The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey Tails Blog

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Two by Two

Posted by PrimRose on December 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

When adopting a donkey it is important to remember they are very social animals and should be adopted in pairs. At the sanctuary donkeys who arrive together and form a bond are housed together and, if they can be adopted, would be adopted together. Often donkeys who come to the sanctuary alone form a friendship with another donkey already here. This happened with Jenny and Evelyn who have been adopted together. Donkeys should never be kept alone and, if no other donkey is available, will bond with another animal such as a horse, goat or pig. This was the case with Jed the donkey who came to the sanctuary with his own pig called Penelopig. When Jed was being rescued he refused to leave until his pig was found and rescued as well. Donkeys are very social, loyal and protective companions. 


Vivian


Here are good friends Moon and Star at the salt lick 


The Donkeys' Kitchen

Posted by PrimRose on December 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Healthy donkeys only need hay and the chance to graze for feed, as well as a salt lick and water. All of the donkeys at the sanctuary are rescued and many come with health issues that require extra feed. Older donkeys can lose their teeth making it difficult to chew hay so in the kitchen Sheila boils water and adds it to the All Phase to make mush in the morning and late afternoon for several donkeys. Some donkeys at the sanctuary require medication. The easiest way to feed it to them is to mix it with the All Phase. Holistic medicine is used as well and added to food. The third photo shows Timothy cubes which are used for extra nutrition as some rescued donkeys are malnourished. Feeding time at the barn is fun, as soon as Sheila starts to boil water donkeys start gathering in the barn. As the animals are put in their feeding spots, so they they don’t eat each others’ food as they are certainly prone to do, the braying starts. Some are sure they’re going to be missed though this never happens. When everyone is finished eating many donkeys go back outside while the older donkeys stay in the barn for the night.


Vivian

The Donkeys' kitchen

All Phase

Timothy Cubes



Famous Donkeys and Mules

Posted by PrimRose on November 23, 2017 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Donkeys and Mules have starred in many well known movies, books and cartoons, here are a few favourites. Dapple also known as El Rucio belonged to Sancho Panza in the book Don Quixote written by Miguel de Cervantes. Gus the football kicking donkey starred in a Walt Disney movie called Gus. Brightly the donkey was a main character in the children’s book Brightyof the Grand Canyon written by Marguerite Henry. Blue was a white mule owned by the Walton family in the TV series called The Waltons. Donkey starred in the Shrek movie series. Baba Looey belonged to the cartoon character QuickDraw McGraw. Number 7 was a donkey owned by Mad Jack in the Grizzly Adams Television series. Ruth was a mule ridden by Festus in Gunsmoke. Puzzle the donkey was a character in the children’s books The Chronicles of Narnia written by CS Lewis. One of my favourites is Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh series written by AA Milne.


Can you think of others?


Vivian


Donkey Neglect

Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (1)

As with all animals in human care, regular upkeep is required to keep good health and, as donkeys can live to the age of 50 years , this a big commitment. One of the first signs of neglect is not getting the hooves trimmed. Like our fingernails the hooves continue to grow and can cause walking difficulties and lameness. The trimming should be done by a farrier who knows donkey hooves as the trimming is not the same as for a horse. Trimming needs to be done every 10-12 weeks.


As donkeys have very efficient digestive systems they should not be overfed as they can be prone to becoming overweight. Hay is all they need and the option to graze although even the grass in Ontario can be too rich for donkeys so consult a vet if in doubt. From eating food that is too rich donkeys can founder which is when the legs and hooves grow incorrectly. If a donkey’s gait seems slow, uneven or stilted this could be a sign of foundering.


Donkey’s teeth need to be examined regularly by a vet as they grow continuously and can get cavities. If a donkey favours one side of the mouth when eating it could indicate problems. Donkeys also need regular vaccinations so vet care should be consistent.


Vivian

This is Polly, when she first arrived at our sanctuary. Her hooves were in extremely terrible shape. She had her hooves trimmed and with lots of love and care felt better.


Donkey Coats and Coats for Donkeys

Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Now that fall is here and winter just around the corner there are important things to remember about Donkey care. Donkeys were originally desert animals and their coats are not ideally suited for wet, windy fall and winter weather. Donkey coats are not waterproof and the hair is often longer then other equines and can therefore stay wet longer making for discomfort. The broad backs of some donkeys also hold water and can cause back rot. If you suspect back rot get veterinarian advice. The whorls described previously that mules, horses and hinnies have also help with water run off. Most donkeys do not have these. One way to help donkeys deal with inclement weather is to provide shelter. Although donkeys prefer to be outside then locked in a barn they must have access to shelter with three walls and a slanted roof allowing little draft. Facing south and the open side away from prevailing winds helps. Most donkeys will naturally seek shelter from the rain and cold winds.


