Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Apr 10, 2014
We have had donkeys since 2007. Our family bought our first donkey as we were having coyote issues on our farm. She has been amazing for keeping the coyotes away from our foals. This past year, we bought a second donkey because we were wanting to have one with one group of horses and one with the other.
So, what does this have to do with pets? Our two donkeys, Polly & Dolly are like dogs. They follow the kids around and love to be petted, brushed and fed treats. They bray off and on, mostly when they are happy to see you or when there is someone coming out to the field or a change in weather. They are very loving and friendly animals. Both of ours have been fabulous pets and also work to keep our horse babies safe!
A couple downsides to them though that I would caution people. Most of them have an inherited intolerance for dogs. We had to really familiarize our donkeys with our dogs. Once they associated them with us as family and not as a threat, they were good with them, but if we hadn't have taken the time to socialize them, Polly, for sure, would have stomped the dogs. The other thing is their feet. They are not the easiest hooves to trim and it requires farrier care. If they haven't had their feet handled since they were babies, they can often be incredibly difficult to trim. Our smaller donkey is awful to trim, she kicks and rears and hates it, the other donkey had hers handled when younger, so she is far more easy going.
All in all, we love our donkeys, we just like to share a caution about the dogs and the trimming as "if you don't know, you don't know" and you might end getting yourself or a beloved family pet injured.