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Donkey shedding question

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  • Donkey shedding question

    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!
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  • #2
    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 . 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.
    Honey badger don't give a sh!t.

    Comment


    • #3
      Glad someone brought this up! My little guy (less than a year) is still wooly too! 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!
      Gone gaited....

      Comment


      • #4
        Mine gets so hairy in the winter that I have to let his halter out a notch or two, 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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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!!

              Comment


              • #8
                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!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wildwood View Post
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                    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
                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                      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 . I learned something about donkeys the hard way that year. Fortunately, I didn't get hurt, but it was a royal PITA!!!!!!!
                      Honey badger don't give a sh!t.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE]
                        Originally posted by justdandy View Post
                        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
                        Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                        I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                  Spay and neuter. Please.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    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.
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                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                        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
                                        Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                        I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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