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. 

view:  full / summary

Are Donkeys Waterproof?

Posted by PrimRose on September 17, 2019 at 6:10 AM

The short answer is no which is why they need shelter from rain and

snow. Donkeys are originally desert animals, not needing a coat that can repel the rain and while there has been some adaptation to the colder

temperatures such as growing a thicker coat in the winter and some shedding in the spring, donkeys are still not waterproof: their coats absorb the water. If they have broad backs and water/snow sits, it can cause back rot. In comparison the mules, hinnies and miniature horses at the sanctuary have coats that are more waterproof. A horse’s coat contains more oil naturally repelling the water and often has whorls which funnel the water off the animal. A whorl is a pattern of spirals in the hair.

It stopped raining so the donkeys are out eating

This is Wilson half horse, half donkey, the photo was meant to show his whorls but he has rolled in the mud so they are not as clear as they could be. Wilson is a mule and is definitely more waterproof then a donkey!!


Vanna White the Goat

Posted by PrimRose on August 17, 2019 at 9:15 AM

This is Vanna White, she has been at the sanctuary for many years and currently shares a paddock with Preston, goat. Preston is part alpine goat and is up on his platform in the background of the photo. Vanna has quite the personality which definitely suits her name. For many of us volunteers she is quite sure we are below her in the hierarchy. She shows this by the slight swagger when she strolls out of the shelter to greet visitors and by raising the hair on her hackles. She enjoys butting and scrubbing her forehead on the fence! Preston loves coming to fence to have his neck scratched and Vanna is realizing if she wants to be pet she needs to stand still! Her hackles are definitely at half mast in the second photo!

Visitors are welcome Thursday and Sunday from 1-4pm to meet Vanna and all the other animals at the sanctuary.


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!


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.




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.



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.



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.



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!


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!


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.