Enablers, should I get this donkey?? UPDATE-- GOT HER!
The chance to get a donkey has fallen into my lap. She's approx. 28 years old, former BLM but good for vet and farrier, apparently ok with dogs. Her owner is in her eighties and the donkey's companion died so the donkey is lonely and they want to place her with other equines.
I have five horses at home and three kids. I've always wanted a donkey, but summertimes are crazy around here. Tell me she won't be much more work. She's on a grass pasture now, can they have unlimited grass or do they need to be watched, like my fat pony? The guy caring for her now told me that donkeys don't founder so grass is no problem. Is this right?? (I have large grass pastures and a dry lot, and I was thinking she could keep fat pony company in the dry lot . . . )
Work, shmurk. If you have five, what's another? And if she has some issues with grass, she would be a great buddy for your pony! And think of what a hit she'll be with the kids. There's an extra cushy place in heaven for folks who help out senior rescues!
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
Donkeys can and do founder when exposed to a lot of grass. Mine did. Their hoof walls can also fall in. Mine waited until I went on vacation to pull that stunt. They are designed to live on sparse terrain and their care falls into line with that of your fat pony. Same foot care, worming, vaccinations, brushing and careful feeding. Additionally, their SCREE-haw! can be heard by nearby neighbors, so be prepared for comments if that is the case.
The American Donkey and Mule Society has a wealth of information on these equids, as does the Donkey Sanctuary of the U.K. I believe there is also a sanctuary in the PNW.
Donkeys can founder, badly, ask me how I know? Two years ago I rescued a severely foundered donkey who came home and promptly laid down for 3 weeks. The sores she came with said she had been doing that for a few weeks/months before she came to me. That being said, I do have to muzzle her during turnout, but she was well worth it. I had another donkey I found a home for that was out on grass 24/7 and never had problems. So it just depends just like some ponies founder and some don't. Sounds like your girl is one that doesn't. And I say YOUR girl because YES GO GET HER!
Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
& FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt www.frostyoaks.com
And your asking someone who has six dogs, three of them puppies, two who were acquired during the last month or so?
BUT, it is not my fault! It was DH who said "do you want to look?" D'oh!
Oh, I want a donkey, but it would have to be one that would tolerate small canine rugrats....
We adopted a BLM donkey about 25 years ago. He is still doing well. No major issues. We have always kept on on a dry lot- sparse grass. He has never been on a lush pasture. He gets regular type grass hay. We always stay away from too much alfalfa. He gets one handful of grain twice a day and that is only because he hee-haws his brains out when the horses get fed. He will not put up with being ignored. It's easier to give him a little bit then get him all upset.
We worm with ivermectin and the occassional moxidectin rotated in. I DO NOT recommend daily wormer for a donkey. Anytime I have met a donkey with issues, specifically immune issues, they are daily wormed. I am not a vet and can't say why, but you have to figure they are never wormed in the wild, so mild worming is plenty. Daily is overkill on their systems.
They can easily live to be in their 40's. BLM donkeys do have some quirks. Ours does not like surface changes. He will deal with them, but he doesn't like going from grass to gravel to concrete. He doesn't like when a stock tank gets too low and he has to stick his head down in it. We have a shallow stock tank just for him. They like to drink and skim the top.
We do regular trimmings. No shoes, of course. Also, they are EXTREMELY intelligent. Make sure your locks on feed rooms, gates, etc. are good. Those donkey lips are just short of being fingers and you would be amazed with how they can work them.
Oh yeah- and go get that donkey. You will love it.
Well, all this IS what I wanted to hear! I know people have posted it in the past, but what are some good websites? I have read a bit about donkeys but want to know what her care needs to be, ideally before she gets here. I have to make a few more phone calls before I can say for sure she's coming here.