Bringing Your Donkey Home

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bringing your donkey home we are here to

help you that's what this video is about

how to have a plan how to set up your

fences how to pair them up yes donkeys

do much better when they're in twos

guilding x' with gilding Jennie's with

Jenny's going to discuss all of these

issues with you why is this important

most importantly do not throw your

donkey out in a big open field as

that'll probably the last time you'll

see your donkey unless this is a really

old donkey or a really trained donkey

donkeys are smart donkeys have

photographic memories and it takes a

little bit of planning in order to learn

how to train a donkey donkeys are not

horses with long years

donkeys evolved from the desert donkeys

are visual learners there's just so much

for me to teach you but this is the

beginning the most exciting part

bringing your donkeys home if I'd had

known all of this 13 years ago my life

would have been so much easier I did it

the wrong way I brought home a mammoth

donkey that was a year old

a 13 year old mini and a 20 month old

horse and they all live together for a

little while but it really didn't work

out that well so what I'm doing for you

here today will save you tears and money

so you don't have to but make more

paddocks and more shelters and all of

that so welcome to bring in your donkey

home my name is melody Johnson I'm the

trainer of the donkey Whisperer farm and

I trained owners and caretakers of

donkeys worldwide via my videos and my

books have a plan donkeys are not horses

with long ears

donkeys evolved from the desert meaning

donkeys can evaluate a predator a threat

quickly they can look at a bucket and be

afraid to drink out of it it's

interesting isn't it so if we have a

plan and we understand donkey behavior

in donkeys

ecology things will go much easier

donkeys can have post-traumatic stress

just like a human triggers triggers are

such things as a hat a woman a man

depending on the trainer that abused the

donkey what's the easiest donkey to get

and train that would be a baby donkey

that's been weaned from its mother and

never abused by a human Gill Dean's will

always be easier than females because of

estrus we don't do Jack's again have a


decide what donkey you want sighs sex

and what you're going to do with your

farm and how you will keep them healthy

on the farm so that's what this video is

about bringing your donkeys home and

having a plan we want you to keep your

donkeys in their forever home so a

little bit of planning and things will

go much easier when a donkey meets a new

human for the first time in a matter of

seconds this is what a donkey thinks

treat dispenser I will lead this human

bully or abuser

I will never follow this human as a

leader I will never choose to come to

this human on my own sadly this is where

people think donkeys are stubborn a fair

leader I will follow this human anywhere

I will love this human for life yes

donkeys have photographic memories and

they remember things forever never

forget this a donkey is intelligent not

stubborn smart donkeys evolved in the

desert donkeys can act different when we

first meet them after we get the donkey

home the true personality will evolve

people do this too

donkeys can pretend to know nothing with

a new human this is one of the reasons

donkeys are a challenge donkeys are

seriously into self-preservation

it is important to understand the donkey

will demand the new owner proves trust

in Fair leadership before attempting to

train the donkey this can be frustrating

we need to get the donkey in so we can

check the donkey's feet and get the

halter on and get ready for the farrier

and if we don't set our farm up

correctly the donkey isn't going to come

in every animal and human takes time to

have a relationship so here at the

donkey Whisperer farm I am here to help

you with exercises and a plan to train

your donkey and this all begins with

setting your farm up for success how we

set up the farm is really important

never just throw a donkey out in a big

field never number one the donkey will

overeat number two the donkey is so

smart he will decide or she when they

want to come in and the donkey has you

trained so please pair the donkeys up

size matters pair miniature donkeys up

with miniature donkeys standard burro

size donkeys work best together with

their size or even a mammoth mammoth

donkeys with mammoths donkeys why

donkeys play rough

donkeys fight and grab the neck and pull

the buddy to the ground sometimes

bleeding this is not bad behavior if the

size is fair and the sex is fair diet is

easier to maintain when we have the same

size donkeys in the pasture paddock if

we put a gilding in with a Jenny

sometimes the gilding will attack her

