Will a donkey make a great livestock guardian?
I am happy to share sixteen years of experience with donkeys. Very few donkeys make great livestock guarding donkeys. Donkeys are intelligent and emotional beings that prefer to live with their own species, eat, drink, play, groom and sleep together along with grabbing the neck, biting, playing tag and tug with a jolly ball. Always get two donkeys geldings with gelding’s jennies with jennies (female), jacks (stallions) must become geldings. Very few donkeys make great guardian donkeys. Why? Donkeys evolved from the desert their diet is strict. Donkeys metabolize food and drugs different than a horse as this is one of their gifts to survive living in the desert forging for food. Please stop and think about what kind of food is in the desert, this is what we are trying to create for donkeys living on the farm.
Donkeys can kill smaller animals quickly by grabbing the neck or stomping to death. Can donkeys live with livestock? Yes and no. Donkeys need a large space and another donkey as listed above and it depends on the donkey as each has a personality and life experience. Miniature donkeys cannot guard anything they need protection. Donkeys need to live on desert pastures to prevent obesity. When livestock babies are born they must be moved away from the donkeys to avoid death by the donkey grabbing and killing the baby by the neck. I highly recommend a Great Pyrenees dog to live with your livestock they are the best and will cost less to care for.
Donkey care is extensive, donkeys need a farrier visit every six weeks in the spring and summer and seven weeks in the fall and winter. Donkeys need vet checks at least once a year, dental teeth, and gums yearly, shots in the spring, west Nile, rabies, and tetanus. Donkeys need tested hay 10% or lower ins sugar and protein with portion control. Salt with minerals, no alfalfa, no grains, oats, breads, cookies, vitamins or sweet feed. Do not let donkeys graze on rich grass or brush 24 x 7 as they will become obese and have life threatening side effects, hoof abscesses, fat on the neck, fat pockets, fat in the blood, laminitis, insulin resistance and white line disease of the hoof. Donkeys need shelter, clean water, warm in the winter and some donkeys need a blanket in the winter as they cannot handle the cold as good a horse. Donkeys need exercise, create a hot wire track if you do not live in the desert as the track will turn to dirt or have very little grass on it. https://blog.donkeywhisperer.com/what-a-donkey-needs/
Here is my free video Bringing Your Donkey Home How do I exercise my donkey?
If you need more information sign up under Donkey Trainer https://donkeywhisperer.com/product/donkey-trainer/ I am more than happy to help you set up your farm to bring home two donkeys.