Donkeys vs. coyotes

marilyn_c(z9 Tex.coast)June 6, 2010

I have been offered a free jenny and her female foal. Is it true that donkeys will keep coyotes run off? I am having problems with them killing/eating my cats.

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Some donkeys will chase coyotes away from the pasture. Some won't. You may come out to find a dead donkey and a half-eaten foal.

Keep the cats INSIDE and the coyotes can't get them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 1:49PM
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marilyn_c(z9 Tex.coast)

Thanks for your advice. They are barn cats.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 6:14PM
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It's true.

I'm not a big fan of donkeys as guardians. IMO they are just another prey animal. To deter a predator you need a predator, fight fire with fire, or a gun.

Having said that, the mother will protect the baby. How big is the coyote pack? Guestimating if she's a full size (not a mini) she may fare well against 1 or 2 coyotes. Any more than that, and likely you will find a dead foal, maybe mama too depending on her age & experience. A 2nd adult donk would be better for the foals sake. The good part is it't summertime time of plenty. Chances are the yotes are looking for easy prey, and are not desperate for food, though maybe to feed a large litter. They can't risk getting hurt while they have pups to feed.

If 3 or more yotes, while the mom is busy, one likely will be after the foal from behind. When the foal is older, they'll probably make a great yote fighting team.

Having said that, I've read the fixed males do better as guardians. Keep in mind my research was geared towards donkey guardians (of livestock), not patrollers (of land). So the male preference notation thing may not apply.

Google donkeys as guardians. You should come up with many results. Please keep in mind though, that the predation level of each response can make a big difference in the satisfaction of the poster. Often people don't brag about their failures, only their successes.

Good luck.
(p.s. personally, IF I wanted a donkey, and I said IF, I would get them, locking them inside a secure area at night until the foal was old enough, at least 8 mos to a year, at which point I'd let the coyotes learn a few lessons).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Wow Brendasue. That was very interesting.

Who would have thought that a coyote would be afraid of a Donkey?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:23PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Be aware that donkeys are extremely noisy with a horrible loud frequent bray. If you get donkeys, your neighbors aren't going to be happy. They are much worse than barking dogs and their noise carries further.

I doubt that a donkey will run off coyotes. They sure as shootin' will NOT defend a barn cat.

Your best bet to protect the cats is to have shelter in several locations that they can get into, where the doorway is too small for a coyote to enter.

You can run coyotes off with the right dog. It has to be a very big and very tough dog. My next door neighbor had his Rottweiler attacked by coyotes. (admittedly, coyotes are huge in my area.)

The coyotes were terrified of my Scottish Deerhounds: 120 pounds, 32 inches tall, 40 mph, and thousands of years of warriors in their pedigrees. But I wouldn't trust a sight hound to not kill the cats and save the coyotes the trouble. Plus, Deerhounds are not outdoor dogs. They are couch potatoes.

I don't think any dog will protect barn cats. A herding breed might protect the family house pet. They are unlikely to protect barn cats and most herders are too small to battle a pack of coyotes.

Coyotes can and will kill dogs.

I once got tricked into taking a llama for coyote protection. The stupid thing was terrified of dogs and coyotes, and I'm sure the only reason that the coyotes didn't kill the llama was that it smelled so foul that they didn't want to try eating it.

You could get a pair of Great Pyrenees or Maremmas. They won't protect your cats, but they will sure run the coyotes off your property

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:03PM
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Oregonwoodsmoke you are incorrect.

There are dogs that will protect barn cats. Among those are the livestock guardians, which include Maremmas and Great Pyrenees, and other breeds depending individuality. Individual quirks and non-representative of the chosen breed are of course an exception, why one should buy from reputable breeders.

I can speak for the G.Pyrs, as we own them (instead of the donkeys I wrote of earlier, hence my post that resulted from my research). Great Pyrs will protect whatever they have bonded to, be it a cat, duck, goat sheep, and yes even a rabbit or `whatever. The key is bonding. But the OP is not asking about dogs, but donkeys.

Please do your research prior to posting such statements, newby's are depending on the experiences of forum members to make the best choices for their situation.

No the donkey will not protect the barn cats, but the donkey will run off coyotes if they are not outnumbered. Google it they can be quite effective given circumstances. By running off coyotes the barn cats have a safer place to perform their duties of keeping rodents under control.

Now before anyone blasts me, please re-read my post. The donkey can be effective depending on the level of predation (i.e. how many coyotes there are-we do not know that because the OP has not been back to respond with that answer). Any animal can become overwhelmed. It is up to the owner to determine the level of threat and meet or exceed that level with a counter-plan.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:08AM
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magic_az Who would have thought that a coyote would be afraid of a Donkey? Predators are unwilling to risk much injury because they have to be back out there hunting tomorrow. So an aggressive herbivore can often run them off.

