Thursday, January 12, 2017

The story of quirky Fae ... Milking donkey in the making or not

This is Fae. She's a gorgeous dappled Jenny donkey! 
She's just one example of why I tell people , finding good milking donkeys isn't as easy as it sounds! 
Even the *friendly* ones can have issues! 
Donkeys are really amazing creatures and I love them dearly. Figuring them out can be tough sometimes. 
Getting a totally wild one or an abused one that acts very aggressively isn't in my best skill set! Nor do I have time for this. 
I don't mind untrained donkeys though.
I love working with donkeys and figuring out how to train nice friendly ones but I know my limitations. 

Fae has been here for a month and I've been milking her for 3 weeks. She is an excellent milker! She gives a great amount of milk and is a record holder here! At only 11 hh this is a great amount for a donkey of any size! 
Great udder and she's friendly ... Sort of!!

Now when I go to look at a donkey to buy that's supposed to be *friendly* I don't put to much faith into that donkey being friendly the way I think a friendly donkey should act. 
Friendly to some people just means they might take a treat from you, maybe a little scratch if you are on the other side of a fence and they won't kick at you maybe if you move real slow. 
This is not my idea of friendly ....
Especially for a milking donkey. 

Fae is what I call a kinda, sorta friendly donkey with a lot of odd quirks. For lack of a better description. 
Examples of her quirks; She's fine if you pet her and likes to be scratched, just not to much! 
She will let me put a halter on her but if I do it before milking time she's extra suspicious of me and won't let me milk as much. So if I want to work on lead training I have to do it after milking time.
Some days she lets me milk her out easily with no issue. Other days she acts like I've never milked her before and backs away or tries to kick.
I also have to milk her with my right hand only! If I try to milk her with both she backs away or tries to kick me off .. Yeah, quirky! 

I'm learning her quirks and trying to work through them.
But in all honestly I'm not sure she's got the temperament to be a milker.

I've had dairy goats that just didnt have a temperament for milking and they were bred to be milking animals! 
So it's really no shock to me that some donkeys wouldn't be up to the task. 

She's not aggressive and I do think I can lead train her. 
As a milker, we will have to wait and see! 
I'm certainly hoping we can get the quirks worked out .. Seriously look at the milk above! She's worth the effort. That's over $60 worth of milk! 
Meanwhile I'm a week away from milking Mina. Mina came from the same guy as Fae. I am working with Mina and looking for quirks! 
She's got them but will they get in the way of her being a milker is the question I'm concerned with! And training her jack colt so he doesn't freak out to bad when I start taking him away for a few hours so I can milk her.  Like Fae's Jenny foal he'd never been handled. He's younger so it's not been quite as hard to win him over thankfully! 

But As always, I'm blessed to have these animals in my life... Quirky or not!


  1. Wow, I didn't know there was such a thing as a milking donkey. Very interesting! My husband has always wanted donkeys, but we just don't have the land to support as many animals as we'd like. :)

    1. Yes!!Donkey milk is fairly popular in some European countries and in Asia. Little known here... its been life changing for me and helped me so much! Truly a blessing.
      Donkeys do eat alot and get expensive to feed if there is not enough pasture. Then they need all sorts of things like tack, farriers and their teeth floated once a year. They need more space than pigs,goats or even sheep. Especially if they are breeders. Many people do not like keeping intact jacks either. They fit in here better than anything else I've tried to raise though :-)
      Thanks for stopping by! Its been awhile since I've seen what you've been up too I'll have to drop by soon :-)