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April 04, 2005

Clipping Your Donkey for Show - Part 2

So do you have all of your clipper parts and blades yet? Now you can start getting your donkey ready to clip.

Before you start clipping your donkey, you will want to clean as much of the dirt and dust out of their fur as possible.

If it's a warm sunny day, you can hose them off or wash them with a bucket if water and a scrubber. I like to use luke warn (but not hot) water to bathe them. I was able to find a hose adapter, at my local hardware store, that allows you to connect a garden hose to a sink faucet. Then I turn the faucet on and wait for the water temperature at the other end of the hose to stabilize. Just be very careful to make sure that the water is not too hot!

I have an assistant hold the donkey's lead rope while I slowly run water over the donkey's sides, back, legs, and neck. I don't usually try to wash their head or ears. Most of the donkeys I have worked with didn't really like the idea of the hose at first, but once they were wet and felt the warm water washing through their fur, they didn't fuss too much.

I do have one donkey that doesn't like me running the hose near him. I usually fill a bucket with warm water, and use a smaller scoop to scoop the water out and gently pour it on whatever part of the donkey I want to wash. Just take your time, and soon your donkey will decide that it's not so bad having the comfortably warm water running through his fur.

Here is a picture of Sagebrush Desert Delight getting a bath before her spring clipping session:


Once your donkey is all wet, you can soap him up with an equine shampoo. Next be sure to thoroughly rinse him off with water. You don't want to leave any of that soap where it can irritate his skin. Then tie your donkey up where he can stand and dry without getting dirty.

If it is too cold or breezy to give your donkeys a bath, you can also brush them really good first before you clip them. Some people also us a Shop-Vac to vacuum the dirt out of their fur, but here in Utah the air is so dry that that creates static electricity in their fur, so I don't use the vacuum. The more dirt you can get out, the less there will be left in their fur to dull your blades.

By the way, if you have old blades that need to be sharpened, check out Frank Rowe & Son. They have a mail-in clipper blade sharpening service. I had them sharpen my clipper blades this last winter, at the recommendation of another donkey breeder. They did a really nice job with my blades, and had a fast turn around time.

Next time we'll continue our discussion of the steps for clipping your donkeys.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at April 4, 2005 08:52 PM