|Posted by PrimRose on January 4, 2018 at 7:00 AM||comments (2)|
To me Charisma was a typical donkey in so many ways. She was stoic, slow moving, and a bit melancholy like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. She could make her wishes known with a push of the head if she wanted a brushing or a bray if she felt dinner was late, or worse yet: missed altogether! As Charisma had few teeth left due to her age she ate fit and fibre mush. When the food bowl was in sight she knew to go to a shelter to eat so she wouldn’t have to share with the other miniature donkeys in the paddock. Charisma was part of the pace of miniature donkeys. A pace is a group of donkeys. One day Buck the farrier was about to trim the mules hooves and was moving them to a different paddock. In order to do that the miniatures has to go into a separate corral. All the other other miniatures went into the corral and Charisma got missed as she was resting out of sight in a shelter. Charisma became aware that all the other miniatures had been moved and she was going to left behind. She came out the shelter, and in her slow stately walk made her way over to the corral to join her friends. Charisma passed away Christmas Day and more details about her can be found on the sanctuary Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/PrimRoseDonkeySanctuary/
Charisma in the pink halter is pictured here with her daugther Susie Q who has accepted her mom passing away and is developing her own routine.
|Posted by PrimRose on January 4, 2018 at 6:50 AM||comments (0)|
To me Charisma was a typical donkey in so many ways. She was stoic, slow moving, and a bit melancholy like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. She could make her wishes known with a push of the head if she wanted a brushing or a bray if she felt dinner was late, or worse yet: missed altogether! As Charisma had few teeth left due to her age she ate fit and fibre mush. When the food bowl was in sight she knew to go to a shelter to eat so she wouldn’t have to share with the other miniature donkeys in the paddock. Charisma was part of the pace of miniature donkeys. A pace is a group of donkeys. One day Buck the farrier was about to trim the mules hooves and was moving them to a different paddock. In order to do that the miniatures has to go into a separate corral. All the other other miniatures went into the corral and Charisma got missed as she was resting out of sight in a shelter. Charisma became aware that all the other miniatures had been moved and she was going to left behind. She came out the shelter, and in her slow stately walk made her way over to the corral to join her friends. Charisma passed away Christmas Day and more details about her can be found on the sanctuary Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/PrimRoseDonkeySanctuary
|Posted by PrimRose on December 31, 2017 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
Boots is a very welcoming cat at PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. When I started volunteering five years ago Boots was a good friend of Justin Incredible the dog who was the greeter at the sanctuary then. Justin was always glad to see me if it was a visiting day: Thursday or Sunday, but any other day of the week he became a watch dog. When Justin passed away Boots stepped in to take over greeter duties, coming to meet visitors at the gate on visiting days. Boots, and a few other cats, seemed to recognize the sound of my car when I pulled in rushing over, purring loudly and hoping for treats. Boot’s purr was loud and gravelly. Boot’s ears had a few nicks out of them from skirmishes but generally got along with the other cats. Boots loved ear scratches and cuddles.The last time I saw Boots his health was not good. He was off his feed and would only sit with me for a minute before wandering off. Boots went peacefully to kitty heaven a couple of weeks ago. Rest In Peace Boots.
|Posted by PrimRose on December 19, 2017 at 7:30 AM||comments (0)|
The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary had the annual carolling with the donkeys event, the last big fundraiser of the year, and big it was! Elaine and Linda did an amazing job organizing and advertising the event and we had a phenomenal number of visitors. There was stringing cranberries and pop corn, hot cider and chocolate and cookies baked by volunteers. There were cards, calendars and finger puppets for sale that went quickly. Also for sale were a few Donkey photos, a couple are still left for sale. Please contact Sheila or me if interested in buying one. The cost is $20. There is a photo below of examples of the photos.
Thanks to all who came out and supported the sanctuary. Merry Christmas!
|Posted by PrimRose on December 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
When adopting a donkey it is important to remember they are very social animals and should be adopted in pairs. At the sanctuary donkeys who arrive together and form a bond are housed together and, if they can be adopted, would be adopted together. Often donkeys who come to the sanctuary alone form a friendship with another donkey already here. This happened with Jenny and Evelyn who have been adopted together. Donkeys should never be kept alone and, if no other donkey is available, will bond with another animal such as a horse, goat or pig. This was the case with Jed the donkey who came to the sanctuary with his own pig called Penelopig. When Jed was being rescued he refused to leave until his pig was found and rescued as well. Donkeys are very social, loyal and protective companions.
Here are good friends Moon and Star at the salt lick
|Posted by PrimRose on December 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
Healthy donkeys only need hay and the chance to graze for feed, as well as a salt lick and water. All of the donkeys at the sanctuary are rescued and many come with health issues that require extra feed. Older donkeys can lose their teeth making it difficult to chew hay so in the kitchen Sheila boils water and adds it to the All Phase to make mush in the morning and late afternoon for several donkeys. Some donkeys at the sanctuary require medication. The easiest way to feed it to them is to mix it with the All Phase. Holistic medicine is used as well and added to food. The third photo shows Timothy cubes which are used for extra nutrition as some rescued donkeys are malnourished. Feeding time at the barn is fun, as soon as Sheila starts to boil water donkeys start gathering in the barn. As the animals are put in their feeding spots, so they they don’t eat each others’ food as they are certainly prone to do, the braying starts. Some are sure they’re going to be missed though this never happens. When everyone is finished eating many donkeys go back outside while the older donkeys stay in the barn for the night.