and put her on the ground and penetrate

this is not good sometimes the Jenny

will quit eating and going in the

shelter so think about that before you

put a Jenny in with a gilding otherwise

you may have to create another paddock

and get another Jenny for your Jenny and

another gilding for your gilding donkeys

get bored easy this is why having

another donkey

really helps it is impossible for us

humans to spend 24 hours a day with our

donkeys the donkey buddy will keep your

donkey healthy and happy and do exercise

donkeys play with toys it's just really

important and having the REM sleep

yes donkeys lay down and get REM sleep

when they're in a safe environment and

they have a buddy but if they have to

live all alone they can never lay down

they're looking for the predator melody

having two donkeys I'm worried about the

fact that my donkey will bond to the

other donkey and not me is that true no

donkeys bond to the animal that is there

buddy for life yes but when a donkey

trusts their human they will push the

other donkeys away to get to you there's

nothing like having that special

relationship with a donkey when they

choose you and they put their head on

your shoulder and they run to you when

they see you it's amazing so don't think

that it's actually healthier to have

your donkey in balance and harmony think

about people that have to live in

isolation and how it makes them crazy

well that's what happens to donkeys

donkeys really are much healthier and

happier when they have their own species

here's a few tips to help you with your

donkey your donkeys home you've done all

the steps in this video and booklet and

you're ready to get your hands on that

donkey and start working with that

donkey I am so excited for you nothing

is more fun than getting new donkeys

number one the donkey handshake is on

the withers it's right above the

shoulders don't go to the eyes donkeys

have peripheral vision so if you go

right to the face in the beginning

they're going to shy away and walk away

from you go up to the withers and

donkeys love a good scratch pressure and

release you'll learn all about that

pressure can be even walking up to a

donkey you want to we want to back away

and let the donkey catch us right you'll

learn all about that donkey 101 and

1:02 my video series so your donkeys

home what would I do if it when I get a

donkey home what do I do I'm sorry I try

really hard to not mess with that donkey

for at least three days why donkeys are

visual learners donkeys are watching you

to see if the meals are on time the food

the water how you interact with all the

other animals and people on the farm

your voice your energy who are you

they're studying you right so if you can

give them at least three days now if the

donkey is tame and he trusts you and he

comes up to you he chooses to come up to

you then that's when I would begin to

move into donkey 101 and go into my

exercises but give them at least three

days unless they come up to you and

they're friendly okay that's what I was

saying about that I want the donkey to

choose you not force the donkey right

environment when I'm talking to you

about the environment I'm asking you to

think about what part of the world you

live in

donkeys evolved in the desert so their

gift is to survive on dry hard ground

that's why their hooves are shaped that

way when they have to live in a wet area

that stays wet all the time and green

lush brush and grass and tree limbs and

leaves they get sick right so we have to

think about how do we make our farm like

the desert as much as we can to keep

them healthy if you live in Nevada or

Arizona your life is easy you own a

donkey and you live in the perfect

environment for your donkey but if

you're like the most of us and you want

donkeys and you live where it's green

and wet and mud and stuff like that

happens you're happy you're gonna be

really happy to learn how to make the

environment for your donkeys footing and

life to be healthy so what do I do I get


a little bit thicker than sawdust and I


that down every fall before the rainy

season I make the paddock be where I

have the sacrifice area they don't go

out on the tracks you know unless it's

dried out in the winter and I make sure

that my donkeys feet are dry that

there's dry as I can keep them why

because when the foot gets wet it gets

soft and like I said debris and rocks

and things like that will get into the

hoof it's really painful and the donkey

cannot walk

do not put gravel down in your paddock I

know there's books out there that tell

you to do that

I tried it and it did not work it went

into my donkey my namet donkeys foot and

it was a nightmare

the vet had to come out we could not get

the rocks out that it's so painful so

don't do that

just don't do it think about the fact

