Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am Donkey Driven and need your Advice:

I am in quite a dilemma here
and I need some help/advice from,
(Horse and Donkey owners!)
As you know, 
I am a first time 
"Donkey" owner.
Star is a doll.
Her and Libby get on very well together.
They do "love" each other!

(Yes there is a but!)
I feel that Star is not 100% happy!
She loves Libby.
She likes her home here.
I just feel that there is something missing.
Star will just stand and stare a hole thru me.
I feel she is trying to tell me something
and I am not sure what it is.
I thought that maybe it could be she wants a friend of her own kind.
So I went on a Donkey Hunt!
From Texas to Arizona to Oregon and Washington.
I found a donkey rescue 2 hours from my house.
There are three Donkeys that need a home.
So yesterday hubby and I drove over to look at them.
In my mind,
"I felt that a donkey would have to 'pick-me' as their friend."
Or I would come home with nothing.
When we arrived there were several of these cuties waiting at the gate to meet and greet this 'new comer'
when we pulled up.
 This cutie was the first one in my pocket.
Her name is Ghida.
 She is not at all shy!
She will "really" get into your pocket!
She leads about as well as Star does, sort of.
She is not as good with her feet, but will allow you to touch them.

 It was raining, and we were all soaking wet.
She is not a lovey dovey kind of donkey,
but she does like to hang out with you.
 She is:
Treat driven.
she is 25 years old!
 There are 2 other donkeys there that need a home also,
but they both came from the same home,
and one is very very shy!
The other one is shy also, but did walk up to me and want her butt scratched and let me love on her. 
And she even scooted in-between me and Ghida.

I just feel that Star would need a buddy that would take the horse by the reins and show her that it is 
OK to play! 
It is OK to walk up to someone! 
It is OK to just be a donkey!

Pictures below:
This donkey,
(I can't remember her name)
But she looks like a wooly mammoth!
Oh my gosh she is cute!
And so much hair!
He said people are always asking him:
 "Is that a buffalo donkey?"
 He told me a story that he took her packing and she got spooked and run off.
He could not find her, and thought she was gone forever.
When he got back to the trailer, there she was, 
Standing there as if to say: "Where have you been?"
 She is also 35 years old!
(I don't know how long ago he took her packing.)
I know donkeys can live a very long time!
I don't know if it is another donkey that I need!

I know that when I went to visit these donkeys, that they all,
Everyone of them, (but one)
clambered around me, 
wanting attention!
(They all have a wonderful home.)

Where as, when I go out to my pasture, 
Star always walks away from me,
and I have to negotiate with her to walk up to her.
Once I can put my hand on her,
she melts like butter!

This does bother me.....
(I don't know how to fix it.)
and yes, I do the turn my back on her thing, and she does walk right up behind me.

My thoughts are this:

Does she need another donkey to show her things?
Her pasture mate before Libby was a donkey.
I do believe that Libby is her first horse buddy, 
and they do get along beautifully.

Another reason I have been thinking of a donkey is:
When I take Libby out of the pasture,
Star runs to and fro and panics!
Of course this just breaks my heart!
I don't like to leave her alone.

But then would I have 2 donkeys doing that?

Also I have one and a half acres of pasture.
I see tell tale signs of Star already digging and tearing up the pasture.
This would most likely be two fold if I get a second Donkey.

Right now, I feed pasture 6-9 months of the year
and grass hay the winter months.
I believe feeding hay would be extended and my pasture would most likely not support three.

I have all these thoughts and then some running thru my head.
I do not take on ownership of any animal lightly!
It is big commitment.
My pets get better care that most, and I love each and every one of them unconditionally.

Even though Ghida is a totally cutie!~
I do worry that she is 25 years old.
I don't want another Poncho incident.

I am not asking you to 'tell' me what to do.
I am asking for feed back and YOUR THOUGHTS.

What would YOU do?
Lay it all out for me:
The good.
The bad.
Maybe something I have not thought of.

Sometimes someone else's perspective can shed some light.


The Dancing Donkey said...

How old is Star?

mrscravitz said...

Star is 6 years old.

50+ Horses said...

I think the donkeys are all adorable and I know this has been on your mind for some time now, but wanted to share a couple of my own barn life observations:

1. Peace in the pasture...if it's not broke, don't fix it.


2. Three's a crowd.

If I was going to expand, I'd expand with another donkey and another horse or I'd leave as is. Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts.

KarenTX said...

I'd contact Morning Bray Farm and The 7MSN Ranch (they both have blogs). They have donkeys and could probably help you figure out what to to. 7MSN also has a horse with theirs. Good luck!

Marilyn said...

We got our two minis six years ago from Craigslist and lost one to old age last spring and it broke my heart.
In the future I would prefer it if my donkeys out live me.
We have a standard and a mini who are buddys, but they are both very freindly with the sheep, the goats and the pig, so if you don't have a lot of space and it's a stay put in the pasture companion you're looking for, how about a sheep or goat :)

Sara Wagner said...

There is also the possibility that if you got another donkey, Star would ignore you and Libby completely, and cleave to the other donkey.

Her staring, and apparent 'sadness'--maybe it's normal donkey behavior you're not accustomed to? I don't know. I'm a horsewoman. Haven't been around many donkeys, either.

Regardless of what you decide, spending a lot of one-on-one time with her, earning her trust and respect, would help the situation. It does with every species of animal. Perhaps take her on long walks?

the7msn said...

Here are my two cents:

Donkeys will be friends with a horse but they are happiest with another donkey. I would get another donkey to be Star's buddy, one who is similar in age. They will have similar energy levels and interests.

If you take Libby off on a ride, Star and her new donkey buddy won't care one bit as long as they have each other.

There are thousands of donkeys that need a home. You can't adopt them all. Find one that is right for Star - again, I'll emphasize getting one who is of similar age. If you get a young male, get one who was gelded very early so he likely won't have any interest in her when she's in season. You will probably be better off getting a young jenny.

Don't let Star's standoffishness get to you. She has been in your life a very short time. You have to earn her trust. and that may take a long time. Once you have it, she will be a pocket donkey. Getting her a donkey buddy will tell her you understand her needs.

Donkeys are very easy keepers and don't need to be out on pasture full time. If you suspect your pasture won't support two donkeys and a horse, try to arrange things so the donkeys won't be on the pasture 24/7. If they have each other to play with, they won't mind being turned out on a drylot as long as they're together.

Ok, maybe that's more than two cents. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help.