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October 27, 2009

What is the Difference Between a Burro and a Donkey?

If you are just starting out learning about donkeys, this may be a question that is puzzling you. So let's find the answer!

What is the difference in a burro and a donkey?

"Donkey" is the name we commonly use to refer to animals in the species "Equus asinus". Donkeys come in many different sizes and breeds. In the United States donkeys are usually classified by size as Miniature (up to 36" tall at the shoulders), Small Standard (36 to 48" tall), Large Standard (48 to 54" tall for females, and 48 to 56" tall for males), and Mammoth Jackstock (54" and up for females and 56" and up for males).

The term "Burro" is the Spanish word for donkey. In the United States, it is typically used to refer to the Standard size of donkeys - the most common type of donkey seen in south and central America.

The word "Burro" is not generally used when refering to miniature or mammoth donkeys or to other specific breeds from other parts of the world.

So there you have it! Burro is just another word for Donkey, but is usually only used when refering to the medium sized donkeys in the USA, and in Spanish speaking countries.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2009

Mule Appreciation Day

Today is a special day - Mule Appreciation Day! In 1985 this day was established as a day of recognition for our longeared friends.

The first Mule Appreciation Day was exactly 200 years after the arrival of "Royal Gift", the spanish jack given from the king of Spain to George Washington. Royal Gift was one of several famous donkeys imported to the USA to be used in George Washington's mule breeding program, and in the development of the American Mammoth Jackstock Breed.

Draft Mules

So give your donkeys and mules an extra hug today!


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2009

Donkey Costumes for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. Do you or your kids want to dress up in mule or donkey costumes this year? Here are a few sources you can check to find the necessary items to complete your costume.

Mule costume

There are several popular donkey story caracters that your child may want to be dressed as. Two that come to mind are the Shrek donkey and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

I found several links for Eeyore donkey costumes:

Toddler Eeyore Costume

More eeyore costumes (even one for your dog!)


Or if you are handy with a sewing machine, and would like to make it yourself, Simplicity costume pattern #9378 includes donkey patterns. It looks like this pattern may be out of print now, but I found quite a few on several sites like eBay.

If you are looking for something more like the Shrek donkey, there are plenty of options there too:

Shrek Donkey Toddler or Child costume

More donkey costumes


Or if you're looking for a hat with donkey ears, here's a pretty good option:

Donkey Ears and Teeth Kit


Now it's time to add the finishing touches on your donkey costumes, and wear them with pride! Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2009

Fun Donkey Facts

It's like Christmas ahead of time! You may have noticed we recently made a few changes to the Donkey Tree. Keep reading to find out the new treat that I'm so excited about!

We have been working for the last year and a half to update and improve the software that the Donkey Tree was running on. The changes were to streamline the way the software runs and to build an admin to that greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to enter or update a donkey in the Donkey Tree.

These long awaited changes are finally complete and up live on the Donkey Tree website. Yippie! I have been able to go through the backlog of donkey updates that were submitted prior to the middle of August, and have made all of those updates and additions in the Donkey Tree. I will continue to process new submissions every couple of weeks now that I have the new tool to make that job much faster.

Another change that you will notice is that we have changed the format of the Donkey Tree ID numbers. They are now in the format of DT##### instead of I#####. The DT stands for Donkey Tree, and is much easier to distingish than the "I" which was easily getting confused with a number 1. The number portion of their Donkey Tree IDs has not changed. Just the letter prefix.

Now for the fun part! This is like Christmas time! We have added a cool new Fun Donkey Facts section to Donkey Tree. Here we will be adding new statistics we have gathered through the data in the Donkey Tree. The first donkey fact to be unvailed is Donkey Colors. Check out the cool charts showing the color demographics by donkey size range.

Check back soon for more fun statistics and donkey facts as we add more charts and graphs.


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

Starting a Donkey - Part 1

There are so many donkeys out there who have little or no training and so few who are well trained. It's really not that hard to start one. So I thought I'd share a few of my tips.

Miniature donkey in halter

I started two young jennets this summer. They had both had a little handling, but didn't really understand being led, much less anything more sophisticated. So I started with the very basics with them. I do the same with all donkeys I start. If a donkey already has some training, then I'll make it through these steps pretty fast and on to the fancy stuff. But if there are holes in their training, this is a good place to catch and fix them.

Probably the most basic principles of donkey training are:
1. Break everything down into itty bitty baby steps
and 2. Always remember to reward your donkey for his efforts, even if that reward is just a release on the pressure of the lead rope when he takes a step forward.

So how do I start training a donkey?

The first step is for the donkey to know you are his friend, and someone enjoyable to be around. Spend some time out in the field with him. Pet him, brush him, rub his shoulders, back and neck. Donkeys especially enjoy the rubs. You don't have to spend a long session with him. Just start building a routine and positive relationship. 15 minutes of loving once a day is a good way to start. If he isn't already, he will soon be anticipating your visits and coming quickly everytime he sees you come out.

Once your donkey has learned that it is enjoyable to be around you, you can introduce him to the halter. Let him look at it and sniff it. Rub it all over his back, neck and sides as you scratch his back. He'll learn its something nice to have around. Then quietly slip it on and off of his nose a couple times, giving him plenty of good shoulder rubs in between (or wherever you have found to be his favorite spot). Don't try to tighten and buckle the halter just yet. Just put it on and take it off without actually buckling it. Once he is relaxed about letting you put it on and take it off of him, then you can buckle it and leave it on for a few minutes while you groom and praise him. Then take it off, praise hime, and repeat the process a time or two more. Quit your lesson on a good note, and leave him wishing for more. You can be sure he'll think about it all night while he's waiting for his next lesson time, and might even surprise you with how quickly he figures it out the next day.

I also like to teach my donkeys the command "Where's your nose?" somewhere about this point. Once they start looking forward to and enjoying "halter-on time", they are eager to get their halter on. Now instead of pulling the halter up onto their nose, I just hold the halter open but below their nose waiting for them to put their nose into it. I give the command "Where's your nose?". If they have learned to enjoy having the halter on, they will probably grow impatient and start looking to put their nose in it pretty quickly anyway. With even just the slightest sign of them moving their nose closer to it, I pull it up onto their nose, buckle it and praise them lavishly. It usually only takes a few times, and they start searching for it with their nose as soon as I say "Where's your nose?"

I don't always use the "Where's your nose?" command when haltering them, but it's a good way to see if they are focused on me, and to start their lesson with an easy game that they can feel good about.

Start practicing these steps with your donkey, and soon he will be easy to approach and halter. Next installment in this series I will talk about start to train your donkey to lead.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)