At the sanctuary a few of the donkeys don coats in the winter. Most prefer not to as they can get itchy and it is more comfortable to leave the skin open to the air, but some elderly frail animals do wear coats.You don’t want to see a donkey shivering from cold which can cause illness. If an older animal does get a coat for the winter they should have a few hours of relief each week to allow their own coats to breathe. If your donkey needs a coat there are certain sizes best suited to donkeys, horse coats are not the right dimensions for donkeys. Coats also have different fasteners and straps so make sure these are attached properly or the donkey can trip. Many of the older donkeys at the sanctuary have their own stall or wander the barn at night while the stronger younger donkeys have access to one big stall and several shelters around the property. Here are 2 damp donkeys seeking shelter from the rain.


Vivian

Marble staying dry 

Jessie mini donkey staying dry


Wilson the Hinny and Whorls

Posted by PrimRose on November 8, 2017 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Wilson the hinny, he had a donkey for a mother and a horse for a father. All hinnies are born sterile. Wilson has a cantankerous personality which is why he and his pals, Austin and Gordon are kept separate from the donkeys. If Wilson mistakenly gets in with the donkeys he chases them and nips them. Sharing of food is also a problem. The horse traits in Wilson are very noticeable: he has a long horsy tail and his ears are too big for a horse and too small for a donkey. His mane is not as spiky as a donkey’s. Another interesting characteristic is the whorls or swirls in Wilson’s coat. This is a horse trait and some experts believe the more whorls there are the more difficult the animal can be to work with. The whorls also help rain water run off the coat. That came in real handy these past few days!


Vivian


Jack

Posted by PrimRose on October 30, 2017 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Jack also affectionately known as Jack, Jack the garbage cat. When he first came to the sanctuary he was a tomcat with quite a feisty personality. He was neutered, as all male animals are at the sanctuary, but kept the personality. He disagrees frequently with other cats and has notches in his ears to prove it. He can at times be quite friendly but you never know when you’ll get a swat with his claws, true barn cat personality. Jack also suffers from feline acne which causes hair loss and swelling in his chin. The exact cause is not known. Jack gets treated with colloidal silver. His favourite spot in the barn is in the kitchen area where this photo was taken. Jack gets quite grumpy when another cat takes this spot. He loves to sit purring while Sheila is making dinner for the donkeys.


Vivian


Jack

Posted by PrimRose on October 30, 2017 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Jack also affectionately known as Jack, Jack the garbage cat. When he first came to the sanctuary he was a tomcat with quite a feisty personality. He was neutered, as all male animals are at the sanctuary, but kept the personality. He disagrees frequently with other cats and has notches in his ears to prove it. He can at times be quite friendly but you never know when you’ll get a swat with his claws, true barn cat personality. Jack also suffers from feline acne which causes hair loss and swelling in his chin. The exact cause is not known. Jack gets treated with colloidal silver. His favourite spot in the barn is in the kitchen area where this photo was taken. Jack gets quite grumpy when another cat takes this spot. He loves to sit purring while Sheila is making dinner for the donkeys.


Vivian

Donkeys and Flies

Posted by PrimRose on October 22, 2017 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

In the hot days of summer, despite the best efforts of the volunteers at mucking out, flies can be relentless. The mules and hinnies are tormented as well. Their tails are longer to sweep the flies away. Here are the donkeys grouped together trying to keep the flies at bay. Occasionally the flies will bite so severely on a donkey’s legs that it will draw blood. Swat is good remedy to apply to the legs. Fly strips are hung in the barn particularly in the kitchen/pharmacy area where food is prepared.


There are fly collars that can be purchased that are infused with repellent. These have limited affective ness as the repellent wears off but also it becomes a game to see who can pull off each other’s fly collars!There is a natural product called fly predator but this needs to be constantly added to the compost pile and is quite costly. The best remedy is to keep the donkeys and barn as clean as possible.


Vivian


Susie Q's story

Posted by PrimRose on October 12, 2017 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Susie Q came from an Alberta farm to the sanctuary with 3 siblings and their mother Charisma. They boarded here while their owner worked at setting up a farm in Ontario. Finally a farm was purchased in Nova Scotia. The vet said Charisma was too old to travel such a distance. It is hard work to balance in a trailer all that way. It was decided that Susie Q would stay to keep her mother company at the sanctuary. Susie Q has had some health issues such as her coat was quite patchy. Now it has filled in nicely and she looks well. Susie Q can be a bit cantankerous and pushy particularly if she wants to be scratched or groomed and another donkey gets in her way. She is a handsome girl who has found her forever home at the sanctuary. 


Vivian


Pictured below are Charisma with daughter Susie Q



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