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Is my mini-donkey foal being naughty, or playing with my baby goats?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Horses, Mules' started by MaryZoe, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Apr 1, 2017
    MaryZoe

    MaryZoe Chillin' with the herd

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    My little Rosie (7 month old mini-donkey jennet foal) expresses a certain "interest" in my baby goats. The goats are 2 months old and as sweet and innocent as ever. They have no fear of anything. The goats and donkeys (Rosie and her mom) are usually fine when together out in the back yard, but every so often Rosie seems to get a little excited and chases the goats for a bit. She does not express actual aggression--she stops before she gets too close to them--but I wonder whether she is being naughty and needs reprimanding, or whether she's just having fun. I know how aggressive donkeys can be to goats. I have read of donkeys killing goats. But this looks more like play than aggression. As I write this I get the feeling that it is behavior I should stop (or try to stop), but is there any chance it's all in fun?

    If anyone has experience with this I'd be grateful to hear about it.

    Thanks, MZ
     
  2. Apr 1, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    I'm sure it's great fun for Rosie - and I'm afraid it might not end well for your little goats. I had a mini-donkey who thought it was "fun" to pick up my goats and toss them across the pasture and then try to stomp them with his front feet.

    My experience might be an extreme example - but I've heard other horror stories. Do you have a way to separate them? I'd hate for you to have a horror story of your own to tell someday.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2017
    MaryZoe

    MaryZoe Chillin' with the herd

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    They are separated for most of the day by a fence. In the afternoons, when I get home from work, I let both the donkeys and goats have access to our grassy backyard so the donkeys can graze and the goats can cavort! ;)

    I am usually close by to monitor. I scold Rosie when I feel she's become too rambunctious. Whenever I'm outside the goats are right at my side, so the donkeys have gotten somewhat used to them. The donkeys want to my attention, even if it means the goats are under their feet as much as they are under mine. It seems like the donkeys are getting used to the goats. I have read more horror stories than happy stories about goats and donkeys cohabiting, but I can't help but be hopeful that my critters will be one of the happy stories. Rosie's mom, Lucie, has been surprisingly tolerant of the goats, even allowing them to jump on her back once when they were climbing out of my chicken coop and Lucie happened to be close by.

    We also have an LGD puppy who we hope will eventually live happily with the goats and donkeys (and chickens). I know many donkeys have a natural dislike of dogs, but we will carefully monitor the interactions between the puppy and mini-donks starting in about a week or so (the puppy is 12 weeks now, an Anatolian Shepherd). We just got the puppy and we're keeping them on opposite sides of a fence as well for now. We sure hope they all eventually get to like (or at least ignore) each other!
     
  4. Apr 2, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    good luck! Hope it all comes together for you.