Happy Thanksgiving From The Donkey Whisperer Farm

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Help My Donkey Is Running At Me His ears Back Teeth Showing

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Donkeys have photographic memories. Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys are seriously into self-preservation. Perhaps you are new to donkeys and at first your donkey was quiet and nice and then all of a sudden the donkey started getting pushy. Donkeys can canter like a horse, trot, and walk like a horse. But never think a donkey is a horse as they are not a horse a donkey is a donkey.

Donkeys ears can go back, forward, the flying nun or one forward one back. This does not mean the donkey is angry every time. We must learn to read the eyes, body language. Our donkeys come running to say hello with their ears back as they are thinking. When playing or fighting ears are back. Learn to study your donkeys eyes. Learn signs of relaxation and stress and more.

Never give a treat when the equine is pushing you to give it. Give the treat when they are relaxed and have earned the treat, calm and respectfully. My horse must turn her head away from me to get a treat this helps her think before trying to bully the treat out of my hand. Lot’s of ways you can get your timing ready to teach the equine to receive the treat use your creativity to plan ahead and teach them to accept the treat. All of my equine come to me when called without a food treat. Our donkeys and horses  get the physical, mental and emotional treat of me loving on them, brushing them, talking to them, picking their hooves and taking them for a walk.

Donkeys cannot kick or bite you if your timing is great, they are looking to see if you are a leader or a follower. Each time you are with your equine you are the human leader, you have the human mind put your cell phone away, job away, kids away and just be in the moment with your equine. I say “You must be plugged into your equine to stay safe and be a great leader.”

Equine are gifts from GOD be grateful for them as each day is indeed precious and fragile.

Select OUR STORE  to order E-VIDEO Training and our custom fit donkey soft yacht rope halter/lead lines, long lines, riding reins.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

 

How Can I Help My Obese Donkey Get Healthy?

Question & Answer

Melody, My donkey is obese how can I help my donkey lose weight.

Donkeys who are obese can have whats called insulin resistance making it harder to lose weight. People have insulin resistance too. Here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm ® we have one obese Donkey a rescue donkey named Tuba. Tuba is estimated to be in his late teens or early 20’s.

Tuba is obese but he is healthy. Taking the weight off him is a slow process. Tuba has perfect hooves. Tuba’s blood work is perfect. This is amazing as Usually when a donkey is obese the hooves rot off, white line separation and more. Controlling his diet is key.

My donkey has a thick fat neck that has broken over.  Can I fix this? Once the neck fat breaks over the donkey is stuck with this for life. Here is the good news. If your donkey has a fat neck that has broken you can still help him/her have a healthy diet and life. The donkey can recover in most cases and have a long beautiful healthy life. The donkey who is obese will gain weight much faster than the donkey who is not obese. Kinda like people.

Never starve a donkey. Losing weight and changing the body and blood chemistry takes hard work and time. You can do this! Your donkey is depending on you to learn everything you can to help him/her stay healthy.

How Can I Get My Obese Donkey Healthy?

Schedule a vet to come and take blood for insulin resistance and cushings.

1. A dry paddock or pasture is a must. Donkeys evolved from the desert they cannot eat all day and night without getting obese and eventually sick or death. Please understand donkeys die from obesity. It is a sad death.

2. Create a track connected to the dry lot. The track is for exercise and not for meals. Feed tested low sugar/protein hay under 10% for meals.

3. Make sure your donkey is not getting fed by the neighbors etc., as this happened to us when we moved to our new farm.

4. Test your hay to ensure you have hay that has no weeds, alfalfa and is 10% or lower in sugar and protein. If you cant find low sugar/protein hay soak your hay to remove sugar. Soaking hay to remove sugars that can exacerbate metabolic conditions such as insulin resistance takes more time. If you’re using warm water, you’ll need to submerge the hay (again, a hay net makes this easy) for 30 minutes; if your water is cool or cold, soak the hay for 60 minutes.

5. Weigh your hay.

6. Slow feeder helps the donkey eat slower and make sure you are giving at least two meals a day. If you want to give more you must be weighing your hay.

7. Do not feed people foods, breads, cookies, etc., fruit foods. Sugar is sugar.

8. Do not let your donkey eat brush, trees etc., all day and night. This can cause weight gain too. A dry paddock is a must. Toys and another donkey to play with are vital to your donkeys health.

