a few months ago I purchased a typically gentle donkey and 5 sheep for her to guard. Generally she is good to them and moves them throughout the pasture however on occasion she becomes aggressive and chases them. Her head is down, ears back and typically singles one out. It seems to be a little random, but also when she thinks she is due a treat or just some grain feed and doesn't get it(almost as if she is being ignored or she stomach was prepared for something and not getting it.
she has bitten the tips off two of the sheep and I have walked out, just after I saw threw the window her chasing them, and seen one laying down and not wanting to get up.
Other than trying to be very consistent with snacks and feedings what can we do to keep her from this. Yelling does not stop her unless I quietly run close to her and then yell( diffcult to really run up to her anyways). I can only think of getting one of those electric/shock dog training collars, if I can find one big enough. She can be standoffish and a little difficult to pet so It would be hard to catch her and punish her say by putting her in another pen. I had a horse growing up and this is my first donkey.
Is the donkey a jenny, a gelding or a jack? If it is a jack (stud) it will probably always be too aggressive.
Other than that, they may need time to get used to each other - in pens next to each other for a while. We ran donkeys with our goats out in central Texas without any problems - but they were always geldings.
Also, how old are the sheep? Sometimes a donkey may want to really control the sheep and if they are too young and won't stay together the donkey might get a bit rough to try and enforce her/his rules.
posted 2 years ago
Donkey is a jenny. They have been together since August and all the sheep are between 4-12 YO.
Sorry, but I have no idea then. Being random makes it harder to figure out. Maybe it has to do with her coming into heat? Guess I would be trying Mr. Google next - asking about aggressive guard donkey with sheep. Gotta be other sheep folks who have dealt with this. Good luck and let us know what you learn,
posted 2 years ago
I thought this is where you go when google does not work...
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 2 years ago
Carol Hill wrote:I thought this is where you go when google does not work...
haha...I think that is so...sometimes things start off slowly though
We had an aggresive donkey that I posted a thread about Here He was not a guard donkey and was all by himself for a period of time...he was only with us briefly.
Had the donkey and sheep been together when you bought them or only just met at your place?
I am not sure how much of the guard instinct comes naturally or if they need some guidance?
I thought I understood that a guard donkey would never make a good pet...wondering what life was like for your donkey before you?
Anyway, in the thread that I linked to above there are more links to donkey training sites that might be helpful and some good advice in the thread itself.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
Havinng a gelding in with her could help. Donkeys get aggressive when they are bored - it's just entertainment to them, so having another donkey could curtail that. Though there are risks to the sheep in adding another donkey, also, so that would have to be weighed. backyardherds.com might be a place to find more info on sheep and donkeys together.
hau Carol, sorry but I just found this thread, I hope I am not to late for you.
Donkeys, contrary to all popular belief are not one bit like horses or even mules. They have a mind of their own and they use it all the time, you have to gentle a donkey, trying to break it doesn't work.
They do make great guard animals, but they need one of their own kind or an attentive owner who will spend time with them every day, otherwise they do get aggressive and keep in mind these animals are quite capable of taking on 3-5 coyotes and winning the battle by killing the coyotes.
Donkeys can reach their head with their rear hoofs their head can turn and bite flies that are on the rear leg without moving anything but their head. These animals are not what you could call inflexible and their mouths can open incredibly wide and they do have very strong bite power.
The likeliest reason the donkey is being aggressive towards the sheep is that they are being perceived as getting food that the donkey wants to herself, that makes them a threat in her mind. If there is plenty of choice grass, great, no worries.
If the supply of choice grass gets low, that is when the jenny will stake her claim to it.
I use carrots to get her attention and cooperation. when working with my jenny.
Something I failed to mention in my first post; If you are giving the sheep any kind of feed, the donkey will most likely want some and she will chase the sheep off the feed so she can eat it herself.
Foods that you would not think about with a donkey include hog feed, chicken feed, dog food and treats. Any of these being around can make a donkey Food Aggressive and any of the intended for animals are subject to being chased away so the donkey will have it all to her self.