Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself,
Moodys, Oklahoma, United States
Posted Mar 16, 2014
We have had goats and sheep for about 10 years now. About 5 or 6 years ago, we got a donkey at the local sale yard. We started running that donkey with our goats and sheep on the 40 acres. What we found was pretty cool. The donkey actually stayed with some of the livestock while wandering around on the 40 acres.
I began to do some research and have since read how donkeys are used to guard smaller livestock. With their loud braying sounds, they often will alert when coyotes, wolves or dogs are close by. All of the donkeys we have used, seem to have a natural tendency to turn their tail end towards the various dogs we own. Several of our own dogs have been kicked, only because the donkey was protecting the hay pile or was unsure if the dog was an acceptable critter. Once the donkey knows that the LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) is okay to have around, there have been no problems.
We have had our present Jenny, female donkey, for several years. She just birthed her second baby for us last week. A year ago she had a male donkey, this year it is a female. At the moment, she has created a little distance between the sheep and goats and her baby. She is in ultra protective mode at the moment.
We have seen this donkey, a llama we used to own and a few of our guardian dogs work well as a team in protecting our sheep and goats. One day, as we looked up towards the upper red gate that leads out into the 40 acres that the sheep and goats graze on, we saw something amazing. The donkey began circling the sheep and keeping them in one location and the llama started circling the goats and keeping them in one location. As we watched, the two LGD's began running full speed after a few stray dogs that had wandered onto the property. Pretty cool to watch these guard animals do their job.
For anyone thinking of getting a donkey for a guard animal, I personally like the way the Jenny has worked well with our smaller livestock. We have used a few Jacks over the years and they have worked well also.