We have had our Jingle the Donkey for many years now. She is a fantastic guard animal and she tolerates most of what the sheep or goats throw at her. When we have her down in the field over the summer with the ewes she is a formidable guard. Even when deer run through the electric net fence and a side or a corner is down, she will stand as a sentry until we arrive and fix the problem. If anyone new approaches the enclosure that she is in, she takes it personally and checks out what is going on. If she has the tiniest scent of something that may not be right, she will run the perimeter fence and pound the ground as hard as she can. I guess it sends out the signal that she is on the job and no canines are tolerated at any time (which lets me sleep better at night with the number of coyotes and dogs off leashes that we have in this area)!
Having an equid requires a few special arrangements. When we got the donkeys (we had two for awhile) we didn’t understand just how difficult it would be to get a farrier to take care of their hooves. What a dilemma! In the beginning we had a wonderful guy who lived just a few miles away and he would stop by every two or three months on his way home and just check and see if they needed trimming. He would leave a bill in the feed can, and everything was good. He never trimmed and charged for it if it wasn’t necessary, and we were extremely grateful. But then he got injured and got out of the business. The man he sold his equipment to has never answered my calls, even though he lives only a few miles away. It’s one of the biggest problems we have had with farming, and it has caused me an uncountable number of sleepless nights of worry.
For a few years a friend of ours who was a farm manager not too far away was taking very good care of Jingle’s hooves and we were very blessed to have the help. She has since moved farther away, and we are again in the toilet without a farrier. Now donkey hooves are not as involved as horses are, they require no shoeing. But we have no knowledge of how close to trim the foot, and how you trim the foot determines how a donkey stands, and if they are off-kilter it can be painful and affect their whole body. So we were extremely relieved when we found a farrier to come down from Augusta and take care of our one and only equid (after many weeks of my calling and leaving messages with other people, I might add)! I suspect that is the issue with a lot of folks we have called, that there is only one animal to treat, which may make it less desirable a stop in a busy work day. But this farrier came 46 miles to do one job of trimming, and even though it is a more expensive job, we are extremely pleased that he is willing to come down. And I daresay that Jingle the Donkey is pleased as well!