that you have a donkey and the

environment and pick up the poop every

day make sure that you don't have urine

and poop you know where they're standing

around and rotting their feet out the

environment for the desert a Quine

donkey is so important

think about your farm do you have old

car parts laying around or metal things

I don't know garbage on your farm pick

it up make sure your farm is safe I

guarantee you that your donkey will get

hurt if you leave things around that

they can run and play and push the other

one on and and get hurt so it's really

important that we do a little planning

about the environment and have a plan to

keep our donkeys healthy and happy

biosecurity preparing your donkeys

environment is extremely important if

you have horse poop on the new farm that

you just bought or cow manure or

whatever it's important that you do a

fecal sample with your vet what's a

fecal sample we put a little fresh poop

in a plastic baggie and the vet looks to

see what parasites are in there even

tapeworms can be found this is brilliant

because now we're

of what we've got on our farm and we

know what we need to give our donkeys to

prevent them from getting it right

same thing with shots and making sure we

don't have diseases you want to try to

bring in a healthy donkey into the herd

because if we have a healthy donkey we

just simply put them in without having

to wait now if you're rescuing you must

have them in quarantine and I and I'm

sure all of you know about that the farm

itself you want to make sure that you

have set it up correctly so follow my

procedures on setting up your fences

making sure it narrows into the shelter

with a gate that goes out to the track

or the bigger pasture and that way

everything in your farm will run


but remember biosecurity is really

important and if you don't you want to

learn more ask your vet they will have

tons of information on biosecurity

shelter shelter for donkeys donkey is

vital to their health please do not

think for one moment that donkeys are

easy keepers and can adjust to any

environment and do don't ever need

shelter this is a myth donkeys die of

pneumonia in the winter due to the wet

and cold donkeys are desert deck wine so

please make sure your donkey has a

secure shelter a stall is preferable so

your donkey can lie down feel safe eat

get salt all the food and water should

be in the shelter have the ability to

put your electrical cord for your hot

water bucket in there and understand

that donkeys drink more water during the

cold season with warm clean water

donkeys will drink way more water with

clean water even in the desert when

temperatures reach 80 to 90 degrees

donkeys seek shade each donkey in your

herd needs to be able to get in the

shelter so pay attention do you have a

donkey that's kicking a donkey out of

the shelter then you may have to

change your herd and make another

shelter for that donkey to get out of

the weather and be able to get rest

think about your shelter also as a

sickbay you want to have a stall ready

to go in case of an emergency and the

vet says that you need to do stall rest

also make sure all of your shelters have

doors on them the doors are really

important they're important for donkey

101 and 102 where I'm teaching you to

train we want to be in the shelter where

they're comfortable and they've gotten

used to eating and we could shut the

doors also if we have fireworks we need

to lock the donkeys in have music a

little bit of hay and clean water and

make sure they're safe don't leave them

out in the field with people blowing

fireworks over their head donkeys can

call it quickly and colic is difficult

in donkeys because they don't show pain

until it's too late and many donkeys die

before the vet gets there from colic

make sure all of your electrical cords

are tucked away from your donkeys

donkeys use their mouths like humans use

their hands a donkey will grab and bite

the electrical cord if not hidden away

and can die

we also suggest fans fans help in the

shelter stall for cooling and keeping

insects away

make sure your fans are up high and use

common sense with the cords again please

remember when you're building your

shelter that donkeys are wood eaters in

their natural environment they browse on

wood bushes and trees low sugar low

nutrient browse is the mainstay of their

diet donkeys are not by nature grazers

many people we have helped make this

mistake when building shelters out of

wood within a few years the shelter was

barely standing on his posts if you

choose to build a pole barn your donkey

will simply make a meal of it this is

not cribbing donkeys naturally seek out

logs and wood to chew please be warned

which should never be trained treated or

painted with present preservatives due

