Introducing Rocket Man, a miniature donkey gelding, he just turned twenty-six years old. Rocket Man has been in our life since he was thirteen years old. When Rio our Mammoth donkey was weaned from his mom, Rio bonded to Rocket Man. Rocket Man was a jack on the breeding farm in his early years.
Rocket Man has the ability to sing when talking and he can bray. He is the only donkey on our farm that sings and he can find anything to get that special spot for a scratch. He is a super special donkey. Did you know some donkeys never bray? Yes, the introverted donkey does not bray. Rio our Mammoth donkey has never ever let out a full-bray and he is fourteen years old. If you would like to learn more about donkey behavior and donkey training please take a look at Donkey 101 & 102 Video On Demand. Sold with lifetime access. SelectDonkey Whisperer Farm ® Store to browse now.
Remember to stay On Donkey Time ® when interacting with your donkey. Life is better with donkeys!
This is wrong! Very few donkeys make great livestock guardians. Please get a livestock guarding dog to protect your livestock. Donkeys will guard the animals they are bonded to if they are big enough. A miniature donkey is too small to guard anything. Domesticated dogs can kill a miniature donkey. Donkeys bond for life to their own species. If a donkey is placed in with a flock of sheep that it does not know, the donkey may grab the neck of the sheep and kill it. This is not a bad donkey it is simply donkey behavior. Donkeys do best when they get to live with another donkey. Donkeys will kill newborn baby cows, sheep and goats, pigs etc., so best to keep the babies away from donkeys. Donkeys grab the neck of another donkey in play and in battle, play tug with a ball, sleep, drink and eat together basically book ends. Dogs, most donkeys do not like dogs they resemble the wolf and coyote. We have hot wire fences to keep our donkeys in and the dogs out. Sadly farmers end up burying the donkey, re-sell give away a donkey who has not performed the job as livestock guarding to their satisfaction.
Donkey Diet& Care
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys need a serious diet and cannot eat all day and night on pasture or brush. Most livestock is fed an extremely rich diet full of grains and lush pasture. Donkeys who are fed rich food or overfed grass or brush will get insulin resistance, white line disease, fat deposits on the body, neck gets fat and can break over, hoof abscesses, laminitis. Hoof abscesses are common with a rich diet, the liver fails and soon the donkey dies a painfully slow death. Donkeys are stoic and will never show pain until it is too late.
Hay and all forage must be tested to come in at 10% or lower in sugar and protein along with portion control as donkeys gain weight quickly. Donkeys need shelter, clean water, warm in freezing climates and salt. Donkeys do not do well standing in the rain with no shelter due to their thick fur. Some donkeys need a blanket as they cant take the freezing temperatures and this blanket needs to be changed and checked. Donkeys need their hooves trimmed, vet care teeth, shots, fecal sample before worming spring and summer.
Donkeys need great fences and locks as donkeys can visually watch you do something and repeat the task.
Donkeys Are Intelligent, Not Stubborn
Donkeys are not flight animals like horses, most donkeys do not react to physical force to do a task. Donkeys push into pressure. Donkeys can freeze when scared or fight back. Please take the time to learn donkey behavior and personality. Extroverts bray and have more go than whoa, introverts do not bray and have more whoa than go. I teach about this in Donkey 102 video on demand. Donkeys need to see a reason for everything they do. Since donkeys evolved from the desert they learned how to survive with their mind as they do not have the speed of a horse to outrun the predator. Donkeys are deep thinkers game players. I call this ON DONKEY TIME ®. The donkey will never do anything that can hurt the donkey. Self-preservation is number one to a donkey. Donkeys ears back can mean anger, thinking, happy to see you. Learn to read the eyes of your donkey not the ears. The horse will jump off the grand canyon when scared, the donkey will not, do you see the difference? A donkeys’ gift is not sped it is a brain that can problem-solve to stay alive.
Donkeys are incredibly strong.
Donkeys have a reputation for being strong pack animals and while this is true, they are not stronger than another animal of the same size. Donkeys can only hold up to 20% of their weight. Donkeys must be full-grown and conditioned to do heavy work.
When Is A Donkey Full-Grown?
