Guard Donkey

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by shoutforjoy, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. shoutforjoy

    shoutforjoy New Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    Does anybody on here use a donkey to help guard their goats? If so, how is it working out. I can see a possible advantage in that they can eat the same things as goats do.
  2. Shelly Borg

    Shelly Borg New Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    Redding CA
    I do know not all donkey like sheep/goats. There was one down the street that would grab sheep by there neck and toss then. He did not stay long.

  3. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I also have heard when the donkey kills babies. Yes they are GREAT guard animals but I really believe they have to be a perfect match.
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    if you get a donkey make sure it is not a jack and that it was raised with goats or sheep. That is the only way to insure they will get along.
  5. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    We have a guardian donkey, Fessie Mae. She has been with HER herd for seven years and cares for them like they were her own. She is the first Daughter of Festus and Ellie Mae, two BLM donkeys that we adopted. Gwen weaned her from Ellie Mae at 6 months, penned her for several weeks and gentled her down , then introduced her to her herd. Fessie stays with the herd at all times, usually rides trailer and hurries the laggers to keep up with the herd (her and Earlene are usually the last two, since Earlene is extreemly casual!). If she has kids to watch she is very careful around them and will even nudge them in the right direction if they get seperated from their momma. If a goat is sick or injured or has had kids in the pasture Fessie will stay and stand guard over them until we go out and find them, usually with Thomas the anatolian.
    We have sold numerous Guardian Donkeys. Gwen brings them in at 5 months, gentles them down to where they can be handled, about a two week process, then puts them with Fessie to train them. She is about to train the next prospect, Moonshine. She's a traditional color with the Mark of Christ on her back and a moon shaped spot on her forehead.
    Use only one JENNY, never a jack. Use only one jenny cuz if you use more they will go off and be a herd unto themselves. (Fessie is an exception, she stays with her herd even if we put another young jenny with her). Get the donkey when they are young so that you can train them. It is easier to get them to bond with goats and dogs if they are young.
    Good luck! :thumbup:
  6. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    You just have to make sure its the right donkey. LIke Bill's some are great. Others run back to the barn faster then the goats and still others do harm to the herd they live with.
  7. Renegade

    Renegade New Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    My donkey is not the most useful beast as far as protection but she has never harmed a goat either. She just doesn't seem to protect them. My neighbor's dogs dug under my fence last year and chased my goats around until I went out and chased the dogs. Esther stood and watched. :roll:
    As far as them eating the same as goats I would have to disagree. A donkey does not really need grain ( mine gets fat on air) and I feed my goats either alfalfa or peanut hay along with some grass hay. If my donkey ate anything but grass hay or pasture she would either explode or founder. JMO

  8. Laurel_Haven

    Laurel_Haven New Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    I have always wanted to get a donkey to raise along side the goats. But I have been warned they can be quite nasty to young goats and even kill them. So I decided against it. But if I could find one like sealawyer talks about, I would seriously consider the idea again.
  9. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    We usually team Fessie Mae with Thomas our anatolian and Blinkie, a Pyr, and they guard the goats well. I witnessed Thomas and Blinkie run a stray dog until they wore it down while Fessie stayed between the herd and the dog. Fessie went over and dispatched the threat when the dogs ran it down. I have found coyotes in the pasture dead and the only way they could have been killed with the damage they had was by a donkey. Fessie Mae! She WILL NOT touch the young kids, but will stay with them until we or the momma come out to find them. Everyone that we have sold Guard Jennets to has had nothing but compliments about the ones Gwen has raised and along with Fessie, has trained.
  10. Laurel_Haven

    Laurel_Haven New Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    That is just wonderful to hear how well they will protect your herd. And to even kill the predators, wow. We are so overrun with coyotes around here. I just keep getting more and more dogs to help watch over them. I am really starting to rethink the guardian donkey now. See what you have done... more animals to feed. :roll: But knowing my luck the one I got would HATE goats.
  11. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    Gwen says it's a bit of work, but worth it. Getting them tamed down and halter broken is the hard part for her especially since Ellie Mae is as wild as the wind. Start out with halter breaking them, then put them into a padddock with a group of older nannies to start out with. Make sure they are varying colors cuz they will identify with a steady color like white & red head and may harm goats of differing colors. We have goats of differing colors through the herd so that isn't a problem with the jennets we raise. They will eat what the goats do so make sure you don't feed a feed with rumensin in it.
    Go to our web site, or the Freestone Co. Goat Breeders Assn. at to see pictures of Fessie Mae and our herd.
  12. OurJourneysEnd

    OurJourneysEnd New Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Caro, MI
    Our Mama donkey and our pygmy, Gert, LOATHE each other. There is no way they could ever be around each other. I think the baby donkey, Twitter, would be receptive to the goats, but now Gert just throws tons of attitude at anything donkey. Luckily we didn't get the donkeys for guard purposes, just for pets. Plus, they are mini's, and mini's shouldn't be used for guard purposes.