I googled it and got the answer that mules will guard livestock, but donkeys are preferred. That makes me think the instinct to guard is watered down by the horse side. I guess it depends upon the individual. The article said that donkeys can easily kill a coyote or dog and that a donkey's braying is enough to keep most coyotes from even coming near the area a donkey is staying in, It says donkeys can't keep off cougars or bears. It did say though that there has been a documented few cases of MULES fighting off cougars. I have a half Tennessee walker half Missouri foxtrotter that fought off a cougar while the other horses ran for safety. My daughter witnessed that happen.
I asked the question because I feel like I need a guardian animal but don't want another dog and I am somewhat afraid of Llamas. I am leaning towards a donkey. A kid safe riding and working mule has come up for sale here, and I was wondering if he could do double duty. Be a guardian and a riding animal, he is pretty cute too.
I love my donkeys...and they are good with our goats and sheep...however they are all Jennies and can be quite crabby when in season lol..A gelded Jack is the best choice....really look around..don't just pick one up without doing some research..You want one that is healthy, who isn't "just" running with sheep or goats..but has proved to be bonded..I read you dont want more than one since they will bond together and not care much about the goats lol..My herd of donkeys (8 in all)all run together while my sheep are running around the other side of the pasture lol..However we have seen the donkeys put the sheep on alert and stand on guard...that was neat to see..it was like the donkeys were on alert and the sheep felt it..clustered up and waited on the donkeys (neighbors pasture had a new bull on it lol)..Once you find your jewel of a donkey....pen him up near the goats..let them share the fence line..get to know each other...we kept our girls penned for a few weeks..even brought our dogs to meet them several times a day..my biggest fear was one killing my little dog.... now we all live peacefully...they dont even look twice at my dogs..
the donkeys we have were field donkeys..meaning they were just there..not friendly, not trusting...You want one you can be in with, trust, brush, do hooves and enjoy..It took a lot of work to get our donkeys to trust us...it can be done and should be done before set out with your goats...he should know his name..One day Josie was feeling good..starting running and kicking..well she scared the goats...had them all running on top of each other...I yelled her name and pointed to the barn...I told her NO in a sharp tone and stopped looked at me and walked to the barn..I was amazed she listened..my point is..be sure your donkey will listen, is bonded with his charge..is well cared for...so you can enjoy him as much as you need him to keep watch on the goats..I am not a donkey expert...these are our first....just a few tips to share what we did to have these girls co excist with our livestock...enjoy
I have always liked donkeys, but I would certainly want one who would protect my goats and chickens too. Navigator will protect the other horses but he cares nothing about any of the other animals. I think I would have to keep the donkey or mule with the goats and chickens and the horses in the larger pasture.
Thanks for the tips!
I have a neighbor who watched laughing, as her mule Johnny chased a huge black bear at a run from one side of the pasture to the other, trying to stomp him with his front hooves the whole way. I don't know if they're all that way, but that was her experience.
google donkeys and learn all you can about them before going shopping..like goats there are signs of unhealthy behaviors, management, cow hocked, knob knee, worm issues ect....know what to look for, go in with a bit of knowledge will safe you head aches later..
"Donkeys and goats don't mix. A donkey can kill a goat just by biting it's neck. So it is best if you keep your Ass away from the goats. ;-)"
Granted this was in response to a person asking a very stupid question along the lines of if he build an area for his goats to get away would it be alright for him to keep the donkey with his goats. This was after stating his Donkey was mean to his goats or something along those lines.