, he's "thinking", as they cannot do both at the same time...here is the time to tread carefully

Tamara in TN

PRS
May. 13, 2010, 03:36 PM
Can't repeat this enough....donkey's are not little long eared horses. My Donkey generally sheds out lots later than my horses....like someone else said...then he'll be slick for a minute or two until he starts getting fuzzy again. My donkey never gets that really looonnnggg hair that some donks get though. My little guy does give a brief warning a split second before he tries to kick though..he'll swish his tail very quickly twice and then WHAM! He doesn't kick at people though...just other animals.

eqsiu
May. 13, 2010, 03:53 PM
Husband was there to trim two CUTE little (11-12H) guard donkeys at the sheep lady. Vet was there to tranq them. Husband looked at them looking back at him, told the Vet they needed more meds.

I found that enough Ace granules to tranq an obese percheron made my 12h donkey quiet enough to trim. We called it "happy jenny sweet feed." Because we of course, in total redneck fashion named her Hee-Haw Jenny.

Watermark Farm
May. 13, 2010, 03:57 PM
We have a mule, and the joke around here is that you only get 2 weeks of summer coat in between him finally shedding out by mid-July and then starting to grow a winter coat in August.

He's in full work and shown so he's kept bodyclipped year-round. My vet tells me this is "a donkey thing."

By the way, my vet also told me that using sedatives with donkeys and mules is different than horses, they metabolize the drugs differently, so use caution if you sedate him to clip him and check with your vet about dosage and the best drug to use.

katarine
May. 13, 2010, 03:59 PM
let him be. My Chico is 11 this year and he'll be slick as a button for about the month of August. Then he'll hair up again.

Unless the donk is working, let him be.

The OP's donk sounds unhealthy- el cheapo fix might be to dust it with Sevin Dust. El Not Cheapo would be calling the vet. I'm not about to try to bathe my donkey. He'd have me for lunch.

monstrpony
May. 13, 2010, 04:18 PM
Between about now and mid-July, when my donks will finish "shedding", they will have bald (well, short) patches on their shoulders and on their butts. These come from them roughhousing with each other--one will mount the other and that wears the patches on their butt. They've "shed" that way every year.

If the OP's donk is totally bald, that's an issue, but if it's just worn down, it may not be a problem. Mine also shed themselves by rubbing on the woven wire fences, which can create some ... interesting ... wear patterns in their coats.

SMF11
May. 13, 2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks everyone! I wasn't worried about the not shedding, I was puzzled by the two bald spots on her shoulders. The vet looked her over when she was out for spring shots and just said she was fat. But she's old -- 29 -- and it is a possibility that something's off.

I think I'll try spraying her with microtek (anti fungal) and see if that does anything first. She is also filthy, in that there's dirt and sand next to her skin. She could really use a bath, but I suspect she's never had one in her life, and I'm not willing to try it now (she also doesn't lead or tie -- though she's a superstar for the farrier(he trims her in the stall with her BFF the 16.2 TB)).

She supposedly is a BLM donkey shipped east 20 years ago. I got her when her owner, in her 80's, was on her deathbed and the donkey was abandoned in a huge field.

katarine
May. 13, 2010, 10:12 PM
The thing is they WANT to be filthy. They are dry little critters, not at all oily coated like a horse. Mine dives into the arena gravel like it's a pool.

Just let her be, truly, she's fine.

Tamara in TN
May. 13, 2010, 10:59 PM
She supposedly is a BLM donkey shipped east 20 years ago. I got her when her owner, in her 80's, was on her deathbed and the donkey was abandoned in a huge field.

mine came as a 8 mo old stallion jack from Death Valley when I was 11 yos...he's still here at 31 yos

Tamara in TN

SMF11
May. 14, 2010, 12:05 AM
The thing is they WANT to be filthy. They are dry little critters, not at all oily coated like a horse. Mine dives into the arena gravel like it's a pool.

Just let her be, truly, she's fine.

Thank you for this, this is the kind of info I need!

WaningMoon
May. 14, 2010, 07:35 AM
Ive had my mini donk for 16 yrs this yr. He had never started to shed before the end of June.

I don't know for sure about the patches but sometimes at the end of winter even though they don't actually start to shed yet , they still become itchy like they were. I have seen mine sometimes itching his shoulder area with his teeth and there is much less hair there. Their hair is so very different from horses and i have found it even more important to throughly brush them.

