The common ass is a direct descendant of the African Ass. These donkeys evolved in the arid deserts of Africa and are accustomed to dry, sparse vegetation. Donkeys are browsers by nature and are used to looking for edibles as they slowly wander along. This instinct to constantly look for food will result in problems if the donkeys are in an area with too much fresh grass.
Methinks I have a great desire for a bottle of hay.
Grass hay is the number one feed choice for donkeys. It is usually available in all areas of the country in one form or another. The benefit of grass hay, over other types of hay, is the low protein levels. To be beneficial to a donkey, the protein level must be below 5%. In a typical alfalfa hay, the protein levels can easily exceed 25%.
To say true, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.
There is no valid reason for any donkey owner to keep a whole jack or to breed donkeys in general. With so many donkeys losing their desert habitat and so many others waiting for adoptive homes, it is simply irresponsible to breed more.
A castrated donkey is healthy, happy and will live a life free from frustration. Of all the attacks on humans that Peaceful Valley has responded to, they have all been by uncastrated jacks. In every case, the owner said that their donkey had always been sweet and harmless and they did not know what came over them. An uncastrated jack is unpredictable and can seriously injure a person. In a recent rescue, Kenny was an uncastrated, 3 year old jack that was bottle fed and raised in the house. Once he hit sexual maturity, he viewed people as equals and considered anyone a potential rival or sexual partner. Kenny attacked a man and his grandchild and seriously injured the man as he tried to protect the child. Kenny will need years of training and work if he is ever to be safe around people.
Wild burros maintain their hooves by constantly moving along the rough desert terrain. Domestic donkeys are usually limited on their space and their hooves must be trimmed. Many factors can have an impact on hoof growth including: diet, weather, exercise and age.
Donkeys are very protective by nature and are often used as guard animals for sheep, goats and cows during calving. This does not mean that all donkeys are suitable for this function. Young donkeys are often too aggressive and may hurt or even kill small animals.
Donkeys are very adept at handling hot temperatures. Their long ears act as sails, catching the desert breeze and cooling the blood as it passes through them. In extreme conditions donkeys can survive without water for days without ill effect, second only to the camel.
Donkeys have no natural predators in the United States. In fact, they can fend off and even kill most predators found in this country.
Donkeys are viewed as a stubborn animal. In almost every language on the planet the term “jackass” is used as a slur. What is generally viewed as stubbornness is the donkey’s instinct to protect itself. If a donkey does not feel safe, or trust the person that is handling them, they simply will not cooperate. Any rational creature would react the same way.
Donkeys can run in excess of 30 MPH and jump over five feet high.
A donkey’s bray is sound generated on the inhale and exhale. Donkeys will usually only bray before feeding times, if they sense danger or if they are lonely. Donkeys are happier in pairs.