My donkey has a lot of ear wax, would there ever be a need to clean the wax out? I am new to donkeys. This one is two months old and his mother died. So, I am his mama. Not sure what or how his mother would groom him.
My experience with animals (and people) is that waxy ear buildup is a sign of a stressed body, immune system, or digestive tract. If the stressor is corrected or removed the ear wax should clear up, assuming it's not at a critical point. A totally plugged up ear can cause damages to the ear.
If it were my donkey I'd start by evaluating what he's eating and start there. That's usually the culprit when I see gunky ears on my farm. Second would be chemical exposure; airborne, foodborne, etc.
My donkey gets milk replace 4 times a day along with Pro Elite Growth and hay & grass. He is 2 months old. We were going to get him when he would be 6 months, but when his mama died, the people ask us if we could take him and raise him. Maybe the stress could be a factor. He has been through a lot. Also any specifics on what to do about the nipping constantly when I am near him?
I'll mention it gently and lightly; I personally am not a fan of milk replacers for the reasons that I see a lot of 'poor condition' babies who are on it. There's a LOT of strong opinion about this subject both ways and I'm not trying to stir the pot. I also understand that milk isn't always available, especially in the quantities a large animal needs. I'm not saying milk replacer is bad, just that it seems to result in poor quality fur, skin, and other immune- and condition related things. Some people just consider these things normal, a "normal part of childhood' kind of thing, something they 'grow out of'. If, per chance, the formula is contributing to the gunky ears, keeping them clean until weening would be the solution there. Store-bought 'formulated' feeds may also lend to this, as they are often heavily processed and contain dyes, preservatives, and other processing chemicals that bodies don't like very much. Just my $.02, my own opinions based on my own experiences
The nipping, I have no idea. I'm not a horse person (I'm assuming donkeys have similar social dynamics to horses). Horses love to bully me and I never quite manage to speak their language. Pretty much every other animal I've been around I've figured out how to speak on their level. Not the equine variety though, alas. Hopefully someone else will chime in on that My only suggestion would be set hard and consistent boundaries with the little stinker, but what that looks like for a donkey I don't know. I usually try to think in terms of "what would mama animal do if baby was doing this to her?"
I don't know much about donkeys. Do you have a herd of horses or donkeys already? I want to mention this first because more often than not, orphaned foals without a herd grow into a large unmanageable animal, which is often exacerbated when the people raising it don't speak horse. The horses I've seen raised like this, without a herd and by people that don't speak horse, end up quite aggressive. I don't know donkeys...I know horses. I simply wanted to bring this up in case it is helpful. Do lots of research on the subject if needed, it's going to be a large strong animal.
For the nipping, Warwick Schiller has a pretty good video on the topic...all his videos are good. ;-) Being that you have a foal though, it may be a bit different reason for the nipping? Also, I know horses, not donkeys, and I don't know if the same principles work for donkeys.
My Food Forest - Mile elevation. Zone 6a. Southern Idaho <--I moved in year two...unfinished...probably has cattle on it.
I worked with horses for a few years when I was young, mostly racehorse farms (that was the only local employment where I lived). Bringing the breeding stock in and out from the paddocks was part of my job and I would do anything to avoid the broodmares and foals. I got bitten so badly, so often, that I took it as a given I was going to get bitten. Generally in the small of my back or in the butt. To this day I see a foal and my first thought is to watch its muzzle rather than "oh how sweet".
Like Joshua says, orphaned foals were even worse- usually picked up all sorts of bad habits since they had no other peers to bite them back and teach them that roughhousing has its limits.
I don`t know what the plans are for the donkey but when you`re working with horses you want to avoid anything that will make them sensitive about their head in the future, so flapping your arms or yelling or swatting them is probably not a great response.
With a foal, (very much like the video describes, it`s funny) I was taught that after a bite you pinch/twist the bottom lip (IMMEDIATELY, or they won`t get it) like another foal would do to discourage them. And like the video, i preferred to turn it into scritches/petting instead. The thing is, the foal needs to be halter trained, because if it`s bouncing all over the place, you`re not going to be able to keep track of where its head is and you`re going to get bit. Maybe halter training the foals also distracted them from wanting to bite, who knows. Again, though....this is what I would do for a horse, I also don`t speak donkey.
Dinner will be steamed monkey heads with a side of tiny ads.
Binge on 17 Seasons of Permaculture Design Monkeys!