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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Blitz, Miniature Horse

Posted by PrimRose on August 8, 2019 at 7:15 AM

Blitz is a miniature horse who is best friends with Canterbury Blue, they arrived at the sanctuary together. He is very cute and has quite the mane and forelock, it keeps the flies out of his eyes. He has now also made friends with Austin and Wilson mules and Gordon Hinny. While they share a paddock and field with several donkeys each pace seems to travel together. Unless all are very hungry, they tend to take turns at the hay and Blitz and his group graze more then the donkeys do.

Here is Blitz getting up after having a nice sandy nap in the sun!

Vivian





A Snowball Story

Posted by PrimRose on July 28, 2019 at 8:15 AM

When a new donkey comes to the sanctuary it takes time for them to find a pace they fit it with. Snowball has found his place with Sally, Oliver, Riley and Robbie. They share a paddock and field with 2 mules; Wilson and Austin, Hinny Gordon and 2 miniature horses; Canterbury Blue and Blitz. On visitor days (Thursdays and Sundays from1-4pm) we get the donkeys close to the fence where the visitors can interact with them. Last Sunday hay was put close to the fence near the house to get all the donkeys into the paddock. All the donkeys, except for Snowball, and Wilson and Gordon came into the paddock and the gate to the field was closed. I walked over to Snowball eating at the round hay bale in the field to tell him his buddies had left. He ignored me. A short time later Canterbury and Blitz came to the closed gate to be let in to the paddock and Austin was close behind. I closed the gate and walked over to tell Snowball, still eating, he was now truly alone. He ignored me. A few minutes later a donkey braying from another paddock got Snowball’s attention and he realized he was truly alone out in the big field. He began to bray while he hurried over to the fence. Sally walked over to comfort him and they touched noses. I opened the gate and Snowball came into the paddock to join his pace. Loyalty and being with other donkeys are very important in a donkey’s life. Here is Snowball resting in the shade.


Vivian

 

 

Susie Q

Posted by PrimRose on July 23, 2019 at 7:35 AM

This is Susie Q miniature donkey with her best friend Jesse also a miniature donkey. Susie came from an Alberta farm with her mother Charisma and other siblings. They travelled in a transport truck with frequent stops to rest and have water and hay. You can imagine how tiring it would be stand and balance in a truck trailer coming across Canada. Susie and her family boarded at the sanctuary while their owner set up a new farm in Nova Scotia. The vet said Charisma who was in her forties, was too old to travel that distance so it was decided Charisma and Susie Q would stay at the sanctuary while the others went on to Nova Scotia. Charisma passed away of old age two Christmas’s ago. As Susie was present when her mother passed she had closure. After a time she and Jesse became friends, share food and a stall and are never far apart.


Vivian


 

Barn Art

Posted by PrimRose on July 9, 2019 at 6:50 AM

The barn at the sanctuary is very old and beautiful art has been added to make it a cheery place.


This is the bench that has recently been refurbished where many visitors stop to take photos.



These beautiful signs decorate the main door to the barn.


This door plaque hangs between the room with the memorial wall and the main barn.


This plaque hangs on the door that goes through to the kitchen where Sheila prepares the food for the donkeys that need supplement to the hay; such as having no teeth due to age therefore being unable to get nutrients from just hay. Thank you to 'Friday Al' for creating this cute sign!


This cheery piece hangs on Charlotte and Dave, Vietnamese pot belly pigs’ stall. Many talented people have added to the barn to make a welcoming cheerful place to visit.


Vivian



Noelle

Posted by PrimRose on July 4, 2019 at 6:25 AM

This is Noelle one of many rescued cats at the sanctuary. The cats all have their own personalities and Noelle is no exception! She is the shy silent type, quietly friendly and persistent. She shows her happiness by sticking out her tongue ever so slightly and, while she tries to talk when she opens his mouth, her meow is nearly silent. Noelle does like her treats and recognizes the noise of an opening hatch on an SUV signaling treats may be coming. She does not like the drama some of the other cats display over food or territory. Come visit Noelle and other animals Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4pm.

Vivian


Abe

Posted by PrimRose on June 25, 2019 at 7:05 PM

This is Abe who lives at the sanctuary with his son Dan. Abe is walking towards me and if you look closely his nostrils are very flared. He continues to walk towards me until he finally turns away as his nose has told him I have nothing with me that smells like a donkey treat! Donkeys’ sense of smell is very strong to help sense predators. In the background of the photo are other donkeys lying in the sand. As donkeys originated in desert lands it is important that donkeys have access to sand to roll in as this is what they do for relief from flies. The rolling also helps to remove the winter coat as a donkey’s coat is less dense in the summer. Rolling also helps if there is an itchy spot that needs soothing. Dust provides insulation and protection from hot and cold weather. And sometimes donkeys roll because they are happy!