Mine has a thing about rolling in the shavings and does with each stall change or any time any are added. Even though they are shavings they leave behind stuff that becomes a layer of trapped gritty dust type crap down next to his skin. Even with repeated brushing with all sorts of tools, it is near impossible to get out. If it isn't for hte most part kept out, when spring time comes he has lost hair in small patches before because of it. Could something like this be going on with yours? I haven't dealt with it again now that I know what is going on. I keep at him with a shedding blade thing, gently sorta getting down to skin with it along his back and neck where the rubbed shavings come in contact with him.

SMF11
May. 14, 2010, 08:09 AM
they leave behind stuff that becomes a layer of trapped gritty dust type crap down next to his skin. Even with repeated brushing with all sorts of tools, it is near impossible to get out. If it isn't for hte most part kept out, when spring time comes he has lost hair in small patches before because of it. Could something like this be going on with yours?

Yes, she definitely has a layer of gritty dust/sand/dirt next to her skin. And it could be what is going on. The fact that there are two patches (roughly 4" in diameter) on both shoulders -- sort of symetric -- makes me think it is not fungus, but something else . . .

PRS
May. 14, 2010, 08:47 AM
My donkey rolls in any sand pit he can find. I have him turned out right now in a little grassy paddock that is used mostly as a night paddock for my senior gelding. Since there was no convenient wallow hole for him he proceeded to make one. He pawed at the grass until he loosened up a chunk and then went to town. By the end of the week he'll have him a good wallering hole. I've seen him rolling in the ashes left by burned brush piles too (have to watch him carefully because he doesn't always wait for all the embers to cool). I have bathed him but that only lasts as long as you have physical control of him. As soon as he is turned loose he rolls, preferably in a deep sandy hole. I've spotted him rubbing on trees fence posts and anything else stationary he can find. So I wouldn't worry too much about those spots. Maybe a dose of MTG and keep an eye on them.

WaningMoon
May. 14, 2010, 09:30 AM
Yes, she definitely has a layer of gritty dust/sand/dirt next to her skin. And it could be what is going on. The fact that there are two patches (roughly 4" in diameter) on both shoulders -- sort of symetric -- makes me think it is not fungus, but something else . . .

I bet it is what is going on. 4" is just about the right size that would come of him doing it himself with his teeth. Are these spots in the right area for him to have reached by turning his head back? If so I bet this is the cause.

As I said, I haven't had to deal with it again. Just those first few yrs when I didn't know what was going on. I just keep a shedding blade nearby and I go over his back, neck while he is eating. As long as I can keep that layer from forming all is fine.

FWIW, I have never had any issue with my donkey kicking. We can do ANYTHING with ours and he always keeps a very friendly look to his face. He has never raised a foot to anyone for any reason. We even got him to stand perfectly still with his feet in 2 liter soda bottles for the 45 min soak and the 45 min gas part of a Cleantrax treatment. And he was quite cheery about the whole ordeal. HE has a great temperament. The only thing I have ever seen him kick at was a neighbors dog who came into the field. But around humans, absolutely not, not ever.

I would bet if you can keep the crud he rolls in from becoming a solid formed layer next to his skin this will stop. And a pic of my little guy. He is pretty close to my mare. He was there watching as she made her entrance to this world and they have been together since. 15 yrs now.

SMF11
May. 14, 2010, 09:37 AM
FWIW, I have never had any issue with my donkey kicking. We can do ANYTHING with ours and he always keeps a very friendly look to his face. He has never raised a foot to anyone for any reason.

Yeah, I was interested to hear of others' more aggressive donkeys. Mine is unbelievably gentle (taking treats, having her hoof treated every day for white line disease etc) but she is also unbelievably skittish. It took me a month before I could give her a treat in the paddock, and even now you cannot walk up to her and brush her. I close her in a stall w/her horse buddy to eat and if she is confined, I can work on her (groom, treat hoof etc).

I'm guessing it is because she is a wild animal, really, and she never had anyone really working with her. But she is very sweet and is the love of the 29 year old TB's life.

katarine
May. 14, 2010, 09:38 AM
I don't think mine would remotely think of kicking me, either. He loves grooming, ground ties for the farrier (who loves him, btw, good donks about their feet are rare), leads and loads up great, ponies, packs, etc). He had a spell of tendon swelling/sorta founder that meant he stood in ice water buckets and had bags of frozen peas vetrapped round his cannons- he was stoic and cooperative as could be. And has been mentioned if they are chewing, all's good. WHen they stop, they are thinking.

