Donkeys still looking for winter homes

icestationzebra

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Bless them. They deserve a nice rest over winter.....However - how come the equine charities are involved in trying to find them homes? Why can't the people that 'operate' the donkey's over the summer months give them a suitable winter rest? Maybe I'm wrong but they appear happy to work these animals all summer and then want to offload them when they aren't bringing any money in!!

I hope they are offering to pay for their keep, or at least covering the charities time in terms of resource being spent on this!

A donkey is for life - not just for the lucrative summer months.

Something about this story has really got my back up! Can you tell
 

ladyt25

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I'm with you on that one - it annoys me every year. Why can't the people who own them source their own winter paddocks and use them each year? Where do the donkeys go during the summer months - how come the same places aren't suitable for winter??

Charities make it too hard to rehome donkeys anyway, there are far too many criteria and stipulations you have to meet!
 

MurphysMinder

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I just hope they check out the homes carefully, would hate totally unsuitable people to take donkeys just because they are cute. Although not as high maintenance as horses they do have certain needs, and a shelter is very important. I do agree though it is a bit of a cheek, wonder if I could find anyone to take my lot on for the winter, and I would just have them back when the better weather comes along.
 

rocketdog69

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I presume the people who operate on the beaches in the summer have to have a licence to do so????? If this is the case then the council who grant the said licence shoudnt grant it unless the donkeys can be provided for during winter months. Every aspect of care for the donkeys should be looked at prior to a licence being issued. As per "A dog is for life and not just for xmas" so should donkeys be looked after all year round and not just used as money making machines during the summer and then virtually discarded.

Poor little beggars. They deserve better.
 

carthorse

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I was furious when I read this, they use them all summer and want someone to keep thenm in the winter. Can someone also keep me horses in the winter , please.
I have heard of trekking centres doing this as well. What a cheek. I agree about the licenses and think we should all write to the council about this
 

stencilface

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I think the donkey charities specify that you:
must take a pair of donkeys,
must have someone living onsite,
must have post and rail fencing,
must have access to shelter

I know the last one is sensible, but the others seem a little strange. Quite a lot of horses/donkeys survive perfectly well without the other 3 stipulations!


It does seem odd that the owners of these donkeys are allowed to do this - I would take one on - but not without someone paying for it!
 

icestationzebra

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This is what made me so cross. They will want them back soon enough come Spring


They are working animals - I see that, but whatever your business it is your responsibility to look after and service your equipment. I guess that they would want them wormed, fed, feet trimmed etc over winter. No different to servicing your trucks if your business is haulage.
 

ladyt25

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Yep, that's it - can't possibly take one on its own even if you have other horses etc (dunno why we had one who lived for years with out horses no probs).

Post and rail fencing (how many people actually have this all round?) and you have to live on site. Again - why? We don't and our horses have been fine for over 20 years (obviously we have seen them in those 20 years! Lol).

Access to shelter is pretty much a given but no doubt they have 'rules' about what is deemed a suitable shelter too!
 

MurphysMinder

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Donkeys do form real pair bonds, I wouldn't like to think of one living on its own, and if they are lonely they certainly make a noise about it. Mine is also very good at eating his way through hedges so that may be a reason for the stipulation of post and rail fences, as wire is never ideal. Can't see why there would be a problem with the owners not living on site, unless they just like there to be people about the place.
 

Spudlet

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Donkeys pair bond really closely, so company is important. If one of a pair bond dies, it is not unknown for the other to simply die as a result.

The other fact I know about donkeys is that they will pretend to graze even if they can't actually eat - apparently because they are not able to run away from danger as well as horses can it's important for wild donkeys to make sure they look strong and healthy at all times, to discourage predators. So they are very stoical when they are sick, and this can include even pretending to keep grazing when they are actually starving


They come from hot dry countries so they don't deal well with cold and rain (they are not waterproof) and their feet are not good in mud either, they need somewhere dry to stand.
 

ladyt25

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Yes they do form bonds and I wasn't suggesting just having one donkey on its own but if you had other horses etc i don't see why it's an issue.