to toxins and chemicals your donkeys can

die from paint poisoning as well as

choke on wood products I personally

choose not to give wood to my donkeys

I've seen people that their logs out

there in fact we did it in the beginning

but let me explain what happened mine am

a donkey Rio we would let him go out

into a paddock with a track in the woods

in our first farm and one day he started

blowing bubbles out his nose bubbles the

vet came and after I don't know $1500 a

scoping and tests we found a large chunk

of wood that he had bitten from a log in

his throat and so that took time time to

heal and medicine and it's just I don't

do wood I don't want my donkeys eating

wood I can't afford the vet bill I love

my donkeys I don't sell my donkeys there

here and there forever homes so you make

your decisions about wood but I have no

wood for my donkeys due to due to that


several others with wood

diet the desert a coin the donkey must

have 10% or lower in sugar and protein

hey never feed alfalfa never feet feed

sweet feed or oats donkeys have a strict

diet they evolved in the desert to live

on hardly nothing think about what's in

the desert when you're thinking about

diet they must live on a dry paddock at

least 23 hours a day

never let them eat all day or for 4 or 5

hours out on brush trees leaves green

grass even even brown grass we don't

know how much sugar or protein is in it

so your diet is really important when

you're going to look for hay and you're

going to the hay vendor ask them for

lemon netic hey they'll know what that

is in the horse world ok so the diet is

really really important you don't want

to have laminitis you don't want to have

insulin resistance abscesses fat neck

fat crusty tummy and but with fat

everywhere fat gets into the blood and

it makes them sick the liver gets

damaged the hooves rot out the white

line separates all of this is due to the

diet you the owner is responsible for

your donkeys diet so please be careful

and learn how to feed your donkey

portion control is really really

important and probably one of the

hardest things it took me time to learn

I've been doing this almost 13 years

I like the hey pillow the slow feeder I

put that into the plastic slow feeder

and I am careful about how much hay my

donkeys get I feed twice a day and

that's it so please do your homework

again and get the best hay you can get

low sugar low protein don't be giving

breads watermelon fruits and vegetables

and thinking that they need a Christmas


I recently saw that on social media and

don't do it okay that's just not healthy

for your donkey if you do all the things

that I'm teaching you to do with the

diet your donkey is going to live a long

life and you're going to be so happy

because you don't have to have the vet

out and pay that vet bill but most

importantly you don't have to cry

because your donkeys sick and can't walk

okay the diet affects everything just

like people right think about people

that don't control their diet and that

and the doctor tells them they have to

do this and do this and they don't and

then they cut the foot off that's the

same as in the donkey so diet diet diet

and a dry paddock okay manure

maintenance this is an essential part of

owning a donkey donkeys picking up

donkey manure on a daily schedule helps

eliminate mud wetness parasites flies

and disease checking the manure each day

also gives you the full picture of your

donkeys overall health I love to pick up

the poop I love a clean farm I get to

spend time with my donkeys and I can

make sure that no one is sick I'm always

looking at the rear end to see if I have

diarrhea also that's a tip to health

diarrhea is a big deal diarrhea could be

caused from eating too much green grass

too much protein bushes who knows or

even the neighbors could have fed your

donkeys so be aware of that also stress

diarrhea can be from stress but we don't

want diarrhea

so if you see diarrhea you need to take

care of it immediately

also if the poop they're not pooping

right and if we're not picking up the

poop we don't know what's going on

impact ation and that can be colic and

with donkeys donkeys are stoic with

colic it's usually too late by the time

we know they have colic and we get the

vet here so picking up the poop every

day does all of those things above and

we get time to be with our donkeys and

have a clean farm and keep our donkeys

all the-- think about where you're gonna

put that compost pile right put it on

your farm so when you're building your

shelter think about where the compost

pile is gonna go I just put a plastic

tarp over my compost pile and my husband

uses a the tractor with a fork to turn

it now if you have less donkeys then you

can turn it by yourself it cooks quickly

with just a plastic top over the top and

