Miniature donkeys can scare off coyotes and even feral domestic dogs, but they shouldn’t be forced to do it themselves! Some farmers keep what they call livestock guardians, which are animals that look after other animals.
Often, these are lamas or other large animals that graze on grass, but miniature donkeys can do the same thing. Unfortunately, I’ve come across plenty of cases where hobby farmers complain that a group of coyotes were able to overpower their donkeys.
That means you don’t want to just put your donkey out there without anything else in place to protect against coyotes. You may want to consider fencing with rollers, which help to keep coyotes away from your donkeys and all other livestock you might have.
These devices require no power source and deal with coyotes humanely. You could also consider sectioning any land outside in such a way that coyotes wouldn’t really be able to get close to your animals to begin with.
Miniature donkeys will let you know if one gets close, because they don’t get along at all. That means you might get some extra time to take your animals away from the local wildlife.
Why Do Donkeys Hate Coyotes?
Donkeys, regardless of their size, might look like a tasty treat to some coyotes. While domestic animals aren’t exactly part of a coyote’s regular diet, they’ll certainly look for any slow large mammals if they’re hungry enough.
As a result, miniature donkeys have learned to defend themselves and this kind of joint animosity has not made the two animals the best of friends. Notably, donkeys will start to bray if they feel threatened.
Some scientists and farmers I’ve found online believe that donkeys first started to bray as a way to communicate with one another over long distances in desert locations. Quite a few donkeys are able to bray for almost half a minute, which is usually enough to call for help.
If you hear your donkey often complaining like this, then there’s a chance that your property isn’t safe from wild animals. You’ll want to make sure to take some measures to ensure that your donkeys aren’t going to suffer an attack.
Then again, in some cases you might find that your animals aren’t at all above fighting back!
Will Donkeys Attack Coyotes?
You may find that your miniature donkeys prefer to just bray wildly whenever they sense danger, since that was the original way that they dealt with potentially violent situations. It’s a call to all the nearby pack animals that there’s something out there that they don’t feel safe around.
That being said, I’ve come across a number of reports where donkeys either fight back when challenged by a coyote or even try to take a preemptive strike. In most of these cases, it wasn’t pretty and it didn’t end all that well for the donkeys.
Some wild coyotes might be carrying a disease or parasite, which means that even donkeys who do successfully attack one might not be safe. It’s best to always try to avoid altercations between your animals and the local wildlife if at all possible.
When you’re training your donkey, make sure to devote some time to helping him or her know where safe areas are so you can reduce the risk that your donkey will get into a violent situation. You may also want to use positive reinforcement to keep your miniature donkeys in a specific safe zone.
Unlike most other kinds of larger pets, a miniature donkey normally won’t just roam without a good reason so this kind of training can be more effective than it might seem.
More than likely, you’ll want to spend more time ensuring that coyotes aren’t the ones to attack first.
Will Coyotes Attack Mini Donkeys?
In theory, coyotes shouldn’t go around attacking donkeys. I’ve come across quite a few people online that point out there’s always a possibility. Coyotes that are really hungry will go looking for any livestock of sufficient size.
They smell blood really well, so if your donkey has a scratch or sore that could attract coyotes and even other predators. Taking good care of your donkey is important for so many reasons, but it’s especially vital if you’re going to regularly put him or her outside.
Coyotes might also attack miniature donkeys in self-defense. In some unfortunate situations, a miniature donkey may strike preemptively in the hopes of getting the best possible fighting chance after having seen a coyote.
If this happens, then you can usually expect that the coyote will fight back with a vengeance. This is yet another great reason to keep your grounds secure so these kinds of unfortunate situations won’t happen to begin with.
Do Mini Donkeys Protect Livestock?
To some degree, they certainly seem to do so judging by the reactions from countless farmers and those who have quite a collection of large pets. Some people do list miniature donkeys among their favorite types of livestock guardians.
Many people seem to argue back and forth about whether or not you should be using miniature donkeys as guardians, however. Donkeys tend to respect the same fencing that goats would, but they do chew on wood posts.
They have a pretty good temperament and won’t roam around or dig like dogs might. Unfortunately, however, these animals tend to be so vulnerable to coyotes themselves.
If a coyote and a miniature donkey picked a fight with one another, then the coyote is going to win nine times out of ten. In cases where the miniature donkey wins, they’re still going to be seriously beat up and there’s a good chance that other animals might follow along as soon as they either smell blood or realize that something is wrong.
Having trained dogs and other animals who can live alongside your miniature donkeys and keep an eye out for predators is always going to be a good thing. That being said, you’ll also want to invest in good fences with rollers or other features designed to help discourage coyotes from ever coming into contact with your livestock or pets in the first place.