Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Heather H
I love the "family photo" and all your updates. Very cool to get some insight into donkeys from your friend.
Donna M
Great pics! The donks look like they are on time outs in the barn. lol Glad you are enjoying them.
Jane Liess
I absolutely LOVE your family photo.  And I love your stone wall and stone barn.  Do you know when they were built?  They're awesome.
Great shots!  Love the donkey in the barn with the sad look and his face against the wall...he really does look like he is in timeout!!  LOL!!
Lindsey N
Definitely love the updates.  I love when Lana is running around in the background and the donks are trying to catch up :)  I laughed about the Donks in their corners, seriously SO cute!!!

These guys are something else, so I happy I had a chance to meet them!
Jane, the barn walls were put up in 1908.... this farm has been in the family for over 100 years. Matter of fact, my mother-in-law was born in the house we live in, she will be 100 in July. My husband was also born in the house.... Kim
Wow Kim, Happy B-Day to your mother-in-law in a few weeks.  100 is kind of special, heck I was amazed I made it to 50. 

Your equines are splendid, always fun to see the pictures and updates
The donkeys are shedding, the donkey's are shedding - slowly but surely!!! Flora is almost completely shed out except for her belly... Sophie is running a close 2nd and Jasper, well... he's a bit behind. I'm trying so hard to teach them to scratch Lana.... I've already got her scratching Jasper, thanks to his begging for attention.

When I am brushing everyone out in pasture, the donkeys are always pushing the others away - its funny. I'll be brushing Jasper and Flora will cut between us, then Jasper will sit there with his head over her back in the way and Sophie will be rubbing her head on my butt and pulling me back with her front leg... SO when I am brushing Lana, Jasper backs up to us and while I am brushing her she will reach out and start rubbing him with her nose... it only lasts so long till Jasper figures out its Lana and leaves.. but he always comes back... One of these days I hope they start to scratch each other...

Grass is getting poor in the pasture and you can tell they are loosing some weight... even Lana is loosing the rain gutter down her back and the donkeys only look like they are pregnant with 1 baby instead of triplets... LOL So, that means pasture rotation now... I've been keeping the east pasture mowed short, and the grass there is exceptional.. time to fence off the over grazed areas in the west pasture and allow them access for a few hours to the good stuff... the rest of the time there is plenty of mature grass at the back of the west pasture they can tackle... hunt and peck grazing there.

I'm pleased they are loosing weight, their crests are getting soft which I guess means weight loss.. I'm sure due to exercise as well. Lana continues to herd them around on a regular basis... and with the heat and bugs they spend a lot of time in the barn - and not eating 24/7. Its interesting watching their grazing habits. They don't spend as much time out there eating as you would think.

Anyway, I still adore them... and they are just what Lana and I needed. Thanks again for the opportunity!!! Kim

More pictures please!
Heather H
I read your mother will be 100 in July. Wow! Is there a birthday photo opportunity with Lana & the donkeys and you and your mother in the works to celebrate? ;) Cute stories about the donkeys. I can just picture them all begging for your attention.
Always love the donks updates. Mandy (mini mule) still has a little winter hairs on her belly too. they just shed much slower. 

Even though the weather has not been cooperating I’ve sure been busy this summer… I ride every day that it’s not raining and even bit the bullet and rode a few times while it was – not like I am going to melt…


Everyone is doing well. Hooves look good, the girls are mostly shed out, Jasper has a way to go though. I keep hoping a troop of girl scouts will stop by and beg to brush them for a few hours. In the end I’m going to have to break down and do it. Its amazing how sensitive they are to bugs though. They are on the same garlic supplement Lana is on and the donks are stomping their feet, tossing their heads and slapping their little tails like crazy and Lana’s tail never moves… I spray them down each morning with fly spray and then they all roll in the dirt right after…


Last weekend was a busy one – Friday I took the day off as I had a funeral to go to, then lunch with a friend, followed by a trip to Costco, the grandson’s birthday party and finally a trip to Walmart…. Saturday was my husband’s class reunion, Sunday was the party for my mother in law… which I left early to be able to go home and ride… J Next weekend is a Smokie Brannaman clinic.


Made the mistake of putting a fly sheet on Lana.. even though she isn’t stomping and wiping her tail around like the donks she is quite bit up, one particular bite is on the center of her back and was actually bleeding… so, the fly sheet is white.. What I should of done is tie everyone up in the barn for an hour and let them get used to her wearing the sheet. Hind sight is 20/20 cause as soon as she went outside with it on the donks went into a panic and ran away from her and she chased… Didn’t I do this once before? Guess I didn’t learn. Soon as they came at a screaming gallop up to the barn I was able to catch Lana and pull the sheet off her. Everything quickly returned to normal. Those donkeys sure don’t take to change very well.