Miniature Donkeys age three
Standard or Burro age four
Mammoth Donkeys six to seven
If you would like to learn how to train your donkey go to the Donkey Whisperer Farm ® education center. Melody Johnson trains the owner or caretaker worldwide via Donkey 101 & 102 Video On Demand, use your smartphone to take Melody to the farm with you.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys living in the U.S.A. are being overfed and fed the wrong foods. Once the neck crest breaks over nothing can be done to repair the neck. Insulin resistance, laminitis, and soon death. If you rescue a donkey with this abuse, get a donkey vet fast. You can save this donkey’s life. Diet changes everything in most cases, test all of your hay, equine analytical lab in the USA to ensure 10% or lower in sugar and protein, no grain, create a donkey track, clean water, salt, and portion control with a slow feeder.
The donkey must live on a dry pasture or paddock for the majority of their life. If we feed the wrong foods such as alfalfa hay, apples, pears, cookies, oats, bread, or munching all day on grass, brush, and trees we will see this in our donkey’s neck. Not to mention death. Death comes next as the donkey evolved from the desert, the donkey was created to live on low sugar/protein hay, clean water. Round bales for the donkey will cause this too! Hay should be measured and controlled as the donkey evolved from the desert.
Laminitis is a condition in which there is inflammation in the laminae of the foot that connect the pedal bone to the hoof wall. This can progress to rotation or sinking of the pedal bone within the foot. The cause is not fully understood and many factors are involved but obese animals are more prone to develop the disease.”
Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Overweight donkeys often develop a fat, crest neck and fat pads around their tail base. When this occurs the donkey can develop a metabolic disease known as ‘Equine Metabolic Syndrome’. This causes insulin resistance and increased levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. In equids, this can lead to recurrent episodes of laminitis or founder. This disease involves inflammation of the white lining or laminar junctions of the feet, extreme foot pain and difficulty walking and chronic abscesses. In severe cases, this is death for the donkey.
Hyperlipaemia is a condition in which triglycerides (fats) are released into circulation which can result in organ failure and death unless treated rapidly. The early signs of dullness and reduced appetite can be difficult to detect. Hyperlipaemia can be triggered by anything that causes a reduction in food intake e.g. stress, transport, dental disease.
Causes of hyperlipaemia
A number of risk factors have been identified as contributing to this condition. It is known that a female donkey is at higher risk than a male, especially when there are high energy demands such as if she is pregnant or lactating. Overweight and obese animals are at higher risk than those in average condition but even thin donkeys are at risk. Donkeys that have lost significant weight in the preceding weeks should be monitored carefully as they are at a much higher risk of developing this disease. When managing your donkey’s weight, care should be taken not to crash diet as this will put your donkey at risk.
Stress will cause a donkey to reduce its feed intake and can be brought on by many stressors such as:
Removal or death of buddy
Living With Another Animal Who Is A Predator
Forced To Live A Life With Constant Stress And Abuse
Action Plan To Lose Weight – DO NOT STOP FEEDING THE DONKEY.
Build Pastures made to exercise, a track
Thyro-L can help along with tested hay low sugar/protein, no pasture and brush to eat and portion control.
Ask your vet to do blood work insulin resistance or Cushings
Have the equine vet dentist come out and examine the donkey’s teeth yearly. Fecal sampling spring and summer.
Engage in an exercise routine
Take Your Donkey For Walks
Make Sure Your Donkey Has Toys and A Buddy To Play With
Clean Water, warm clean water in winter and cool clean water summer.
Test Your Hay 10% Or Lower In Sugar and Protein – Measure for portion control.
No treats, sweets, bread, alfalfa, oats, vitamins or supplements are needed. Do give lose free salt with minerals.
Because donkeys are herd animals and are ‘species specific’ their happiness meter increases dramatically when they are paired with another donkey or in a donkey herd. Happiness equates to improved psychological well being and physical health which means fewer behavioral problems and veterinary bills for owners. It is a win/win for both donkeys and their owners/guardians.
But, what happens when donkeys become ‘herd bound’?
Because many donkey owners/caretakers don’t spend time socializing and interacting with their donkeys on a regular basis their donkeys bond and become attached to their donkey companion or herd. Inevitably, when it is time for their donkey to leave their partner or herd the donkey panics, becomes stressed or misbehaves. We have seen far too many disasters when a donkey must be separated from its partner and one or both donkeys are plunged into hysteria. Being ‘herd bound’ is extremely dangerous for both the donkey and the owner!
