Monday, February 01, 2010

Donkey Facts

Donkeys can live for over 50 years

Donkeys are very strong and intelligent

A donkey is stronger than a horse of the same size.

Donkeys have an incredible memory - they can recognise areas and other donkeys they were with up to 25 years ago.

Donkey characteristics
Donkeys are not easily startled (unlike horses) and have a keen sense of curiosity.
Donkeys have a reputation for stubbornness but this is due to their highly developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest or safety.
Donkeys are more independent in their thinking than horses and will reason, then make decisions based on their safety.
Training a donkey relies upon showing him or her, by words and action, that they can trust you to protect them from harm. They learn what it is we want them to do if we take time to show them.

Donkeys originate from desert areas of the earth
In the desert environment a donkey is able to hear the call of another donkey 60 miles away, they have far larger ears than horses. Their large ears also help keep them cool.
Because food is scarce in the desert, donkeys utilise 95% of what they eat which means their manure is not a very good fertilizer for land. Their digestive system can break down inedible vegetation and extract moisture from food more efficiently.
They don't like the rain and being out in it for long periods can damage their health as their fur is not waterproof.

Donkeys are herd animals
Donkeys don't like being kept on their own although a single donkey will live quite happily with goats.
A herd will choose the strongest donkey to be their leader, even if domesticated. In the wild the lead donkey would stay to ward off an attack by a wolf or other predators in order to allow the rest of the herd to escape to safety.
Donkeys in a herd will groom each other in the same way as monkeys and chimps do.

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