Well, obviously they know a ghost when they see one.  Can you blame them?  Ha Ha
Well, its the 3rd of August and the donkeys are ALMOST shed out... They still have quite a bit of fuz on their legs which is ok cause the flies are just terrible. Everyone is on garlic and get sprayed down twice a day but the flies won't let up. 
They look good though! I wish I had my camera yesterday cause they were all sprawled out on the sand pile in the yard... 
I bought a rolling stool and it sure works well to sit on and roll around them to trim their hooves! 
I've got 10 large squares of hay in the barn and am looking for put about 100 smalls in yet but its looking good for winter feed. Now if we'd just get some rain so the grass would grow. My east pasture is about burnt up.... the west one, where there are no weeds is eatten down to the dirt but there is plenty out where the weeds are growing. Going to try to get out there this week with the tractor and sickle and knock the weeds down and then get the burdock cut out and removed before it flowers.
Been a busy summer so far, been riding alot, going camping with the horse and friends most weekends.. Can not believe its August already!
Jenni O.
I think it's funny that they're just finishing shedding out. Soon they'll be growing a new coat for the wi... I'm not saying it, I'm just not. Anyway, love the image of the donkeys running in terror from the fly sheet.
The shedding updates crack me up!  I love your updates Kim, thank you so much!!  

Guess I’ve not provided an update on the donkeys for awhile… its summer time, well, kind of, and I’ve been too busy riding to make updates.

The donkeys finally shed out completely. Flora lost that last tuff of winter hair on her belly and low and behold – a week later they are growing their winter hair already. Wish their tail hair grew in that quickly! Poor buggers have sparse tail hair – I’m wondering if they chew each other’s tails? Good thing they get a daily dose of garlic and fly spray – the flies are terrible this time of year.


All 3 have lost quite a bit of weight, although they still have those fat pockets and crests on their necks. Research shows they may never lose those. Their bellies are not quite as rotund as they were when we brought them home. I’m not happy with how their toplines look so am doing belly raises with them as I have time to see if improvements can be made. They are still on good pasture and have free choice loose mineral and salt plus get a metabolic mineral pellet in the morning.  I have 9 – 1000lb bales of hay in the loft and hoping that’s enough for them and Lana for the winter. I’ve never fed big square bales before.


Recent fecal tests show they are no longer shedding eggs/worms but we are going to test them after a hard frost and see where  they are at. If numbers are 0 or minimal we’ll wait till spring and test again and deworm if needed before going onto the clean side of the pasture.


Farrier is due to come out and trim them on the 24th… will be their 3rd trim since they have been here. I have everything I need to trim myself but have not found time to do it, so will pay someone yet again. J


Other than that, they are still awesome, Lana still loves them and we sure enjoying having them around!!!

Wow, its been awhile! I no excuses other than life getting in the way.... The donks are doing great.... winter hair is fully grown in and they are fat and sassy and ready for winter. I'll be sending fecal tests in soon to see where we are at with the shedding of worms, now that winter is here. 
I've not been doing much since 1st week in October. Was in a hit and run accident and have a torn rotator cuff and am doing physical therapy in hopes to avoid surgery. Driver just happened to be an older priest! My faith in humanity took a huge nose dive after that.
Anyway, just wanted to share a current photo of the gang. Lana is still grazing while the donkeys prefer the ease and convenience of the feeder - soon though they won't be so lucky as next weekend that feeder is becoming a slow feeder. Am lining it with plastic lattice panels to make their feed last a but longer. We are feeding 2 year old grass hay, its really nice hay..... they don't need alfalfa or anything fancy.... they have free choice loose salt and mineral as well as a mineral pellet daily. I did have the mill out last week to test the hay, as I am curious about its nutritional value. 
Glad you had a wonderful vacation - you deserved it!
Bye for now, Kim

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All of your donk herd sure looks PLEASING PLUMP and I get a kick out of the COURTESY guard watching the person with a clicking box in hand... really good lookin family.
Scott & Karen: MHWF
[smile]  Love the pic and update!  

Best wishes for a very speedy recovery, Kim!!!  
Kim V.
Well, vet visit is complete, farrier came today to trim everyone and put shoes on Lana... Everyone is on dry lot for 18 hours a day and the 4 hours they are allowed on pasture its on the scrubby side of the hill. I am weighing hay and putting it in niibble nets. Switched from a pelleted mineral that was fed at 1/3 of a pound daily to 1 ounce and added their pelleted feed through bug stuff. 
Pictures have been taken and printed and health reports will be sent tomorrow.
Sigh... I thought we are on the right track to get some weight off these guys but sadly I failed miserably... Not ready to give up though.
Bye for now, Kim

Guess I’ve not provided an update for a while. It’s been prime riding season and I’m getting a lot of use out of the new truck and trailer – finally get to camp with all the comforts of home and is it awesome.


