Los Fresnos News

The Importance of Having Donkeys on a Homestead

Grace Heritage RanchShortly after we began Grace Heritage Ranch, we realized that we had some problems with mice and rats. We decided to get some cats to control the rodent population, which worked great until some of the cats started disappearing. We realized that we not only had a problem with rodents, but also with coyotes. Something had to be done to protect our animals from these predators.

We lost five cats to the coyotes before getting our first two donkeys. Since the introduction of the donkeys to the homestead, the coyotes have moved on. Now only on occasion do we hear the coyotes howling off somewhere in the distance, and very rarely will one come into the pastures.

Donkeys are often used for protecting other animals, such as cattle or goats, from predators. The reason for this is that donkeys will try to chase away or stomp to death most predators that could harm livestock. In fact, that’s why some cattle ranchers will have two or three donkeys in with their cattle. We have six donkeys right now in different places throughout our homestead. We have been blessed in that all the donkeys we have are very good protectors of our herds.

Although they are very smart and can be quite affectionate, not all donkeys will guard livestock. Sometimes they just won’t see the other animals as part of the herd and so they don’t protect them. It’s also important to note that donkeys are social animals and want to be with other donkeys. For that reason we try to keep at least two donkeys together. Also, if there just one male donkey by himself, even if he’s with a herd of other animals, he may not protect the herd unless there’s a female donkey with him.

To learn even more about homesteading, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/VisitGHR. For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We offer both public and private tours.

Photo: Grace Heritage Ranch

Photo: Grace Heritage Ranch