Homesteading forum: Donkey Power

 
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ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 17, 2012 9:58 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
As per Cajun's request, here's a thread to follow us learn to work these donks. I've done a lot of riding on a couple of 'em, but neither I nor they have done anything in the way of farming before, so this oughta be educational in soooo many ways. Hilarious!

Here's Levi, our fully frosted mammoth jack pulling a flexible harrow...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T6DkPus1og

The videos will be short due to my upload limitations, but I'll try to keep them interesting & informative.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
porkpal
Jan 17, 2012 10:48 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
He looks like he's done it all his life!
Porkpal
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 18, 2012 8:09 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Oh no, if he'd done it all his life, I'd be walking behind him w/driving lines. Smiling Next time you see him, he'll be wearing his bridle, 'cause he kept diving for snackies & yanking my arm off. The bridle has sidechecks so he can't put his head down. Would you like to see a picture of that?
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 19, 2012 12:11 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Managed to get Levi hitched to the harrow today by myself (generally not a good idea) & took him around the 10 acre pasture. He did pretty well, considering he's more nervous w/the blinders on right now. So we had a little quick step in a circle a couple of times, once over the neighbor's dogs & again over a cow on the other side of the pasture (Levi's afraid of cows Hilarious! ) Worked hard enough to start to break a sweat.

So here's a picture of the sidecheck on:
Thumb of 2012-01-19/DonkeyJay/a82eb7

I've got it just tight enough to keep him from dropping his head & grazing, so it's loose when he's working. He tested it today during one of his breaks, just stood there & leaned on the bit. "Huh, it didn't give, bummer, my life is over." Hilarious!

And here's the great white one just hanging out. For those that don't know, this is not the "ears pinned back" that indicates an angry horse, this is the listening behind me-ears at rest position. "Ears pinned back" is when these suckers lay FLAT back along the neck. Then watch out... that's the cocked & ready position. Blinking

Thumb of 2012-01-19/DonkeyJay/4592d3
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
porkpal
Jan 19, 2012 3:57 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
I have a similar bridle for the pony that I drive except that it has an over-check which I find difficult to adjust. The side-check looks a lot like the "grass reins" we used to put on ponies for children to ride.
Porkpal
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 19, 2012 5:03 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
An overcheck would do the same thing, but I think often they're not made long enough on harness because most folks use them for show, which requires a higher head set.

Those 'grass reins' were probably some handy farmer's solution to clever ponies. Thumbs up
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
porkpal
Jan 19, 2012 5:55 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Yep - on both counts.
Porkpal
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 19, 2012 6:40 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Here's what Levi looked like when I went out to feed...

Thumb of 2012-01-20/DonkeyJay/902789

Mud packs. Very metrosexual. Hilarious!
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
porkpal
Jan 20, 2012 8:04 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Ah, yes: the adobe donkey! He really doesn't want to be grey, just trying to blend into his environment.
Porkpal
ImageCajuninKy
Jan 20, 2012 11:35 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
Loving this thread and looking forward to your adventures. Max needs some of those reins on his bridel. He does love to graze and will nearly pull a kid over his head. I hook a lead rope to both sides of the bit and loop it behind the saddle horn. That helps.

Levi looks very macho in his gear. I know you will be happy when you can drive him. Odd that he is scared of a cow. Has he not seen them often?
Please join me at my Websites:
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ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 20, 2012 12:46 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
He has seen a number of them, but never really gotten over himself w/regards cows. If we happen to come across a cow walking away from us, I'll chase it & Levi feels very brave & tough. So once we came across a BIG Simmental bull Levi thought he might chase... uh, no, let's not try that, OK? And heaven help us if the cow starts to walk our way... Hilarious!

We have driven Levi to cart, we're just getting him in shape 'cause it's been a couple of years since I've done anything w/him & he's about 18 YO now, so want to bring him up slow. Can't do a thing w/a soured donkey. Rolling my eyes.

