Here they are in paddock that allows them access to wooded areas part of the time. Donks are very inquisitive and will investigate novel thing in their territory. They instinctively will go after dogs, coyotes and (in our area) coywolves with their front hooves. It is recommended to have at least 2 standard sized (as they are social animals and they need backup for some intruders).

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Location: Scottsville NY

Comment by Joe Connelly on January 12, 2020 at 7:59am
Have you ever had your small ruminants fenced with something less predator proof than electric netting with your donkeys around? I am already committed to training dogs, but an herbivorous guard animal sounds great.

I have a neighbor who has had sheep in the electric netting without any coyote attacks since the stuff came out, and we have a thriving coydog population. Especially down by the river where they pasture their sheep.
Comment by Nan Grambo on January 18, 2020 at 4:19pm

I had a single donkey to guard sheep & goats at one time. I still had a lot of canine attacks (neighbor dogs, feral dogs, coyote) that the donkey didn't prevent. Maybe the problem was that I only had one donkey. One day, I saw that donkey pick up one of the goats by the scruff of the neck and throw it 15 feet. I sold the donkey.

I now have livestock guardian dogs and haven't had any loss of sheep or goats since then. I haven't trained my LGDs to chickens, and I have one male LGD who simply can't resist the game. So if a chicken gets in with the dogs, it's done.

Comment by Joanne Vaughn on April 22, 2020 at 9:29pm

Donkeys as guard animals are not without their issues. These 2 are very inquisitive and frisky. THey investigate everything with their mouths. For example, any tool that is put down for a minute, any irrigation hose supplying their trough, the slightess sound in the far pasture. This winter they investigated their shed roofing :(. They play rough with each other and they would play rough with sheep. We consider these 2 in training. We do not put them in with ewes and lambs. They do not recognize the lambs as sheep. We can put them in with ewes and rams. Since they are young geldings they are in training and we keep a close watch on them and do not leave them in there over night. Most of the time they are in an adjacent paddock that gives them access to paddocks surrounding the sheep. We have had no issues with coyotes in this configuration. We do not see tracks in the back fence line anymore. Our neighbor who hunts coyotes routinely shoots a few every year so they are out there but not in our sheep paddocks. We apparently lost 1 sheep in a paddock that the donkeys cannot patrol. I think their smell alone is the greatest deterrent. 

LGD's have their issues also. They are more expensive to keep for food, vet, and licensing, if they get out of their fencing there are serious liabilty issues. Having herbivores is definitely a positive.Another often overlooked benefit of the donks is they clean up the sheep parasites when we graze them behind the sheep in the paddock rotation. 


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