JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Friday, 1 August 2014

Protection Donkey

Ten days ago our first calf of the season was born.  It didn't live twenty four hours because wild dogs killed it the first night of it's life.  We were devastated and horrified.  If you stomach feels queasy thinking about this, don't look at the next photo.  But believe me, whatever you feel we are feeling twice as much.
All that remained of our little fella.

So, we started looking into what sort of protection we could get for our calves.  The first thing we  looked into were guardian dogs....Maremma's.  They certainly do the job but feeding them can be a bit of problem when you go away.  They need to have dog food left for them each day.  The next thing we looked at were Llama's.  They also do a good job but there were varying opinions on whether they could successfully keep wild dogs at bay.  The last thing we looked into were guardian donkeys.  They seemed to be the answer to everything.  They eat the same food as the cattle.  They are easily moved from paddock to paddock and work well through the cattle yards.  They have a severe dislike of dogs and will become very aggressive if confronted.  Their hearing and sense of smell is beyond most other animals so they can quickly identify an intruding dog.
So, a hunt over the internet found us with the owners of a female (Jenny) donkey.  She is also 3-4 months pregnant so we get two for the price of one.  Win!  Getting her from her home at Pittsworth to us in north Queensland proved a little more difficult but we eventually found a horse carrying company that did a weekly run to our area.  They were only too pleased to transport her and she arrived at our place on Wednesday evening after more than 48 hours travel time.  
I left her in the cattle yards the first night with plenty of hay and water and early the next morning took her to the mob of cows and calves that we are hoping she will protect.
When she arrived into the paddock the cows immediately came over and started chasing her but donkeys, being what they are, showed her stubbornness and would not move!  The cows just gave up.

Here is a photo taken the first day of her arrival and another photo taken the following morning.  She has settled in very well.

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