Not all people do have post and rail either. Many people have paddocks split with that thick electric type fencing, others normal stock fencing (if it's ok for sheep and cows etc why not ok for donkeys ?) I know I know, sheep wire isn't ideal believe me I hate the stuff but although we have got rid of most of ours now, again our donkey was absolutely fine in the 14 years we had him when most of our field was sheep netting.
 

stencilface

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I wasn't suggesting keeping one on its own, but I don't get why they can't be kept with horses? I have known ones to 'pair bond' with horses
 

Spudlet

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If donkeys are pair bonded and they are split up they can develop hyperlipaemia which is potentially fatal. Whe you are only talking about introducing the donkeys to a situation for a relatively short time period I can see why they would want to keep two together, encouraging them to pair bond instead of a single donkey bonding with a horse / pony etc which it will then have to be separated from at the end of winter with potentially fatal consequences.

Donkey info here for anyone interested http://drupal.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/files/donkeys/GuideDonkeyCare.pdf
 

Spudlet

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From that guide:
Bonding:
Donkeys can bond very strongly with their companions which has implications for their management.
Donkeys can form lifelong friendships and do not like being kept alone. We recommend that they
are kept with a companion, preferably another donkey. Donkeys can bond very closely with their
friend and may become distressed when they are separated. Some donkeys are bonded so strongly
that even separating them over a stable door can cause them to become stressed. It is, therefore,
unwise to use a single donkey as a companion for a horse or pony, as the donkey may become
distressed when the horse/pony is taken out for a ride.
Bonded donkeys need to be kept together at all times unless directed otherwise by a veterinary
surgeon. If one of the pair is unwell and has to be transported to the vets it must be accompanied by
its friend to avoid stress and the possibility of hyperlipaemia.
A lone donkey will tend to bray as he is hoping for a response from other local donkeys. Donkeys
living alone may bond with other animals living nearby for example: sheep, ponies, cows, goats, geese,
chickens and dogs. A pair of donkeys will live quite happily together, or in a group with other equines.
 

stencilface

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I wasn't actually referring to the beach donkeys - I was referring to what the requirements of rehoming a donkey from a donkey sanctuary are so therefore you'd have the donkeys for life, not just winter


We adopted a horse from the blue cross, that came with a free (read 'pair bonded' if you want to complicate things
) donkey. They were happy as larry, and fwiw I think the donkey was an old beach donkey.....

 

Spudlet

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Oh I see! Well, I guess it comes down to the individual donkey really. But I can see why the Donkey Sanctuary prefers to rehome in pairs as then they can be sure the donkeys will have companionship, and won't have donkeys being returned to them because people sell their horses or ponies on and then find the donkeys can't cope and have to send them back sharpish.

Also I would think that a pair of donkeys will settle much more quickly than a single donkey, at the Donkey Sanctuary they are in herds so are used to company. In your case your donkey came with his friend too, it's just that his friend happened to be a horse rather than another donkey
The fact that it had to be a buy one get one free deal shows how closely bonded they must have been
 

MurphysMinder

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We have had our donkey for 23 years, he was a companion for my old pony and when she died and he was left on his own he pined terribly and I was really worried about him. I spent a couple of days on the phone to everyone I could think of until finally managed to get an ILPH pony as a friend for him. He now lives with our Cushings pony and when she has a lami attack and has to have box rest he has to come in too. I have already decided that if her ailments catch up with her and she has to be pts he will go at the same time
. He is over 30 and I think it would be the kindest thing to do.
 

pootler

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I think whether they bond or not, no matter what conditions need to be met to keep them, it's a damn cheek expecting someone else to look after them for you in the winter!

Also given that they appear to be quite sensitive petals with all their bonding issues. It strikes me that they really should stay under the owners care during the winter months to keep them all in their herd.

I would have thought the charities are up to their eyeballs in much more needy cases than wasting their resources trying to find freebies for the donkey owners.
 

ladyt25

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Well, JM07 I think you would be allowed I am sure!

It is rather cheeky - I would be happy if say I had a regular agreement to take on 2 or more donkeys each winter and I just don't get why they can't have an agreement like this with landowners nearby rather than doing this every year?

I certainly don't disagree with donkeys forming strong bonds but what I'm getting at is the fact that they are 'desperate' to rehome yet they make it quite difficult if you don't tick all the boxes. Mind you, it's similar with the Dogs Trust but I won't get into that.......!
 
