Miniature Donkey

lanaeMay 13, 2009

I have recently purchased a 10 month old unregistered miniature donkey. She has shaggy long hair and my husband thinks that I should shave her. My research has shown that they supposedly lose their hair after 2 years. Can anyone tell me whether she can be shaved or does she need it for body warmth?

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she doesn't need it now. But for winter she will. Donkey's are slow to shed off winter hair. Here in the south it's some times early June before the slick off. Get some brushes and curry comb and teach her to stand while you brush her. You can shave off the knots and masses to hurry it along. She'll enjoy all the special attention and grooming is great bonding time...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 2:40AM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

When I got my first donkey 25 years ago (and she is still with me) I thought I should shave her so I did. The poor girl got very badly sunburned and it was awful!!

What I have learned since is that donkeys need their hair for sun protection and especially bug protection, not to mention body warmth but not in the summer. Here is NH my donkeys don't completely shed out until the end of July and this is when a majority of biting flies dissipate for the season. So while it might not be pretty I say leave her to shed out on her own because she has that hair for good reasons.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:49AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

I sure would not shave her until it gets a LOT warmer, both day and night. My mule filly did not shed until way later than the horses.

A couple baths, getting her clean to the skin, for a couple minutes anyway, will help her feel better, help get any dirt out of the hair and smells gone. Sometimes it will help loosen up the hair too. Stiffer brushes for donkey and mules for the body, are GREATLY appreciated, so they can REALLY lean into the scratchy-ness rubbing the skin.

Donkeys LOVE to be groomed, and you will benefit by her getting handled often, making her easier to work with. Running your hands over her skin will help prevent any bug bites, cuts or holes being missed in all the hair.

If you do think she still needs shaving later, maybe July would be a good time, warm weather. Wash her first, saves your blades from any dirt dulling them so fast. I would keep her inside during the hot hours for a couple days, to prevent sunburn, get her hair back up for protection. No close shearing, we use the regular #10 blades on the big clippers so the horses are not bald.

You could do a trace clip first, removing her hair underneath the lower neck, chest area, belly area, halfway up her sides, to allow better body cooling. The back, rump, neck is still covered for sun protection. This cut is real popular in winter for working horses, hunt horses, so they dry quickly after sweating, then get blanketed when you finish riding. Then you can do the whole animal later, if you still think she needs more hair off.

I have to say the long-ears I know LOVE being hot. They stand or lay out in the hottest part of the day, absorbing the rays! Husband always said they were saving solar heat for the winter cold!

Does she have a sandpile? All the long-ears LOVE to roll in their sandpile. Better than little kids with a mud puddle! You can later point it out to your friends as the A**hole. Everyone with a long-ear equine, has one in the paddock or field. She will be SO HAPPY with it to roll in.

Handle her ears gently, check for bugs inside. I use a smear of vasaline on any crusty bug bite places, ears, chest, bellybutton area, front leg armpits, to cover the scabs. Just a light coat, rubbed in, seems to help keep the gnats away. Check her front and hind cannon bones, seem to be very popular bug-biting places on long-ears in southern states. Folks say they get quite bloody, need leg protection. Bugs don't bite the horses on legs like that.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:33PM
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I also agree that you don't need to shave her. My 3 mini's are rolling in the dust and their coats are slowly coming off. By mid-July they are so sleek looking amzes me every year that it's the same animal as the shaggy beast that they are in mid-winter.

My little guy, Merlin, was born on my farm and kept his coat for longer than I could imagine. He's 6 now, but I remember wondering which summer he would finally shed it completely.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 1:20PM
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pprattpratt(7 Tn.)

I have wanted to attempt raising miniature donkeys but never have ventured into it...the closest I am to them is a just kidding(couldn't help myself)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 12:26AM
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Thanks to everyone for all your useful information. We had a vet come out to the house to check KatieKate over and to administer vaccines. He told us to let her hair fall out naturally, that she should lose it before no time. He also said there is really no need to bathe her, which surprised me because she's simply filthy! So all in all, we will feed her 1 flake of hay in the morning and 1 flake at night and give her a handful of feed daily...groom her daily and give her an abundance of love! She is absolutely cute and I love her to death!! Thanks again for the info everyone:)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 3:16PM
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I agree with what others said. Not to clip her. I have three mini donkeys, and the young ones really get long coats, but it's there for a reason! They'll get more normal looking in a couple years! As long as she has shade if she wants it, and fresh water, she should be fine. Does she have any friends? Donkeys really do prefer the company of other donkeys (a great excuse to get another one!) but can do ok with a horse, goat, sheep, something other than a donkey. They will be very lonely without something. And may get very loud. They love us as their people, but we cannot be with them 24 hours a day, and no matter how hard we try, we can't be another donkey/animal.

Whatever you do, don't let her get away with cute little things now. I have one donkey that was spoiled up until she came here, and it is very difficult to break these habits....she can be a very naughty donkey, but we love her anyway! Love her of course, but make sure she also respects you. I also have a young one, she's 9 months old, and she's getting quite pushy, and we're working on that. A pushy 9 month old is cute. But a pushy adult...not so cute. One may think mini donkeys are harmless. Well, they are still very strong little buggers! =)


    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 4:15PM
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Clipping should really be just for the show ring. I recomend a Mars Coat King to remove the winter coat. (30 blade)

Heres my guy holding his head high after i got most of his winter coat off this year.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:59PM
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Luke is so handsome! Great chocolate color.

Mine are just finishing shedding their coat, it's been a very cool year so far. So they are just beginning to get that very slick look, before they start growing their hair back again.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 12:49PM
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Hello; i don't own Minature or any other Donkey but I like to see the Breeds; I agree; I too think the Fur creates protection for the Donkey from both the sun and cold; I like the idea someone mentioned of the Shag Cut; clipping the longer fur around the tummy and legs; and leaving fur on back for protection; my comment is: re: Bug Bites; a. Vaseline can be smeared on the shins to protect from bites
b. Zinc Oxide Creme (in a tube) can be dotted on bites and spots; such as any spot blemish bug bit of unknown cause...
c. Thiamine Vit. B1 can be added to water to ward off bugs; (the Donkey drinks the water; bugs don't like the smell of Vitamin B1 Thiamine which will be on donkeys self!
There are many Natural ways to keeps bugs away...Nice Pix!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 11:26AM
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I was talking about mules not donkeys,i would like to know why mules roll in the mud in the winter time?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 11:09AM
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i would all so like to know about sheep and lambs.And do they get a long with other goats? And when is a good time to take my lamb out side?

Here is a link that might be useful: garden web

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 3:37PM
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We have a Jennet that was pregnant when we bought her, but she either aborted or had a false pregnancy because she didn't foal. We would like to try again, but have been unable to find a Jack in our area (We are very remote) so we are thinking about trying AI. We are looking for suggestions and sources. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 8:46AM
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