A friend's two mares took care of a couple of roving Rhodesian Ridgebacks. One mare drop-kicked a dog over the corral fence (grabbed its neck ruff in her mouth, flipped it into the air, and spun and kicked it with both hind feet before it hit the dirt) while the second mare pounded the other dog into the corral dirt with her front hooves. All this happened before the horses' owner could run to the corral from 30 feet away, and while the dog owner was yelling "get back here" to his unleashed dogs.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:05PM
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"A friend's two mares took care of a couple of roving Rhodesian Ridgebacks."

Glad to hear the story about the mares ended up in the horses favor. Much better than what happened in the story below. Figures the dogs were off the leash and not being supervised by the owner. What a shame they weren't properly trained to stay away from livestock. I've read that donkeys don't like dogs either unless they have been raised together.

A link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Here's a link to the newspaper story:

They don't know how the horse died, only that the dogs attacked with the girl on it's back, she was thrown, and the horse ran. There were several speculations.

I'm not saying 2 dogs can't hurt a horse, it happens all too frequently, only that the horse was at a disadvantage with 1. The rider on it's back, 2. reins & probably a bit still in it's mouth & dragging, and 3. a saddle on it's back.

IMO those dogs should be shot. $300.00/year in the towns pocket is not going to stop them from attacking again. It's not going to keep the next horse safe, the children in the neighborhood safe, or someone's chickens in their backyard safer. That poor girl could have gotten seriously hurt (not to mention the mental trauma she has endured), or the dogs could have easily turned on her in their frenzy. Dogs are much worse than any wild animal when it comes to frivilous chasing/killing/playing. Geesh.


Here is a link that might be useful: Newspaper Story

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:56PM
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Don't forget that coyotes travel in packs, and a pack of coyotes is significantly different than a single animal. A pack of coyotes could easily take a donkey, certainly a foal.

Also, there is the problem of coydogs. People who dump their dogs in the country or let them run loose are introducing new genetic material to any coyote packs in the area. We had a coy-Dane (yes, someone's great dane bred with coyotes and at least one of the pups survived) that ran with a large pack in my area for years, until a neighbor took careful note of their habits, discovered a spot on my land where they came to drink regularly, and asked for (and got) my permission to set up a blind and take that thing out.

It didn't end coyote predations in my area, but it sure cut down on them. That thing was huge and very very aggressive, and once it was gone, the pack went back to more normal coyote behavior.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:40PM
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And I take issue with the statement that donkeys are "extremely noisy with a horrible loud frequent bray". Another generalization that is not true.

My donkeys are not frequently loud ... my youngest tells me to get up and feed him when I sleep in on the weekends. And they occasionally bray when they are having fun running the pasture, kicking up their heels.

We have coyotes ... I do put my 3 mini's in their stalls at night, I started doing that when Sambina was pregnant with Merlin and have never stopped doing it. Merlin is now 6. We also can have bear and bobcats.

I've watched the donkeys chase deer and dogs out of their pasture, they are very territorial. They are also very sweet!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:51PM
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I beg to differ on the pack idea. I foxhunt and have for years. Our primary game is chasing coyote. (we never hurt them)
In all my years, I have never seen a pack of coyotes. Only singles and pairs.
Wolves are pack animals. If coyotes are seen in packs they are almost always part dog.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:35AM
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My neighbor's donkey bit his german shepherd's tail off. I not sure that they are that protective, maybe that just don't like cayotes or anything that looks like one

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:37AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

It's common to see coyotes in groups of 4-6 at the kill, or right as they are going back to their den.

They don't run side by side. They spread out over a large area and one will try to drive the prey to one of his buddies.

I see a lot of single coyotes, but always assume that where there is one, there are others spread out in the area.

Where there are guard dogs on sheep, some of the coyotes will try to lure the dog away, or keep it busy, while another sneaks around to the other side of the flock.

I've run coyotes with sight hounds, and it is always just one coyote (except where the pack comes back together to cross my farm), but that doesn't mean that there aren't others in the area that are part of a hunting unit.

A pack had to cross my farm to get to their nest and I'd see them gathering at the fence line. Once 4 or so of them were all together, they'd dash as fast as they could run, all together, every coyote for himself.

I'd watch them gather, and as soon as they were inside the fence and running, I'd release the dogs. It didn't matter how many times they were caught, rolled, and roughed up, it never stopped them from coming back.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 12:53PM
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