Why is there a need for a donkey sanctuary?
Donkeys arriving at the sanctuary are not sweet darling donkeys already trained for riding, cute little pets or pedigreed stock. Most donkeys arriving here have a range of problems from health to management and handling. Many have not had their feet done in many years and some have never been attended to by an equine dentist and many have not been handled at all or have been badly handled which leads to many management problems. It can take many, many months after arriving at the sanctuary for these donkeys to be rehabilitated. Gentling procedures can take from weeks to many months for us to be able to handle some donkeys with safety. All this takes time and effort and a lot of specialised work as each donkey is different and reacts differently depending on its temperament and how he/she was handled or mishandled before arriving here. Some donkeys are so fearful that they can be dangerous and a lot of consideration and proper management is required to get each and every donkey manageable. Some come around much better than others, depending on each of their temperaments, their age and many other factors come into it. Not all training methods suit every donkey, so all this has to be figured out and it all takes time. We never rush new, nervous or unhandled donkeys, all rehabilitation is done in their own time.
Are donkeys as stubborn as the media portrays them?
Donkeys are highly intelligent – their reputation for being stubborn is merely the donkey making a choice not to do the requested task. Donkeys are incredibly affectionate animals, especially towards humans, so you just need to make them want to oblige!
How long do donkeys live?
In reasonable conditions, and in reasonable health, they will live to between 35 and 40 years, although they have been know to live into their 50â€™s. Donkeys subjected to constant hard work will generally have a much shorter life, probably between 20 and 25 years. So taking on a donkey is a long-term commitment, and could almost be called a â€˜companion for lifeâ€™.
How long have donkeys been used as work animals?
Donkeys were the first domesticated animal, around 3000 BC.Â As well as being strong and able to transport heavy loads, they are often used as â€˜guardiansâ€™ to protect herds of sheep and goats from wild dogs. It is estimated that there are 40 million donkeys worldwide.
What is the difference between a mule and a hinny?
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. A hinny is the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse. Theyâ€™re usually smaller than mules.
What do donkeys eat?
Donkeys are much less fussy eaters than horses, able to munch through scrub much like a goat. They do very well in the Australian bush where thereâ€™s lot of diversity of both grass and roughage.
Why do you trim donkeys hooves?
A donkeyâ€™s hoof will continue to grow unless it is worn down by walking on rocky surfaces. It will eventually lead to lameness as the hoof grows at an angle, the donkey doesnâ€™t just get taller!! Â Donkeys living on grass paddocks are especially susceptible to this problem. A rocky ground also helps keep their feet dry, preventing infections that can grow in a constantly moist environment.