Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet Kate the Donkey

Kate is the latest addition to the farm -- as of yesterday afternoon. She's a six or seven year old jennet who has been living with a herd of cows for the past four years.

We've been looking for a guard donkey to put with our cows. While coyotes have not yet been a problem for us, they are moving into the area so this is a bit of a preemptive strike. Also, Kate should discourage the many (13) dogs that live in our holler from bothering the cattle.

She's tame-ish -- John said there was no problem loading her in the trailer. And I suspect that a little sweet feed and some apples will get her attention pretty quickly. She's in need of grooming but that will have to wait till she's gentled.

Kate's the classic gray-dun donkey color with the usual black stripe down her back and across her shoulders. Legend says that donkeys didn't have these markings until one carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and followed him to Calvary. Distraught by the sight of Jesus on the cross, the donkey turned away but could not leave. When the shadow of the cross fell on the donkey's back, it remained and has ever after been worn by all donkeys.

And no, I didn't name her after my editor. She came with the name.

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Susan M. Bell said...

Did not know donkeys discourage coyotes. A friend down the road has had some issues with coyotes coming pretty close to her yard. Will have to mention this to her.

Vicki Lane said...

Donkeys have been known to kill coyotes. And generally, coyotes steer clear of them.

If it weren't for the cattle -- really, the new born calves -- I wouldn't worry. Mostly coyotes eat mice and chipmunks and such.

Unfortunately, this means they are beginning to take over territory usually occupied by foxes -- of which we have a few.

Unknown said...

Vicki - Chuck told me that there are two or three packs of coyotes roaming around our side of Horse Knob - I am hoping my Shepherds will scare them off - yikes I don't want to have to deal with a coyote/dog fight!

Vicki Lane said...

I think that all the dogs in our holler -- some of which do go out and roam around at night, have discouraged the coyotes from coming down as far as our house. But we'll feel better, once Kate gets integrated into the herd and is with them when they're up the mountain.

Tammy said...

Oh, how neat! I really would like to have another equine someday. I worry about the sheep, but I know unless I get a guardian animal that is already trained, they can be as dangerous as the predators. I always thought though, if it comes down to it, I'd probably get a donkey of some sort. Kate is very lovely, she looks like a pretty good size girl and is nice and solid looking. I used to have a pony that would chase (and try to kill!) our full grown german shepherd out of the field! She also chased me and my cousin..but that is besides the point. ;-) I hope Kate works very well for you and keeps any problems from happening, before they start.

Vicki Lane said...

We had a friend who had a problem when she put a donkey with her goats. Kate has been part of a herd of cows for the past four years so we'll hope she's okay. We're keeping her separate at the moment till she can get to know the cows over the fence.