D

Donkeymad

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I'm sorry, but what a load of claptrap some of you are talking, and so does the DS, who go way over the top quite often.
Donkeys do need companions, but they can bond as easily with a horse or pony. They don't form such strong bonds that they can develop hyperlypaemia if seperated, they are no more likely to die from grief than any other equine. Stand and pretend to graze?? What utter total nonsense, have you seen a donkey when in danger? neither are they stubborn.

OK. Donkeys do come from hot dry climates and their coats are only shower proof, so shelter in the UK is essential summer and winter. They have a tendency to seedy toe as their hooves also cannot tolerate the wet as well as horses. They require the same level of care as a horse, no pampering but no neglecting either. Post and rail fencing is actually not ideal, as they generally like to eat wood. Normal secure hedging or electric fencing is perfectly fine.They have very very low feed demands, and need straw and not hay, and do not need any hard feed unless working hard, nursing or are elderly or ill.

I work my donkeys, not as much as the beach operators, but I too find it appalling that they rehome them every winter. I believe they pay for trimming, worming and any veterinary care, but this probably varies from operator to operator. I know of one small operator who charges a bl**dy fortune to hire the donkeys, couldn't care less about the customers, has them treated for free by the DS then rehomes them for winter.
This operator doesn't exactly have a lot of donkeys either, I have as many.
However, most donkey operators think the world of their donkeys, and they are rehoming for winter so that they 'get some much loved one-to-one care' for the winter.
(Take that as you please). Many of the donkeys do return to the same homes year after year.
Some large operators wouldn't dream of rehoming for winter.

As for the DS, just don't start me on them,


If anyone would like more information about donkeys, please join www.donkeyforum.proboards.com where sensible donkey owners will answer any questions.
 

SFleetwood

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[ QUOTE ]
I think the donkey charities specify that you:
must take a pair of donkeys,
must have someone living onsite,
must have post and rail fencing,
must have access to shelter

[/ QUOTE ]

Sensible and not unreasonable requirements.

In particular the pairing rule. Donkeys form very strong bonds and a pair should ideally never be split.

The same would go for beach donkeys, where several may need to be rehomed together.
 
D

Donkeymad

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With the donkeys or the forum? Forum not your thing really, but I know a small operator not too far from you looking to rehome donkeys for winter, you can have her details if you want, they don't all get re-homes via the DS.
 

Aru

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Why are they rehoming the donkeys for just winter?
if the donkey needs somewhere to stay for winter then it needs a new home for life!If the owners arent capable of organising their own grazing for their working animals then they should not have them.

are they expecting the donkeys to be returned fresh for another summers work from their free winter pasture?

Disgraceful and i think less of the donkey sancturary for allowing this practice to continue.
 

MurphysMinder

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The donkeys return in the summer to work on the beaches. I too don't agree with the DS helping these owners find a cheap way out, though I suppose they feel it is protecting the donkeys.
Re the DBS forum, I registered months ago and am still waiting my approval email
 

WelshD

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I'd love a donkey (or two) but as I dont own my own land I havent yet found anyone to let me rehome a donkey or pony, I have three acres and three stables but apparently as ts rented it doesnt count

I also dont understand the running water and electric requirement on the news report, I have neither yet manage to function perfectly ok

A good home is a good home, if they got off their backsides and went to see the people interested in looking after an animal rather than having tick boxes they might be a bit more sucessful
 
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Round here, you often see a couple or more in farmer's fields over the winter. It's considered bad luck to turf them off and we once had a whole outfit of them (eight!) over winter from Blackpool beach. Their owner came fairly regularly and then took them back at Easter, to start the working season over. Poor buggers still live in stables all summer, just behind the football ground.

There were a couple out with my pony when I was younger and they gave him lungworm
Lungworm don't appear to adversly affect donkeys but they certainly make horses cough.
 

smokeybabes

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We had a beach donkey one winter!
We just had the one and kept it with our 3 ponies!
It was so cute!
Dad used to bring it for walks when I hacked my pony out! Would follow quite happily but wouldn't go infront and couldn't be dragged anywhere but could be driven from behind!!
 
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