I put that on the hay field because we

have a tech wine and I put it into my

garden for food and for flowers it's

really really nice the other thing about

composting is you won't have flies

training your donkey every time you step

into your donkeys world you are training

your donkey to do something it is

important to realize that every moment

you are with your donkey you must be a

fair leader the donkey is watching you

the donkey is evaluating you donkeys can

feel deeply and will quickly size you up

as a fair leader a treat dispenser an

abuser a bully never betray a donkey

never let anyone hurt your donkey not an

animal not a human while you watch and

do nothing if you make this mistake your

donkey will not accept you as a fair

leader in fact your donkey will think

you're not a leader at all and they just

won't follow you everything you do is

imprinting and developing neural

pathways in your donkey's brain so be

consistent from the day you bring your

donkey home this is vital please don't

just throw your donkeys in their new

environment and expect to catch them in

a few weeks when the farrier comes

everything takes preparation I'm

training you to train your donkey and

keep your donkey in his or her forever

home so you have a lot of work to do to

get caught up and understand donkey

behavior donkey psychology and donkey

personality all of this is in donkey 101

and 102 with

halters made to fit a donkey in lead

lines and our stick and string to touch

not hit preparation for the farrier all

of that is covered in 101 and 102

donkeys feet should be picked out at

least every other day if you can if you

can't do that then three times a week

that really makes it easier before the

farrier comes but you have to begin

somewhere so look at donkey 101 and 102

when you're working with a donkey you

don't want to stress them out or bore

them remember how intelligent they are

so I ask you to spend no more than 20

minutes a day three times a week if you

have more and you want to do five times

a week that's fine but I wouldn't drill

and do seven toys are essential to

keeping our donkeys healthy and happy

why donkeys are intelligent donkeys get

bored easily

so toys really help our donkeys to bond

with their buddy and stay busy right we

just can't be out there 24 hours a day

with our donkeys when you're bringing in

new toys to your farm understand many

donkeys have never had the opportunity

to relax and play so it's kind of like

people if we're always on guard and

we're stressed out it's really hard to

learn how to laugh and enjoy life right

well for a donkey it's really about the

same deal only a little bit more intense

the donkey survival is based on the

predator by being alert and not playing

that much but protecting the herd and

themselves right they do play in the

wild but probably not as much as they do

on a farm where they're protected

there's no predators so the very first

time you put toys out with a donkey

that's never seen a toy just understand

it's gonna take a little bit of time but

it's pretty soon one of the donkeys is

gonna pick it up and then the other guy

donkey is going to want to pick it up

too and they're gonna start playing tug

yes donkeys play tug so safe toy

are really important here in the farm I

like a black bowl a green bowl why it's

multitask Abul if i have to have an

abscess that i need to work on and fix

and create a boat boot and soak the foot

the bowl can be used for that but the

donkeys love them they love to play with

it fling it play tug with it an orange

traffic cone you can just go to Home

Depot and get one they're great just

because I can play tug a jolly ball that

works too I like decended because it

smells like apples and donkeys have

great senses of smell what I wouldn't

put out for toys or things that would

hurt my donkey like a milk carton or

something like that ok so just use

common sense and remember if your

donkeys not playing with toys you may

have to give it a little bit of time ok

and when you see your donkey start to

play that's a really good sign that your

donkey is starting to relax and also

when your donkey is relaxed that's when

they can learn from you and training

because that's what I teach training and

behavior donkeys and toys toys are

important female donkeys are going to be

a little bit more not so playful not all

the time but just understand Gil Dean's

are more clownish and gilding are more

playful Jack's not so much either

again we don't do jacks here on this

farm jacks are not for the novice not

for the beginner and even in my world I

don't do jacks so stick with Jenny's and

Gil Dean's and like I said earlier pair

them up by sex and size and enjoy your

donkeys farrier

how often should a donkey's hooves be

trimmed the donkey's hope should be

trimmed I believe every six weeks in the