Donkeys are doing pretty good. We are continuing the limited access to pasture, and I am keeping the pasture mowed short. So, they are spending more time in the drylot which is cement. I talked to a lady that raises donkeys and she suggested feeding clean wheat straw with their little bit of hay to keep them busy and provide a filler. Funny, when I bed the barn with straw they love to eat it but would rather not eat it in the feeder.


However this has caused another issue. All the donkeys have always had a bit of an issue with white line disease.  I have their hooves trimmed every 7 – 8 weeks, clean their hooves regularly and have been treating the hooves by spraying a apple cider vinegar solution recommend by the lady who raises donkeys. The white line area is softer than the rest of the hoof and picks up small pieces of gravel – of course our land boarders a gravel pit, so lots of little (big and bigger) stones.  Jasper and Flora were actually lame a few times now – recovered quickly once the rocks were dug out of the soft part of the hoof… but I’m at a loss. I just ordered Clean Trax and White Lightening which is supposed to do wonders for white line issues. And on top of that, their hooves are chipping. Keith is coming back out next week to trim, and he was just here 4 weeks ago.


And of course all are still over weight. They look better (not as fat) now that they have lost all that long hair but… still overly chubby. I’m thinking of refencing the pasture into tracks… so they walk around the pasture grazing instead of just walking out into a big field.


Frustrating… my horse gains a few extra pounds and I up her riding by 20 minutes for a few days and she is right back where she should be. Maybe I’m not patient enough? Then I 2nd guess myself and think I am not trying hard enough and try something else. Maybe its my mirco-managing making things worse? Maybe I should just say the heck with it and throw in the towel… they are fat, they’ll always be fat and I can’t do anything about it… But that won’t work, cause I’m too much of a control freak..


All in all, they are worth the effort. Lana adores them, they tolerate her. It’s a great relationship. If I win the lottery I’ll hire  some folks as grooms and donkey exercisers. Just have to buy a ticket.


Sure wish I was more educated on donks though. I have problems finding care information that pertains to this area. Lots of information for donks in the UK.


Attached are a few photos taken in May?? With my friends daughter. Bye for now, Kim

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Adorable pics!  Thanks for sharing and for the update Kim!  

It's too bad that you are having so many issues, Kim.  Donkeys are generally so hearty and generally very, very easy to care for and keep healthy and sound (other than they are such easy keepers that they get overweight easily), especially when compared to horses.  That is one of the things that people love about having them, is their easy care and soundness.  Also leading to why people like to cross horses with donks to get mules, because they are generally so sound and sure-footed, healthy, etc.  I just don't know what the issue could be, and I am wondering if them spending a lot of time on cement is causing them some issues (you say that their dry lot is cement).  I know that standing and/or stomping on cement really causes issues in horses, and with all of the donkeys I've known over the years, I don't know of any who have been kept on cement a lot, so I don't have the experience of donks kept on cement to draw from and I do wonder if that could be part of what is causing their hoof problems.  

There is actually a lot of information out there to be had about donkeys, and I know people who have raised donkeys for many years.  I will grab some info for you to link to.  I can start you out with the Wisconsin Donkey and Mule Society.

This donkey rescue in Wisconsin could also be a wealth of information: 

The donkey rescue above, in Wisconsin, references the wealth of information about donkeys at this site as well.  Even though they are in the UK, the information is relevant and the same for any donkeys:  

A ton of info about feeding (info from the UK, but relevant):

Donkey foot care: 

Thanks for the links Karen - I sometimes wonder if I am creating the issues through micromanagement or if this is normal 'stuff' and I am making mountains out of mole hills... or perhaps using this as an excuse not to look at something else.... weight is an issue... esp for those little hooves. Removing the cement isn't an option. We did put down a couple loads of sand over much of it and coarse mulch over some as well. Both have the pros and cons. Mulch is soft but holds moisture. Sand is soft, dries quickly but is full of stones... Maybe I am just whining and want my existence acknowledged... :-) 

I will however look at those links you sent over!!! Kim
I was accused of micromanagement my donks tonight when I though Shaggy looked a little off on her right front. She has abscessed before and thought she was up on her toe. My farrier is recovering from a severe illness and is unavailable. Shaggy takes a while to warm up to new people. All in all... in 5 minutes I was a nervous Nelly acting like I am clueless how to start treatment on my own.

Our donks are much hardier than our horses. They are far more independent and easy going. I have only had the pleasure of owning two, but if you have questions feel free to reach out.

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