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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Posted by PrimRose on October 27, 2019 at 6:40 AM

Austin is a mule who is best friends with Canterbury Blue, in the photo, Blitz, (miniature horses)Wilson (mule)and Gordon (Hinny). We also call

Austin: Rod Stewart because of his beautiful highlights that many would pay big bucks for! Austin is quite quiet and introspective, when Gordon and Wilson get rowdy he moves away. If Canterbury Blue gets bossy, usually over hay, he moves away. Lately Austin had become more interested in having visitors pet him. Previously he was just out of reach. Now he lets a few people pet him and then gets enough and moves out of reach. Austin is never pushy like Gordon and Wilson can be. If there are treats Austin hangs back and patiently waits his turn. He has an interesting nicker ( with a bit of donkey bray). Lately he has become enamoured with Canterbury Blue, although all the boys love her, and is often standing in a shelter with her. Austin is quite the handsome gentleman!




Posted by PrimRose on October 15, 2019 at 10:50 AM

Gina is a molly mule, molly is a term for female mule. She has recently come to the sanctuary and is sooo friendly: she loves greeting visitors. She is called a dun mule which explains her colour and while visitors have said she is a horse, her ears are too large for a horse and her mane is spiky like a donkey’s mane. She was ridden in the past and came from a farm where there were horses. I suspect that she may think she is a horse. So far Gina is not very excited about sharing hay with the donkeys. Junebug Hinny is not afraid of Gina’s dirty looks and laid back ears at all and shares the hay. It will be interesting to see who Gina becomes friends with. Gilly, PrimRose’s daughter, is at the sanctuary as well. She was a companion to a race horse. Perhaps they will become friends.Carlos Hinny loved big Jessie mule (who has since passed away) perhaps Carlos can win Gina’s heart. There is no lack of drama at the the sanctuary! It is natural for equines to bond with others and it is interesting to see friendships form!



Posted by PrimRose on October 1, 2019 at 1:05 PM

Junebug is a Hinny. Hinnies have a donkey as a mother and the father is a horse. Hinnies have a donkey cross on their backs as do donkeys. Mules do not have the cross. Junebug is Oscar’s (donkey) best friend. Junebug is an interesting equine: she is quite independent and feels free to express what she wants to the others. If she wants at the hay she lays her ears back and let’s them know. All move out of the way! She lines up early in the barn for night feeding. If she has to wait too long, the braying starts! Oscar is completely besotted with her and follows her everywhere particularly when she goes off to graze with Finnegan mule and Carlos Hinny.

Come visit Junebug and the other equines on World Animal Day on October 6th from 1-4pm.


Junebug waiting for her supper!


Posted by PrimRose on September 26, 2019 at 6:10 AM

Riley has been at the sanctuary for many years and is 12 years old. He came from a farm where he was in with Alpacas. He had received little human attention and was a bit wild when he arrived. Riley has settled down nicely and is part of the pace led by Sally, which includes her son Oliver, his best friend Robbie, Snowball and most recently John. Riley doesn’t like his legs being touched and he is indifferent about grooming but if there are treat around he has the best nose out there. He also gets very indignant if hay is moved from his paddock to share with other donkeys in a neighbouring paddock. Riley is very quietly observant and if hay goes elsewhere he brays very loudly! He is a very handsome boy!


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.