What Does It Mean When A Donkey Brays?

We have had donkeys in our life since 2007. Select Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

First and most importantly understanding the personality of our donkey is imperative to learning donkey communication and behavior traits.  Rio our Mammoth donkey is an introvert he has never ever let out a complete bray, Rio is fifteen years old. Rio has been in our life since he was nine months old, he came with Rocket Man our Miniature Donkey and our horse miss Lily.

Tuba, Oboe, Rocket Man, Maximus, and Roy are all extroverts.  Miss Lily, Miss Trophy are extroverted mares our horses.  Donkeys bray to say hello, when playing tag and grabbing the neck and to let us know something is wrong the distress bray. Donkeys that bray all of the time are not living a healthy and happy life, something is wrong. It is important to learn how to give the donkey a balanced and fair life. Another donkey same-sex and size is always the best. Jacks should be gelded by a vet who has experience with gelding donkeys and the digestion of drugs.  Forcing a donkey to live alone in isolation is not only wrong it is abuse as donkeys need to live with another donkey preferably and should never live in isolation day after day. Donkeys eat, sleep, play, grab the neck, play tug with an orange traffic cone or jolly ball with another donkey. Donkeys become book ends with their pastuer buddy. Donkeys bond for life to another donkey and to their special human who cares for them. Never betray a donkey as donkeys have excellent memories.   Donkeys are truly special.

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Donkeys Braying Singing or Distress “Crying For Help”

When I first started reading about donkeys people would say my donkey sings when talking about the donkey braying.  Donkeys can sing and donkeys can bray a distress bray.  I respectfully disagree that braying is all the same as it is not.   Just like dogs can sing along with their human and dogs can bark when stressed so can donkeys.    I do think a high-pitched sound like the violin can make a donkey bray and this is singing, similar to a dog who will sing along when we encourage them with high notes.  The donkey has amazing hearing.  I think when the donkey hears another donkey braying with the distress bray they understand the distress sound as it is their language.

Please don’t think a donkey that brays all the time is normal something needs to be corrected to keep the donkey relaxed and calm.

Like a dog that keeps barking in the neighborhood, this is not normal for a dog to keep barking and barking frantically.  Most dogs bark when something stresses them out, they are tied and distressed, they hear something or like mine when I come home to greet me.  Some animals are more vocal than other animals just like people have personalities I believe animals have personalities!  Some animals are more vocal and extroverted and some are more introverted and quiet.

When I step out into the barn all the Extroverts say good morning and then they stop, it is brief and very inviting.  We have one introverted donkey out of six on the farm. Mr. Rio our Mammoth donkey.  Rio stands back and waits patiently at the door for his morning kiss. Some mornings he kicks the door. Introverted donkeys communicate differently than extroverted donkeys. I clean the gunk out of all the donkey’s eyes, scan for any sores as donkeys play rough.

Listen to Rocket Man our miniature Donkey Sing. Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel at Donkeywhisperer.

 Video of donkeys Morning Bray Farm listening to a donkey braying sounds like distress to me and several of the donkey’s act stressed and bray stressed

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Please remember if your donkey is braying all of the time the distress bray something is wrong, it is important to learn the difference between sing and a distress bray.

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

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner
Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

37 thoughts on “What Does It Mean When A Donkey Brays?

  1. I love donkeys! I have loved them from the day one of my clients brought a donkey to the stable and asked for help in training the donkey to ride dressage. I discovered then how intelligent, sweet, kind and protective they are of their people and property. You are so lucky!

  2. The donkeys in the sanctuary I worked on in Aruba would bray if I didn’t have their food out by 3pm for the afternoon feed. They were a little fat but happy and healthy. They do have such different personalities though and some preferred human company over donkeys. They could be very jealous if another was getting attention. They would bond with me and lay their heads on my shoulder. A lot of braying would start if one donkey was putting the moves on a female. I assume that’s a bray of excitement. Occasionally an unfortunate wild goat would get in and that’s when they roar! Very territorial and vicious when they want to be, but generally very sweet 🙂
    They are also sooo nosey and clever. Nothing in this world is donkey proof! Where there’s a will, there’s a donk!

    • Hi thank you for reading my blog, thank you for taking a moment to comment. Large donkey farms are indeed much louder than a small one like ours. My point is to share that not all donkey brays are the same some are a distress and some are a come feed me now. We are blessed as our donkeys hardly ever bray as their meals are always on time and they are happy, additionally no other donkeys to call out to on the farm. Nice to meet you. Melody

  3. Played the video off the donkeys listening to braying on youtube, never seen a reaction from the dog like it. Sat blot upright and then ran to the window to check the yard, Sat and sang with them. Made my morning. Love it.

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  6. We have 2 Poitou donkeys here in France. Mum and daughter. They are wonderful creatures we rescued. We have sorted their feet and diet and they are in excellent condition (per vet and farrier), but they have recently stopped singing to us in the morning when we go to bring them in for their breakfast. This has coincided with a much calmer attitude and they have become much easier to handle and groom. We are assuming that the two are related…..any thoughts?

    • Hi Peter,
      Extroverted donkeys bray to say hello, intruder or when playing. Introverts never bray. Animals have personalities just like people. I would love to see your donkeys if you would like to share a photo. Thank you for the comment. Did you see I am having a contest to win a ON DONKEY TIME sign? Enter under the post leave a comment. Good luck!

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