why do my mini donks pee in their shed?

booboo60August 24, 2010

I have 2 mini donks, Pete and Penny. They are both about 1 yr. old and Pete is a gelding. We have had them since Feb. and they are so sweet and lots of company. My husband and I put shavings in their shed and they go in there every night and bed down. What we can't figure out is that they pee in there!? We just changed out their shavings and Pete went right in there and went pee!!! Of course, since it is summer the smell is so strong!!! Is there any way we can get them to quit peeing in their shed??


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LOL .. sorry to laugh ... they always seem to come into the barn right after I clean their stalls, and pee or poop.

No, I don't think there is anything you can do to get them to stop. Half the time, I think they are just marking their place.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 1:17PM
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I wondered that too, if they just are marking but was hoping maybe the shavings were the wrong kind or something. Should we water down that "spot" in there or just keep changing out the shavings? The smell is so strong and then to think they lay down in that every night!!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 1:33PM
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I actually use shavings to capture their urine, and to make it easier to scoop out their stalls. I scoop out their stalls usually every nite ... it keeps the flies down in the summer, and really needs to be done when they are in the barn all the time in the winter.

You can usually just scoop out the are where they have peed, and then add new shavings as needed. I buy 10 bales of shavings at a time ...

The smell seems to dissipate over time. My stalls are big enough that they don't usually lay directly in their pee spot. Sometimes they obviously do, and I can tell in the morning, but not usually.

Are you sure they are actually laying in it?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I imagine they are the same as horses and what I have found is Stallions will pick a spot and go only in that spot with great accuracy, Mares will pick a section like a side and geldings well they go wherever, they don't care.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:57PM
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We have been replacing their shavings every other day or so but even when we put new shavings down the smell is horrible!
Dh even tried watering down the"spot" but doesn't seem to help. Not sure if they lay right on the pee but even close would be stinky!! Would straw work any better? What kind of shavings do you get?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:03PM
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My 2 gelded boys have one pee spot in each of their stalls, they don't pee all over their stalls. My jenny has 2 spots in her larger stall she pees in.

twotogo ... maybe I'm used to the smell? I've had my donkeys for 10 years ... I only think it smells the worse right after they pee. I guess the whole barn has different odors, so maybe I just don't notice it.

I just use wood shavings ... they come in a plastic covered bale. I don't necessarily replace all the shavings, it's more like scooping out the nasty stuff and replacing what I've scooped. I think straw would be worse.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:02PM
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sunshinetm(z5 MI)

I sprinkle some type of Lyme in my stalls, they sell it at farm stores, made specifically for this (I can't think of the name). It is similar to stall dry but much cheaper. It neutralizes the ammonia smell in the urine so it isn't so strong. I have to do this all of the time if I stall my horse because he has breathing problems & the ammonia smell is hard on their lungs. I have heard that some times horse don't like when their urine splashes up on them so they will pee in bedding & such because it prevents it from splashing up. I am not sure if this is true in all cases but makes sense to me. In my experience once they start to pee in certain area's they keep peeing there. I usually just throw the wet bedding away & sprinkle the Lyme product down & re-bed when necessary. I also sprinkle this Lyme product out on the ground, in the dry lot where he likes to urinate a lot when I start to smell it, usually in the hot dry summer days, works great & not very expensive if you don't have a lot of animals.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:45PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

Sunshine has it right. They don't like the splashing on their legs that they get when urinating on the hard ground. So, they pee on the shavings.
I'm not sure if you can convince them to start peeing in a new spot -- by spreading a bale of shavings somewhere outside their pen.
Maybe take the shavings out of their stall for a few days --or just a light layer. Do they aim for one spot -- keep it bare there. They're bright - will only take once or twice to teach them it splashes in the stall.
We have a mini horse mare -- she walks into her stall at night, and pees within a minute of walking in. Every night. Without fail.
Or train them to pee when you whistle, like race horses. once you get them trained, whistle when they're outside. Good luck with that

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:01AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Adding powdered lime or things like PDZ, cut the ammonia smell a great deal. Do you have rubber mats in the stall floors? Having the mats under bedding, lets the sawdust/shavings absorb better, so urine gets removed and not soaked into the dirt.

Do the animals have salt blocks either white or both white and mineral salt? With smell being quite strong, I wonder if the donkeys are drinking enough water to thin out the urine. We add pickle salt or feed salt from the elevator, to our horse's grain. Not a lot, usually a half tablespoon for LARGE horses, but salt makes them all drink better. More water intake is always good, helps keep the ammonia watered down to reduces smell. In winter when horses normally drink less with cold water, we give them a tablespoon each. I believe it helps reduce impaction colic, since water intake is higher. Colic is still the big killer of horses in winter, with dehydration being a large factor in colics. I keep a VERY CLOSE eye on how much each horse drinks, you then have time to fix things before trouble happens.

Water intake is a critical issue. If mine are not drinking at least 10 gallons EACH, every day, I am going to have problems. Each animal has a "normal for him" amount, but they need specific water quantities to stay healthy. Stinky urine can be a sign of not drinking well, so I must do something to get quantity up.

Rubber mats are available at places like TSC to go under bedding. Hydrated lime for gardens or barn use is at TSC also. Just sprinkle it on the wet spot and mix the dirt a bit. Don't breathe in the dust, very powdery. Or you can buy stall products that are sort of small pellets, no dust, for keeping smells down.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 11:24PM
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Thanks everyone for the ideas! I'm going to try the lime; I will check it out at the feed store.