As donkey owners and guardians we must be able to separate our donkeys and attend to them individually. At some point all donkeys will need to be separated, even temporarily, due to an abscess, illness, injury, diet change, medicating or for the farrier or vet.
Being ‘herd bound’ reflects on the owner NOT the donkey! Donkeys naturally migrate toward the leader of the herd and the strongest member for companionship. There is a natural hierarchy in herd psychology and as with all herd animals donkeys have a strong instinct for safety and survival. If your donkey does not consider you the leader of the herd or his/her partner you cannot expect your donkey to feel safe in your presence. You must be a leader worthy of your donkey’s trust and respect.
The solution for a ‘herd bound’ donkey is your time and patience. Learn to be a leader. Prove to your donkey that he/she can look to you for safety and natural herdsmanship.
Rocket Man is one of our three miniature gelding donkeys, he stands 28 inches tall age twenty-five. Rocket Man is the star of our business logo “donkey sitting down On Donkey Time ®”.
Donkeys can live to fifty years of age. Like people the teeth start to fail with age. As my hubby and I sit in the truck waiting for the oral surgery to end my mind travels back to the day we met him. Rocket Man came into our life at age 13 with Rio our Mammoth donkey age 9 months.
Rocket Man is waiting at our vets office recovery room. One horse standing next to him is waiting to go home. She adores Rocket Man, every time Rocket Man goes for a walk she screams and prances. Most horses do not like donkeys right away due to the smell. Donkeys do not have a smell. Donkeys have fur and personality.
Please make sure your vet is experienced in donkeys healthcare. Donkeys digest drugs different than a horse. Pain relief is Usually banamine. Please do not take a chance for colic with a donkey. Donkeys are stoic will not show pain until it is too late. We are waiting for Rocket Man to start making normal gut sounds and he will go home.
We are happy to report Rocket Man is on his way home. Three days of home care and he should be back to perfect health again. Home care is making sure Rocket Man does not colic, washing out the pockets where the tooth was, home pain medication.
We are very grateful to our vets, equine Oral Tooth Surgeon and our veterinarian who does the wellness for our farm.
Join our world-wide closed group for donkey, horse and mule owners and people who just dream or want to enjoy the pleasure they bring us. On Donkey Time ™ is our business logo Donkey Whisperer Farm ™ and how I teach you to relax and train your donkey.
Learn how to set your farm up for the desert equine. Fencing, shelter, diet and more.
Learn how to teach your donkey to catch you!
Teach your donkey to stand for the farrier pick up the feet.
Teach your donkey to follow you as a leader.
Rescue donkey training. Everything you want to know how to do is in Donkey 101 & Donkey 102 Video On Demand Series.
The Donkey Whisperer Farm sell Video Training, Healthcare series along with a written booklet a PDF explaining in detail donkey personality, behavior and signs of stress and relaxation. Learn how to train your donkey using words, timing the 3 second rule and how to stay ON DONKEY TIME ™.
The Donkey Whisperer Farm builds handmade soft yacht rope halter/lead lines for donkeys. Made to fit the donkey’s head not the horse. Pressure points on the noses and jaw are perfect. Our halters have a lifetime warranty. Each is made by hand in the U.S.A. I guarantee the halter will fit for the Miniature Donkey and the Standard or Burro size donkey. Our measurements are made to adjust on the donkey’s head. If the halter does not fit return and I will build you a custom fit halter. We ship worldwide!
Miniature Donkey, I am not a weed eater, brush cutter, pasture ornament nor a guard donkey. Please protect me from predators. I stand 28 inches tall, I need another mini donkey to grab the neck and play tug with a ball. I am not a tiny horse with long ears. I am a miniature donkey!
I feel lonely, I get scared, I experience happiness. I long to be with other donkeys, I like to play, I love having YOUR undivided attention and I love to be loved.
Here are a few photos I captured of Rio our Mammoth donkey sleeping with Miss Lily (quarter horse), Rocket Man our mini donkey is standing guard looking for predators. “These two had their heads completely flat on the ground, I tried to get the photo to share but donkeys well they have the best hearing and Rio he saw me first.”What a wonderful gift GOD gave us humans to enjoy and share.
Did you know horses, donkeys and mules need REM sleep?
Yes indeed they do and they can’t lay their head down and get this deep REM sleepif they are living all alone without a herd mate. Another reason to always have a buddy for your equine. I hope you enjoy these precious photos of our beloved equine.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!