The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey Tails Blog

Donkey Tails blog is a well written, informative and very interesting blog by volunteer Vivian about PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary and their animals at the wonderful donkey sanctuary in the Roseneath Ontario area. 

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Why Some Equines Stick Out Their Tongues

Posted by PrimRose on August 14, 2018 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of the equines at the sanctuary stick out their tongues after drinking water. It is because their lips don’t seal well and it is hard to keep the last bit of water in their mouths to swallow later without using the puffy wet seal of the tongue. If you offer them hay from your hand the last of the water dribbles out. This is Wilson and Gordon both hinnies. Hinnies have a donkey for a mother and a horse for a father. There is a slight cross on their backs along the spine and across the shoulders. Mules’ parentage is the opposite and there is no cross. This was a very hot day and both hinnies were drinking a lot of water and using their tongues to hold the water in. Perhaps to have some for later.


Who Rules the Roost?

Posted by PrimRose on August 8, 2018 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Canterbury Blue miniature horse.

This is Wilson and Gordon hinny.

When I started volunteering 5 years ago Wilson and Gordon were with the donkeys along with Austin mule. They did not share the hay and often chased and nipped the donkeys. Three years ago they were put in their own paddock. When Canterbury Blue and her partner Blitz were rescued the best place was with Wilson, Austin and Gordon. The hierarchy has totally changed and Canterbury Blue is the boss. All it takes is a look and Austin, Wilson and Gordon move away! Generally they get along well together and love meeting our visitors on Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm.



Posted by PrimRose on July 31, 2018 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (1)

Sheyore is an elderly donkey who lives at the sanctuary. Her teeth are worn down to the gum so it is difficult to tell her age but the vet says she is in her forties. She gets a big bowl of nutritious fit and fibre that has been made mushy by adding boiling water morning and late afternoon. With no teeth it is difficult to chew hay and grass and get enough to nutrition. Sheyore has a sway back likely caused by genetics. Equines with sway backs should not be bred as this trait can worsen causing back pain. Her great long ears help her hear everything that is going on in the barn. Donkey ears can move independently so they can hear in two different directions at once. Sheyore loves being at the sanctuary with the other donkeys and being groomed. She is often seen grazing out in the fields but knows when to come to the barn for feeding time. Sheyore is waiting on her supper in the barn in the photo below.



Posted by PrimRose on July 18, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (1)

This is miniature donkey Charlie licking the mineral block. Mineral blocks must be provided for donkeys to obtain important minerals as part of their diet. The vet can provide information as to what type of block is needed. Selenium is important for muscle strength, calcium and phosphorus for bones, zinc for a healthy coat, and vitamin A for eyesight. Minerals required by a donkey are influenced by the geographical location as well as the health of the Donkey so a local vet can determine which type of mineral block is needed.



Posted by PrimRose on July 10, 2018 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Jack large standard donkey and Sara miniature donkey standing side by side at the sanctuary. Jack and Sara come from a farm where the owner was moving from the farm and could not take the donkeys with them. Because of an experience with a previous farrier, Jack is afraid and wary when it comes to trimming his hooves. Donkeys have excellent memories and now it is difficult to trim Jack’s hooves.

This photo shows how extremely loyal donkeys are to each other and even other animals. It can be very hard on a donkey to break this bond. Jack and Sara will never be separated.

Come to the sanctuary on Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4pm and see this loyalty donkeys demonstrate.


Introducing New Donkeys

Posted by PrimRose on July 2, 2018 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Donkeys are sometimes adopted from the sanctuary to new homes. It is important that a change in environment is introduced slowly as it is a different situation for all animals. Guinevere and Marion have recently been returned to the sanctuary since they didn't get along with the other animals.

They are finding their way with the sanctuary donkeys. Guinevere and Marion were rescued two years ago when Guin was a few days old. Marion was not producing milk and needed extra nutrition at the sanctuary. Guin was feisty as a young colt. She grew to be a very healthy donkey. Welcome Back!


Susie Q

Posted by PrimRose on June 19, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Susie Q miniature donkey came all the way from Alberta on a transport truck with her mother and siblings. Susie’s owner was going to set up a farm in Ontario. It took several months for the owner to relocate and she decided on Nova Scotia. Susie’s mother Charisma was too old to travel to Nova Scotia. It is difficult to stay standing for many hours when elderly so Charisma had to stay in Ontario. Susie Q being the eldest offspring stayed as well. The others are now on a farm in NS. Charisma passed away from old age this past Christmas: she was in her forties. Susie Q is happy at the sanctuary and has many friends there.


Yoga with the Donkeys

Posted by PrimRose on June 4, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The sanctuary is always looking for fundraising ideas and yesterday Francesca from Karma Lifestyle held the second annual Yoga With the Donkeys. The donkeys cooperated nicely braying at regular intervals. Francesca led us through many poses such as butterfly, porpoise, eagle, downward dog and donkey kicks. There are also many rescued cats at the sanctuary and a few were fascinated by my yoga mat rolling and playing and attempting to unsuccessfully sharpen their claws which caused many holes to form on the surface.Thank you to all who came out. If anyone has more fun ideas for activities at the sanctuary contact Sheila.

See you next year.


Jessie Mule and Carlos Hinny.

Posted by PrimRose on May 29, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Jessie mule was on a horse farm before coming to the sanctuary and has been here for a few years. She is wonderful gentle mule who can sometimes act a bit like a diva: demanding attention and flattening her ears at the donkeys. Most donkeys realize the flat ears don’t mean muchand don’t get too worried about it! Jessie has also been adopted as a nursemaid by a couple of other hinnies rescued at the sanctuary. The latest is Carlos. Carlos comes from a very abusive situation and is always close to Jessie. If she is out of sight he whinnies loudly. While most equines come to trust humans again after leaving abusive situations and coming to the sanctuary Carlos is still very cautious and keeps his distance. He is in a safe place now and stays with Jessie.

Jessie and Carlos grazing

Jessie mule

Carlos staying out of the hot sun


Yoga at the Sanctuary

Posted by PrimRose on May 24, 2018 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Last year a very successful yoga session was held at the sanctuary to help raise funds to care for the donkey,hinnies, mules, goats, sheep, pigs and cats. This year the yoga session will be held on June 2nd from 11:30-12:30. Bring your mat and come out for a great class lead by Francesca. Water will be available. In honour of downward donkey here is Rosie showing how flexible she is.