spring in the summer and every seven in

the fall and winter why donkeys grow

much more hoof when it gets hot out I

believe it's from living in the desert

and the desert they need a lot more hoof

to walk on all that hard ground right so

when it gets hot out their body

stimulates to grow more hoof it's really

important that you look at donkey 101 in

102 102 prepares you to prepare your

donkey to pick up the foot when you say

the word foot that's all it is words

timing endorphin training preparing the

donkey for the farrier please don't

bring a farrier in and expect the

farrier to trim the hoof and train your

donkey that's not fair to your donkey

and it's certainly not fair to the

farrier the fairies job is to trim the

hoof and balance of and leave so this is

what I teach you in donkey 101-102

specifically is over the feet and the

farrier when the farrier comes I have a

conversation with him before he comes to

my farm telling him I train my donkeys

all I want him to do or her is trim the

foot and leave okay

so no cowboy training and ruining what

I've done with relationship with my

donkey because I've trained my donkey to

stand and pick up the foot when I say

foot right and learn how to stand on

three legs and the other thing I asked

the farrier to do is not to pull the leg

out too far and give lots of breaks in

the beginning right make it a good

experience down donkey time so if you do

your homework and you do 101 and 102

with the stick and string to touch the

donkey right prepare the donkey for the

farrier the farrier will be fun it's not

a big deal there's no need for drugs you

don't want to give donkeys drugs to do

the feet it's dangerous donkeys have

adverse reactions to drugs and die so

just like when we get a puppy

we have to do training you have a donkey

you need to do training the other thing

is if you have to rehome your donkey and

your donkey comes when called and your

donkey can get the halter on and your

donkey can get the feet done it's much

easier to find it forever home than a

donkey that's not trained okay so please

please do donkey 101 and donkey 102 and

use my halters because they work they

fit the face and they have a connection

okay and enjoy your donkey donkeys

emergencies it's really important that

you find a donkey veterinarian and a

donkey hoof trimmer know this most

veterinarians do not get to go to school

and learn about donkeys they just don't

most hoof trimmers don't have experience

on donkeys or farriers so you have to

really do your homework there's no

reason the vet or a hoof trimmer cannot

learn there's tons of resources online

for them to learn but you have to ask

pertinent questions to be ready next

make sure that your vet is your vet and

that they come out right away into a

health check fecal samples shots all the

things you need to do because the vet

will not come to your farm unless they

are your vet in an emergency blanketing

donkey 102 goes over blanketing I view a

blanket like a fire extinguisher

I don't blink it just because it's cold

outside I blanket because my donkeys are

suffering they're shaking they have

diarrhea some of them are older some of

them just have a different immune system

right some winters I don't blink it some

winters some get blankets some winters

like last winter in the northwest

everyone got a blanket

we had a wicked 50 year storm make sure

that you get donkey 102 so you

understand about blanketing I always

have two blankets for that donkey why no

blanket stays dry

in the snow weather for a week or more

without having to be changed out we

don't want a donkey to wear a wet


okay so just common sense emergency

preparation to have a kit in your barn

make sure you have some basic wound

dressing you know donkeys grab the neck

and play and in battle and you need to

be able to medicate that fly spray

things like that you know that you can

make sure that you're taking care of

your donkeys cotton wrap that wrap for

the hoof antibody antibiotic ointment

these things will make your life much

easier okay if you're doing all the

things we've outlined it in in in this

video series and PDF booklet you're not

going to have a fly problem because

you're you're not dragging the poop on

the field okay and you're composting all

that and the other thing I wanted to

just say at the end is consider

microchipping your donkey ask your vet

to do those as it's easy and it's not

expensive why if your donkey gets loose

or gets out you can get your donkey home

you can prove that this is your donkey

okay and all humans can forget to lock a

gate so it's just one more step to make

sure that you get to keep your donkeys

in their forever home I am so excited to

meet you and so excited for the journey

and living with donkeys and stay on

donkey time