Vivian


Carlos, Hinny

Posted by PrimRose on June 17, 2019 at 8:40 PM

This is Carlos he is a Hinny which means his mother was a donkey and his father a horse. A mule is the opposite parentage. A Hinny can be differentiated from a mule by the cross on the back (a line of darker hair along the spine and across the shoulders). Carlos is very shy and he has adopted different friends during his time here seemingly for protection. His most notable being big Jessie mule who has passed on. Finnegan mule is his new best friend although Finnegan’s loyalty is questionable as Finn is quite the lady’s man showing a great deal of interest in female miniature horses and hinnies! Carlos watches all these goings on very carefully and only gets upset if Finn is out of eyesight for too long. Carlos then begins to pace. Carlos is extremely shy and cautious around humans likely due to poor treatment prior to arriving at the sanctuary. Here is Carlos having dinner and about to look over his shoulder in case another equine like Finn comes to steal a bite!

Vivian



Charlie and his Angels

Posted by PrimRose on May 6, 2019 at 7:40 PM

Charlie miniature donkey was welcomed to PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary along with 3 other miniatures called Amelia Bedelia, Rosie and Tiana. A group of donkeys is called a pace and these four are always together. They share a stall together in the barn at night. You may wonder why Charlie looks like he is greying but it is barn paint! This past Sunday was the huge annual fundraising event at the sanctuary called Daisies for Donkeys. Before this event the barn gets painted and clearly Charlie was helping. Some one should have given him a paint brush! The event includes the sale of daisies as well as yummy home made baked treats to sample and meeting all the wonderful animals. There was a huge crowd this year. Thanks to all who visited. Daisies will also be sold next Sunday for Mother’s Day.

Vivian

Donkey Communication Part 2

Posted by PrimRose on April 29, 2019 at 6:20 AM

Donkeys communicate in other ways then braying and most are quite subtle. When a donkey is unsure or afraid they tend to freeze to analyze the situation to see if it is safe for them. This can look like stubbornness but it is not. Another way of showing uncertainty is pursed lips and the upper lip jutting over the bottom lip. Pleasure and happiness is shown by quivering lips such as from a good scratch. A donkey hug feels like they are leaning against you when getting a good scratch or grooming. Donkey ears move all the time as they listen to sounds around them but both ears flat back and head jutted forward show displeasure almost always directed towards another donkey is regards to food. Depending on the situation such as how many donkeys are around I have pulled up on donkey ears to diffuse the situation. A swinging donkey tail can show agitation or excitement it is important to know your donkey well. It can also mean there are a lot of annoying flies! A common rule when around donkeys is not to walk behind them as donkeys are known for the strength of their kicks. If they experience pain they kick or a defensive move against a predator. Even a fly bite can cause a kick. Generally donkeys are very calm tranquil animals and never mean humans harm!

Vivian


Donkey Braying

Posted by PrimRose on April 22, 2019 at 7:30 AM

When giving tours many visitors ask what it means when a donkey brays. As we get closer to 4pm at the sanctuary the braying becomes more frequent as Sheila should be in the barn kitchen with the kettle boiling preparing evening feed so those brays mean “don’t forget to feed me I am hungry”. But there other occasions the donkeys bray such as when the water buckets are low or if the hay is low in their paddock or perhapsif the hay is inferior quality as in “I can’t eat this!” When the tractor is running and certain paddocks are getting fresh hay the donkeys often bray to remind the driver to bring hay to them. Donkeys will bray to say hello to their humans and to other donkeys. At the sanctuary some donkeys are at the other end of farm for the winter months and when the upper fields open in the spring there is often braying from one end of the farm and answered from the other end sort of “I am still here”and the answer “yes so I am I”. Not all donkeys bray with same frequency it definitely depends on their personalities: the extroverts are loudest! It is interesting to watch a donkey get ready to bray it takes a great inhale of air as the donkeys heehaw on the inhale and exhale. Here is Jack, with his best friend Sara mini, getting ready to bray: his nostrils are flared for the big inhale! He was likely telling me that there had been no treats handed out in quite awhile. He got an answer from the other end of the farm confirming it was the same there!


Vivian



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