2 Mini Donkeys as Guardian for Goats?

Discussion in 'Precious Protectors' started by Dylann, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Dylann

    Dylann Member

    42
    Jun 20, 2020
    NY
    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?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    With 2, they probably won't bond to the goats and may turn on the goats. Donkeys are really fickle. You would want to find one that is proven for guarding goats. Just any donkey won't work.
     

  3. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    Texas
    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
     
  4. Ashlynn

    Ashlynn Well-Known Member

    440
    Sep 30, 2017
    Lutz, FL
    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.
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  5. Dylann

    Dylann Member

    42
    Jun 20, 2020
    NY
    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!
     
  6. Robinsonfarm

    Robinsonfarm Well-Known Member

    275
    Jul 17, 2015
    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.
     
    toth boer goats and happybleats like this.
  7. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  8. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    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.
     
    CaramelKittey and Robinsonfarm like this.
  9. Robinsonfarm

    Robinsonfarm Well-Known Member

    275
    Jul 17, 2015
    Yes! Donkeys are great perimeter guardians, just not in with the goats.
     
  10. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Our donkey is in a pen adjacent to our goat's pen. Of course, the horse is in the same pen as the donkey and I don't know who is the better guardian. ;)
     
  11. Dylann

    Dylann Member

    42
    Jun 20, 2020
    NY
    This is all so VERY helpful, thanks for sharing wisdom (and lessons learned!). Will certainly give the donkey guardian idea a big pause.
     
  12. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  13. NDinKY

    NDinKY Well-Known Member

    645
    Aug 3, 2019
    Kentucky
    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.
     
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  14. Dylann

    Dylann Member

    42
    Jun 20, 2020
    NY
    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).