But bathing him? He'd just get upset and mad and IMO there's just no point in it. I see no reason to stress him like that when maybe some MTG, or Microtek, or benign neglect, is all he needs. That and a carrot.

BumbleBee
May. 15, 2010, 08:18 PM
I clipped my mini last year. She is oppinionated but a real lovebug so wouldn't hurt anyone.

She was funny she just kept backing down the barn isle and I couldn't get her to go foward so I plugged in the extension cord. By the time we got to the end of the barn/cord all but her face was clipped so we left it alone.

It was the most entertaining clip job I have ever done. Her old owner used to drive her so I figured clipping should be no big deal.:yes:

Sugarbrook
May. 16, 2010, 09:01 AM
We have had our "Patty" for 24 years. By trial and error we found that we could almost do brain surgery on her if she had a bit of alfalfa hay to eat while you dealt with her.

She is just starting to shed. When she does we are able to get her shed out quickly. Not that she doesnt grow the coat right back. Seems she is prepared for any type weather. Too bad she doesn't realize we live in Florida!!

We love our Patty and never have had a problem with her being mean with us. Opinionated, yes. Mean, NO. Life on the farm will never be the same without our little Patty. And, BTW, she is like a little watch dog. Nothing gets past her eyes.

fourmares
May. 17, 2010, 02:02 AM
I believe that I read somewhere (I think it was in a Donkey magazine) that unlike horses, donkeys grow one coat a year. They shed that coat in the summer and start growing next years coat. My donkey is starting to shed. Once he starts his har will come out in clumps and he'll look moth eatten for a while. He's another one that does not kick.

SMF11
Jun. 10, 2011, 11:33 PM
I'm reviving this thread because my donkey's doing it again!

This time, I did a google search, and came up with this:

Every spring on various donkey lists, newbies "panic" because their
recently-acquired donkeys suddenly have developed large bald patches.
We've taken to calling it the Donkey Depilatory Disorder---it seems
that stress, or maybe excess rolling (which donkeys do to "claim" new
territory) will remove the old hair before the new has fully come in.
It usually takes 2 or 3 weeks for the condition to resolve itself, as
the summer hair finally emerges from the skin.

It's from this address: http://www.mail-archive.com/fjordhorse@angus.mystery.com/msg03733.html


I just thought I'd include it in case anyone else didn't realize this was, I guess, normal.

This year, I've been pulling out her hair, kind of like you can do to dogs when they are shedding -- some dogs have clumps of fur you can just pull out. So does my donkey. She must really like it because she stands still in the field while I do it, with no halter or anything so she is perfectly free to walk away. But she doesn't, she stands there very contentedly. This year, her bald patch is HUGE, from the withers to where the cantle of a saddle would be, if she ever had one on.

Last year her patches regrew fur quickly.

So I guess this is just an FYI for those with patchy molting donkeys.

Jeremiah
Mar. 5, 2012, 02:45 PM
We took in our donkey less than a year ago, so this is the first shedding season I've been through with her. All my horses are shed out, but she's still very wooly. Today, I was scratching/rubbing her withers and saw she was starting to shed. So I groomed her with my hands (like my fingers were a curry comb). Anyway, there were two patches on her shoulders where all -- all -- the fur came off. They are 4" circles. It doesn't look like a fungus to me. Any idea what this is? Surely this isn't normal?

Thanks!

Hi smf 11, I have a mini Donkey that had the same problem with the hair falling out in early winter. She is 1 year 6 months old. Had her skin scraped and tested and it turned out to be Mange. Vets gave ton's of shots, I gave Fung - A - Way Spray, Mange went away. Donkey still Itched in her body, had her scraped again, this time vet said Lice, gave all Kinds of Meds and Donkey still has Lice. Washed her with lice treatments Solution many times, can't get rid of it until I can Clip her hair. Hair too long in winter to get wash to her skin. Then she was going crazy running, jumping biting my Horse Checked her ears, loaded with thick black grease like gooo. Asked the Donkey Assoc. what it was, They said Ear Mites. Been treating that for 2 months now, all kinds of Meds, no results. Donkeys long hair support all of these bad guys. Can't wait till spring when I can Clip her and get her better. I have a Formula that will kill the ear mites from the Donkey Long ears vet I talked to. Can't post it now...Feeding Time...Later Jeremiah