As for being hydrated I am pretty confident they drink plenty of water and they do have a salt lick that hangs on a bracket in their shed. This is where the mini donkeys differ from horses. These donkeys are a desert and dry climate animal. Another reason they are such easy keepers, they have been used to sustaining themselves on very little. Probably the thing they do the most is roll in the dirt, several times a day through all the seasons but more in the summer. And after they roll they don't shake like a horse, so funny. Gotta love 'em!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 12:05AM
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Every single time I lay clean shavings in the stalls our goats, mini pony, horse will go in and pee. They do "mark" their territory. If I'm there when they do it I immediately scoop it out. I also us sweet PDZ for the oder helps tremendously. Their stalls are scooped out 3 times a day, breakfast, dinner and bed. You actually save on shavings by cleaning more often than not.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 9:36AM
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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

I don't have a farm or farm animals, but check out "Farm Life" every once in awhile.

I can recommend EM-1 (Effective Microorganisms) for odor control/elimination.


The experience I had with the product was when I had to replace the septic tank with its associated odors. The tank was at ground level, plastic, and had cracked. Effluent was present at the surface. Two days after application of EM was made the odor was gone.

The URL below is for what they call the Activation process. The product can be used directly from the bottle diluted as per instructions or "Activated" and then used at the same dilution ratios.

"Activation involves taking one part EMÂ1®, 1 part molasses, and 20 parts water." At these ratios, the EM-1 is brewed to make 20 times more solution.



Here is a link that might be useful: Livestock Odors

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 5:13AM
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ok i know the answer ..Because They Can..

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 11:29PM
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I am the proud mom of two minis, both girls, both about 7 years old. We live on Long Island, New York. When I first got them, I made sure they had a nice warm barn area for shelter and sleep. With time I realized that they only used the barn for protection during the worst of active rain or blizzard -- and of course to pee. They even preferred to sleep on the snow. We have plenty of trees and even my kids' old swing set with a platform that they stand under during mild rain. I now only open the barn when I expect bad weather. They have gotten out of the habit of going in just to pee. I save a lot on shavings and mucking and smell and they are as happy as can be. Bottom line -- maybe consider closing the barn as long as they have some outdoor protection from unexpected weather changes.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:20AM
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I have two mini horses and three mini donkeys. I call them my little piggies. I gave up on the bedding a long time ago. Nope, no bedding inside. If they want to lay down, they can go outside and do it.... if I put bedding down, they just pee on it. So I got rid of the bedding and threw down rubber mats. If they pee on that, it's gonna splash all over their legs, so they don't pee in there anymore. They do poop a TON. If I don't get it cleaned out daily (I was laid up for a week, and did the bare minimum, and they had a nice pile going, but it's a large area), once they had poop to cushion the pee, they'd start peeing in there too. I can't get them to stop pooping in there....but the pee has stopped. I used to use PDZ....but it is actually more expensive than something else I found that works amazingly well! DE! Check it out....diatomaceous earth, you want the food grade kind, the brand I get is Perma guard. Look up diatomaceous earth, and you may be converted! And a 50 pound bag was only like $20, and lasts me a LONG time....I use it in my stalls, my litter boxes in the house, and my chicken coop. You can use it in your garden too. And it works better than the PDZ, I think.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:01AM
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The reason is as old as donkeys themselves, lots of graze animals defaecate and urinate in their bedding. We are taught as Vets that the main reason is because the combination of Uria and/or feces in the bedding causes a chemical reaction that creates warmth. Not a lot but some. It's as simple as that.
The comment about urine splattering on their legs is simply not true, as a vet for over 35 years, I've observed the majority of equine don't seem to mind their urine splattering on their legs. If you are lucky enough to have an animal that avoids doing that, you are indeed blessed. None of my donkeys or horses care about getting splattered and need more grooming because of it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 2:43AM
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Also lime and other caustic odor absorbers are EXTREMELY bad for the respiratory health of graze animals. I believe it is sold at feed stores for pigs, chickens and dog breeders, not suitable for the barn where animals that will graze their bedding or nose in their bedding. If you MUST use something to treat odors in your barn because you cannot clean often enough to keep the odors down, use baking soda or kitty liter treated with baking soda. Lime is bad!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 2:53AM
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i agree with bulldinkie- because they can. i grew up on a dairy farm, the kind where there were stanchions that the cows stood in to be milked, not what they use now which is called a milking parlor. we used barn lime ( which is what you buy at farm stores and is white) we never limed when the cows were in there but after they went out. the reason it is white is to deter flies and other bugs. also lime helps speed decomposition which is why people that bury things in shallow graves in the woods use it. field lime which is still just lime is not white but the color of sand and not ground as fine and not very dusty. it is more like small flakes of rock ( which is exactly what it is) if you drive into farm country in the fall you will see piles of it in the fields waiting to be spread. it is purchased by the cubic yard, usually in ten yard loads. i don't know of another way to buy it unless you contact a farmer and make a deal. it is really cheap but having to buy so much would probably last you a lifetime or you could go in with a friend or two or three and split it up. it is really heavy ( a five gal bucket is about 70 lbs) also on the farm we only cleaned sheds (not the barn where we milked which got cleaned after every batch of cows) in the spring. after the bedding gets to a certain depth the urine soaks in and is not as bad at all,( kind of like a compost pile) but don't expect an animal shed to not smell like an animal shed

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:45AM
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