The donkey with a personality


I am pretty much sure that Pumpkin would like to see more and more people considering donkeys, thanks to their wonderful personality, as a pet with a good care, just like I did and have never regretted my decision.

Talking about care, never believe anybody saying that leaving a donkey on pasture is OK. It is not! It could be OK for a healthy animal without insulin resistance, and only for no more than about 15-20 minutes a day to limit the intake of sugar. Be especially careful at spring time when grass contains the most of sugar! Wild donkeys live in an environment where rich food is not common, so they are not used to it. That's why Pumpkin suffered from laminitis and founder. The best and safest environment for donkeys and all equines is a dirt. They need a diet low in protein and sugar. The best feed is a grass hay low in sugar or a good quality barley straw which is high in fibre. Both should be given in small quantities throughout the day, not just twice a day like it is common.

There is an excellent 100% sugar free treat Hilton Herballs that can be ordered for your equine here. Hilton Herballs are delicious healthy green small nuggets made from Alfalfa, Wheat Flower and Linseed, mixed with generous amount of Garlic, Mint herb, Oregano herb and Rosemary herb. It was Pumpkin's favorite snack, and the only one she could safely eat.

Contrary to popular belief, donkeys are not stubborn but extremely concerned for their own safety. They need more time than all other animals to evaluate what you would like them to do. Believe me, that little delay in their behavior is a small price to pay for earning their complete trust in you. They are excellent pets: smart, gentle and very loyal to the owner.

Unlike a horse, a donkey recognizes only one master (owner) and it is a very strong, lifetime bond between two of them. It is a very stressful for your donkey if you try to brake this bond. For this reason, you have a great responsibility as an owner because donkeys can live a very long time (in some cases up to 50 or even 60 years; average lifespan of a domesticated donkey is about 40 years, for a wild one is about 27 years).

If you like your donkey, you can keep your donkey but I strongly recommend that you already have your own house with a shelter where the donkey can stay with you. It could be hard to find a ranch that is willing to accept a donkey instead of a horse (don't ask me why?). And even in a case the donkey is accepted, what would you do if the ranch should close for business like it was in my case with Pumpkin? You might not get so lucky at the end like me and find a private place with a shelter...

In the country I am from (Czech republic), a donkey is always a symbol of stupidity. No one can explain me why after my experience with Pumpkin. Donkeys are some of the smartest animals I know. And there is another thing I don't like in my native Czech language: there are certain words, different when you speak about animals and people in general. Animals "žerou nebo chcípnou", meaning they eat or die. If you talk about people you have to use "jedí nebo zemřou". I personally prefer English language in this case because there is no verbal discrimination between animals and people. The only exception of this rule there is a bee which is treated like a human being. Just ask any Czech bee keeper. My grandpa was one of them and therefor I know this.

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