9. Train your donkey to walk with you and take your donkeys for lots of walks and exercise.

10. Exercise is important for donkeys the same as humans. Donkey 101 & Donkey 102 will teach you how to get the foundation training in place to learn how to cart pull. Donkeys who pull a cart get great exercise. If you do not want to cart pull take your donkeys for hikes with you. Your donkeys can carry your lunch and water.

Melody Johnson
Donkey Whisperer Farm
www.donkeywhisperer.com

Natural To Blanket Our Beloved Domesticated Horse, Donkey Or Mule?

A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we hope we do not need to use it. We have it ready and learn how to use it before the emergency hits. Please be prepared. Please train your donkey to accept the blanket before the emergency hits. I never blanket unless an emergency or the donkey is suffering cant move due to arthritis and age. As soon as the weather gets out of extreme cold the blanket is off. Or the vet says the stall rest is over etc., No blanket is water proof. We must use common sense. Warm water in the winter (clean) helps donkeys drink more and lose free salt.  

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Natural To Blanket Our Beloved Domesticated Horse, Donkey Or Mule?

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A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we hope we do not need to use it. We have it ready and learn how to use it before the emergency hits. Please be prepared. Please train your donkey to accept the blanket before the emergency hits. I never blanket unless an emergency or the donkey is suffering cant move due to arthritis and age. As soon as the weather gets out of extreme cold the blanket is off. Or the vet says the stall rest is over etc., No blanket is water proof. We must use common sense. 

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lilysnownov2014Rocket Man blanket nov 28, 2014 age 20

Is It Natural To Blanket A Domesticated Equine (horse, donkey or mule) when the wind chill and snow is horrific?

First let me step back in time and share how I came to my inner peace with the natural equine world. When I was a kid with my horse in the 70’s we did not do the teeth, blanket, and we sure as heck did not do our own worming.

A few things to consider:

1. Nothing is natural about any equine living a domesticated life, even when we do our best to remove the shoes when not trail riding or use boots for trail riding. My farm is set up so all of my horses and donkeys can choose to go into their stall to eat and drink and get out of the weather if they choose.  Locking any equine in a stall will make them crazy.  Equine were created to walk fifteen to twenty-five miles a day. Most domesticated equine stand around and wait for their meals. Nothing is natural about living a domesticated life.

I let all of my equine grow a fur coat and I blanket as needed per individual equine, when sick or extreme wicked weather comes.  I check the blankets each and every day for sores, rubbing, dampness or a loose blanket/too tight in a place etc., I  replace with a dry coat as needed until the weather changes or the equine no longer needs it.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, WA we do not have weather that stays in the teens very long. We go back into the 30’s pretty fast, I take the blanket off wen we are out of the serious cold wind chills or a sick equine is well. We do however have high winds and this can cause the weather to be more frigid. 

I do not blanket during raining season and let them stand out in the rain. Why?

No blanket is 100% water proof in my experience, must be changed and dried, need to make sure no sores or rubbing, lot’s of work. If you leave on a wet blanket serious illness can occur. Be prepared get two blankets, this way you can dry one while using the other one. As soon as the weather is back to normal or the donkey is healthy take the blanket off.

2. When an equine live in the wild they can run and get warm, find a place to get out of the elements.

The farm we lived on for thirteen years before moving to Sequim, WA had two pole stalls I placed  at the top of the hill (paddock) to stop mud.

Running on ice to get warm can cause serious injuries.  Blanketing keeps our horses calm. farm2014dec

3. Any equine who has arthritis or is sick, surgery, or is way to young to withstand the extreme cold needs a blanket. Blanketing is hard work as you must check it every day and when it is really wet replace with a dry blanket. Sorry, no blanket is 100% waterproof for the entire winter and fall season. Thus why I only blanket when we hit the high 20’s with a wind chill in the Pacific Northwest pushing me below 0 etc., then they are locked in until well if it is raining outside. Their fur coat, warm water, hay is what keeps them warm along with their shelter.

4. When you keep their water clean and warm along with plenty of free choice low sugar hay in your slow feeder you are helping your domesticated equine to stay warm. When you walk into the barn and your equine are shivering or not moving at all frozen stiff you had better blanket. Death can be avoided from ignorance and high vet bills. Heated buckets work great simly keep the cord out of reach for the equine to not bite and get elcrocuted.

5. Not all equine need a blanket in the winter. Please use common sense and check the blanket leaving it on will cause more damage than good if it is left on wet, sores or the leg gets stuck in it.

