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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, currently prepping for about 4-6 goats and looking for a guardian animal. Not open to a LGD at the moment, so considering one full-size donkey or another tempting possibility: 2 mini donkeys. I know that one mini donkey is likely not enough defense against predators in our area like coyotes and foxes - wondering if I kept the goats in a locked mini barn at night (which is inside of our woven fence of course) - what are your thoughts about 2 mini donkeys in a loafing shed in the same barnyard about providing adequate protection/a predator deterrent? Any experiences or observations?
 

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Nope. My donkey has tried to kill multiple new born calves. They just thought it was an intruder. Luckily we were able to get him away and separated from the cattle. Now my donks live together in their own lil pasture. I wouldn’t recommend
 

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We almost got a donkey but haven’t yet as we felt the ones out there weren’t right for us. I know of some who have killed calves or dogs, but I also know of some who have been lovely around every animal including dogs, goats, and cows, but still will kill a coyote. If you want one, I would try to get a very young baby that can be raised with the goats.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the advice. Sounds like the only good way to go with a donkey specifically for the purposes of a guardian is to have one a few months old that is raised with the flock. Much appreciated!
 

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Donkeys arent guard animals, they are prey, especially mini donkeys.
Donkeys can be very territorial, they may be fine with the goats for months or years then turn on them and hurt or kill them. Often times when they start to kid the donkeys see the kids as a threat (new animal) and hurt or kill them.
In general they arent a good choice, a minority work as a guard animal but most dont.
 

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We have a donkey at our property however, she is not there to protect the goats. Technically, she isn't even our donkey and we are donkey-sitting for a friend. She gets along well with our horse. With our horse, we have never had any issues, and haven't seen any coyotes anywhere near our property. I can't say for sure if that is because of the horse, or the fact that we have a lot of motion sensor lights and structures around our property. The donkey has never attempted to hurt our goats however, she (at her old place) did kill a ram as he spooked her by headbutting her from behind in the middle of the night. The donkey/horse are not kept in the same pen as the goats however, when we let the goats out, they are not bothered by them. I totally agree with the others above. Donkeys are some of the most unpredictable animals I have ever seen. ;)
On the other hand, the donkey does scare away any foxes that come around by honking and stomping her feet.
 

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I agree. I have rescued many donkeys over the years, while a small handful do amazing with their goat buddies, most do not. Knowing who will do well and who will not can be a hard lesson. We run our donkeys on the out side of the goats pen. Goats are between our house and the donkey pasture. Works well. Make sure your fence squares are too small for even the tinies kids goat to get through.
 

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I agree. I have rescued many donkeys over the years, while a small handful do amazing with their goat buddies, most do not. Knowing who will do well and who will not can be a hard lesson. We run our donkeys on the out side of the goats pen. Goats are between our house and the donkey pasture. Works well. Make sure your fence squares are too small for even the tinies kids goat to get through.
Yes! Donkeys are great perimeter guardians, just not in with the goats.
 

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When we were looking into guardian animals we went through the same thought process. Went to look at a llama and realized I did not know enough about them and their body language to comfortably get one at the time (guy said she was friendly and easy to handle, certainly did not appear to be so). Read how donkeys were really hit or miss, and we’re not set up for a separate perimeter animal so we decided on LGDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When we were looking into guardian animals we went through the same thought process. Went to look at a llama and realized I did not know enough about them and their body language to comfortably get one at the time (guy said she was friendly and easy to handle, certainly did not appear to be so). Read how donkeys were really hit or miss, and we're not set up for a separate perimeter animal so we decided on LGDs.
Glad to know I'm in good company. Not set up for a separate permiter animal either. At the moment leaning towards no guardian, will install a 6' high fence and a mini barn to keep the fellas in at night. And yes llamas sure are cute but a bit too unfamiliar to me (for now haha, check back next year).
 
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