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January 04, 2005

What do I do if My Donkey is Kicking?

KristieJorgensen.jpgKicking can be a very dangerous vice if allowed to become a habit. Here are a few things you might consider in deciding how to deal with this problem.

Start by looking at what is happening and what might be causing the donkey to react that way before you decide how to respond. The donkey could be kicking because he is angry, scared, hurt, excited, upset, or even just happy (as in running around kicking up his heels).

Once you have figured out why he is kicking, and what caused him to decide to kick, you can use appropriate measures. If I have a young donkey who is excited and energetic because of a cool summer rain storm and breeze, I may decide that it is best to just let him frolic around the pasture and enjoy kicking up his heels, instead of trying to approach him to halter him and do a training lesson right then.

If it is feeding time and your donkey is trying to kick at you while you are getting his dinner ready, he may be trying to boss you around. I don't consider this acceptable, and will tell the donkey in no uncertain terms (using donkey body language) that I expect him to wait respectfully until I let him approach the feeder and eat. As "head jennet", I should be able to decide when he is allowed to approach the food or should wait.

If you have a jennet that has a sore udder and is kicking at her foal when it tries to nurse, she may be kicking because every time the foal nurses it hurts her. By taking this into account, you can react to the situation in an appropriate manner.

If I am trying to trim a donkey's hooves, and his is trying to kick, it may be because he has had a bad experience with hoof trimming before, and is scared. Or maybe he has never had someone try to handle his back feet, and he is confused. With patience I can help him overcome these fears and learn that I won't hurt him when I handle his hooves.

Usually once you figure out why your donkey is kicking, you can find a way to resolve the problem without intimidating the donkey and forcing him into submission. The key is to take things slowly and always keep safety in mind.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at January 4, 2005 08:27 AM


I was so glad to fine this site. It is the closest thing to a chat room for donkey owners as I have found. I have a donk with a dime size sore on his shoulder..cause unknown....I'm a nurse and am anxious to care for the wound with my people stuff...ie betadine scrub...triple anti-biotic ointment etc...is it ok to use people stuff on my donks? Thanks

Posted by: Chris at July 22, 2005 06:17 AM

Have you run across a donkey that lifts his hind leg up higher than the other one when starting out at a walk. I have a 7 yr.Jennet.

Posted by: Sharon at March 19, 2009 02:21 PM