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Here is an outstanding blog I just read that prompted me to write about this. Select Blanketing is Not Bad And You Are Not Natural to read some more brilliant ways to understand why it is imperative you are prepared for a sick equine, older arthritis or the wicked winter that may or may not come.

Please use common sense when blanketing and locking your equine in a stall, after all you chose the equine and they are depending on you to learn everything you can to keep them healthy and happy.

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GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

How Cold Is Too Cold? – How do we know when to blanket?

A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we hope we do not need to use it. We have it ready and learn how to use it before the emergency hits. Please be prepared. Please train your donkey to accept the blanket before the emergency hits. I never blanket unless an emergency or the donkey is suffering shaking, blowing diarehea, cant move due to arthritis and age. As soon as the weather gets out of extreme cold the blanket is off. Or the vet says the stall rest is over. A blanket is not needed during the rain provide shelter for your donkeys.  Never keep a wet blanket on any equine, check for rubs on your donkey daily.  I recommend two blankets for each donkey ready to go. We must use common sense. Warm water in the winter (clean) helps donkeys drink more and lose free salt.  

Select Is It Natural To Blanket?

How Do We Know When To Blanket?

My Thoughts and Ideas:

* If your equine does not have a thick fur coat on because you shaved it off blanket – Our donkeys are shed out about five weeks out of the year and that’s it I think they know what’s best. 

If you see your donkey, horse, or mule shaking/shivering, by all means, get a blanket on them something is not right they need help.

*Donkey has diarrhea without a diet change.

* Any equine who is sick just had surgery needs a blanket on until they are well again.

* Anytime we move into the twenties I blanket at night and I check the blanket every day, remove it for a few hours if it warms up during the day giving them a chance to roll.

* Just like people older equine get arthritis and need a bit of help a blanket will help.

* Babys born in the winter need a blanket.

* Donkeys, horses, and mules enjoy warm water so look into a heated water system just make sure they cant bite the cord.

* A little extra hay helps keep them warm. Use a slow feeder, we use the Hay Pillow for all of our donkeys and horses.

*Windchill, pay attention to the true weather forecast.

*  Shelter is a must for all equine, donkeys that stand in the damp cold and have no shelter can get really sick.

* Remember blanketing when it is too warm is not good either as they can over heat 🙂  Talk to your vet about blanketing before old man winter comes to your farm. Never leave a wet blanket on your equine. Change out the blanket with a dry blanket until the weather is above freezing or your donkey is healthy again. 

Please Make Sure Your Blankets Fit before the weather is too dangerous to get stuff shipped or drive to pick up. Training donkeys to wear a blanket should be done before old man winter hits when possible.  Donkey 102 covers blanketing.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson

https://donkeywhisperer.com

https://www.facebook.com/Donkeywhisperer

Thinking About Poop

Thinking about poop when owning a horse, donkey or mule is a full-time job.  Is the poop firm enough, too firm, or not enough poop?  Poop in the equine world is a big deal 🙂  When I was down from the semi truck accident I was constantly asking my husband How Does The Poop Look?  My poor husband was like “It’s poop Melody, lot’s of poop!  Thank GOD he has learned the importance of learning what each of our equine’s poop should look like or not look like. 🙂  Donkeys are very efficient with their food so if you are new to Donkeys you may be surprised how hard the poop of a donkey is.  On the positive side not much smell from a donkeys poop compared to my horses poop.  Donkeys use every single calorie and save it for a rainy day.

Natural equine ownership is the safest way for us horse, donkey and mule owners to care for our domesticated equine.   Here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm our equine poop is picked up twice a day and added to the compost pile, water buckets are cleaned and fresh water is added every other day.   All of our equine are fed out of a plastic slow feeder to prevent colic. Select Plastic Slow Feeder with the hay pillow attached inside.  You can make your own out of wood but donkeys are wood eaters.

Fecal Sampling

I started fecal sampling a few years ago as Over Worming can make our equine worms resistant to wormers just like antibiotics for people.  In addition when we over worm our equine we are destroying the immune system of our beloved equine.  Each farm needs to have a plan to keep the equine as healthy as possible so read, read, read to stay updated on equine ownership. Select Fecal Testing Journal.

Collecting a poop sample is easy; get a plastic zip lock bag, write the name and date, go to the barn pick up two fresh poop balls and place them in the bag.   Make sure to get the fresh poop sample to your vet right away.   When my vet comes to the farm I have three little zip lock bags waiting for him, please remember to ask your vet about hot and cold weather considerations of fecal samples as I am not a vet only sharing what we do to keep our equine healthy.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®