The Donkeys' kitchen
|Posted by PrimRose on November 23, 2017 at 6:50 AM||comments (0)|
Donkeys and Mules have starred in many well known movies, books and cartoons, here are a few favourites. Dapple also known as El Rucio belonged to Sancho Panza in the book Don Quixote written by Miguel de Cervantes. Gus the football kicking donkey starred in a Walt Disney movie called Gus. Brightly the donkey was a main character in the children’s book Brightyof the Grand Canyon written by Marguerite Henry. Blue was a white mule owned by the Walton family in the TV series called The Waltons. Donkey starred in the Shrek movie series. Baba Looey belonged to the cartoon character QuickDraw McGraw. Number 7 was a donkey owned by Mad Jack in the Grizzly Adams Television series. Ruth was a mule ridden by Festus in Gunsmoke. Puzzle the donkey was a character in the children’s books The Chronicles of Narnia written by CS Lewis. One of my favourites is Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh series written by AA Milne.
Can you think of others?
|Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 7:25 AM||comments (2)|
As with all animals in human care, regular upkeep is required to keep good health and, as donkeys can live to the age of 50 years , this a big commitment. One of the first signs of neglect is not getting the hooves trimmed. Like our fingernails the hooves continue to grow and can cause walking difficulties and lameness. The trimming should be done by a farrier who knows donkey hooves as the trimming is not the same as for a horse. Trimming needs to be done every 10-12 weeks.
As donkeys have very efficient digestive systems they should not be overfed as they can be prone to becoming overweight. Hay is all they need and the option to graze although even the grass in Ontario can be too rich for donkeys so consult a vet if in doubt. From eating food that is too rich donkeys can founder which is when the legs and hooves grow incorrectly. If a donkey’s gait seems slow, uneven or stilted this could be a sign of foundering.
Donkey’s teeth need to be examined regularly by a vet as they grow continuously and can get cavities. If a donkey favours one side of the mouth when eating it could indicate problems. Donkeys also need regular vaccinations so vet care should be consistent.
This is Polly, when she first arrived at our sanctuary. Her hooves were in extremely terrible shape. She had her hooves trimmed and with lots of love and care felt better.
|Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 6:50 AM||comments (0)|
Now that fall is here and winter just around the corner there are important things to remember about Donkey care. Donkeys were originally desert animals and their coats are not ideally suited for wet, windy fall and winter weather. Donkey coats are not waterproof and the hair is often longer then other equines and can therefore stay wet longer making for discomfort. The broad backs of some donkeys also hold water and can cause back rot. If you suspect back rot get veterinarian advice. The whorls described previously that mules, horses and hinnies have also help with water run off. Most donkeys do not have these. One way to help donkeys deal with inclement weather is to provide shelter. Although donkeys prefer to be outside then locked in a barn they must have access to shelter with three walls and a slanted roof allowing little draft. Facing south and the open side away from prevailing winds helps. Most donkeys will naturally seek shelter from the rain and cold winds.
At the sanctuary a few of the donkeys don coats in the winter. Most prefer not to as they can get itchy and it is more comfortable to leave the skin open to the air, but some elderly frail animals do wear coats.You don’t want to see a donkey shivering from cold which can cause illness. If an older animal does get a coat for the winter they should have a few hours of relief each week to allow their own coats to breathe. If your donkey needs a coat there are certain sizes best suited to donkeys, horse coats are not the right dimensions for donkeys. Coats also have different fasteners and straps so make sure these are attached properly or the donkey can trip. Many of the older donkeys at the sanctuary have their own stall or wander the barn at night while the stronger younger donkeys have access to one big stall and several shelters around the property. Here are 2 damp donkeys seeking shelter from the rain.
Marble staying dry
Jessie mini donkey staying dry
|Posted by PrimRose on November 8, 2017 at 7:30 AM||comments (0)|
This is Wilson the hinny, he had a donkey for a mother and a horse for a father. All hinnies are born sterile. Wilson has a cantankerous personality which is why he and his pals, Austin and Gordon are kept separate from the donkeys. If Wilson mistakenly gets in with the donkeys he chases them and nips them. Sharing of food is also a problem. The horse traits in Wilson are very noticeable: he has a long horsy tail and his ears are too big for a horse and too small for a donkey. His mane is not as spiky as a donkey’s. Another interesting characteristic is the whorls or swirls in Wilson’s coat. This is a horse trait and some experts believe the more whorls there are the more difficult the animal can be to work with. The whorls also help rain water run off the coat. That came in real handy these past few days!