Got out & got everyone tacked up & let them stand while we took Hannah around the pasture. Walked the boys around the corral a few times. Trombone is pretty nervous about the whole deal, his tail never did really relax. So a few more times of that.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
[Last edited Jan 20, 2012 12:48 PM CST]
Quote | Post #817911 (11)
ImageCajuninKy
Jan 20, 2012 12:55 PM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
So, they are all going to be working? That is exciting!

Did Levi ever meet any cows while he was hitched to the cart?
Please join me at my Websites:
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ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 21, 2012 3:48 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
No, fortunately! I've only driven him to cart in our pasture & so far there've been no cows across the creek when I did. He's very green in harness; it's just that he's so generally unflappable he looks like he knows what he's doing.

Couple of new photos for y'all... first, our homemade tire harrow:
Thumb of 2012-01-21/DonkeyJay/a7386f
I made it out of nylon radials which I got free from the local tire store & cut in half on the flat. Then the whole thing is bolted together. It's nice to start them dragging something, better than just a single tire which can get to bouncing if they bolt & then things get VERY exciting. This is fairly quiet dragging, has a nice bit of resistance, is about as safe as you can get in the midst of a wreck, & actually does knock down gopher mounds & spread a bit of the manure around.

This other one is a flexible ATV harrow:
Thumb of 2012-01-21/DonkeyJay/1b808d
It's about 3 x 8, is pretty darn heavy & gives them a good workout. It's a good deal noisier than the tires, & therefore does a better job of spreading dirt piles & manure. It can work in 3 positions: tines up as in this picture, tines down & pointing backwards & tines down pointing forwards (most resistance, most aggressive). I found this thru Craigslist & paid $200.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 21, 2012 4:01 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
And a new quick video showing Shenanigans in harness...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovzYpuysz1A

He took well to being back in harness, Trombone not so good. His little tail didn't unkink even after we finally got his feet unlocked. Hilarious! More to do w/that boy.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
ImageCajuninKy
Jan 27, 2012 1:15 PM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
Shenanigins (sp?) looks very comfortable in harness. Hopefully he will do as well with the implements.

I really like that rire harrow. Very good idea. Good that it keeps the tires out of the landfill too. How does it pull?
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ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 30, 2012 3:55 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
It actually pulls pretty easily, enough drag to let them know it's there & to condition them a bit, but not so much it defeats them. I really like it for starting them. It's also much nicer than a single tire, 'cause if they take off on you, it doesn't get to bouncing like one tire will (I've seen that happen & boy-howdy does that make things interesting! Higher than the horse's head!) It doesn't do so much in terms of leveling the gopher hills, tho' it'd probably do well enough spreading the manure piles a horse leaves in a pasture. It's not very heavy.

Here's a new video of how a donkey DOESN'T work sometimes. LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOolctu-mWw&context=C3760d17A...

It's a minute twelve seconds, so it may take a while to load, PP. If you want to bother. I think it took about an hour to upload it from here. Rolling my eyes.

Shenanigans did VERY well today, he really steps out well. I may drop the tug chains next time I take him out. Trombone got away from me... he scared himself over the cows across the creek... but he stopped before he went aaallll the way back to the barn & did well enough when we went back by the cows. He did VERY well w/the little hitching commands: Step, Over, Back.

I think Step is the best thing I've learned in a long time, from an very experienced teamster. It means 'take 1 step & only 1 step', great for hitching, letting them move into a load, step up just a little to get a foot off something or move just a hair out of the way. I got a video of Hannah doing it; she's a pro & it's through no fault of my own. Hilarious!

Here's Hannah by the big scary cows... she doesn't care, she's more worried (& it's not much) about the dog two pastures over.
Thumb of 2012-01-30/DonkeyJay/e54c0b
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
porkpal
Jan 30, 2012 4:14 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
I guess Hannah's semi-cocked ear is indicative of worry. She looks serene to me.

I didn't try to watch the video; I think I can imagine donkeys not working pretty well.
Porkpal
ImageDonkeyJay
Jan 30, 2012 6:24 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Hilarious! Oh, yes. It's just bigger & better w/a mammoth. Mostly the clip is funny because of my partner trying to get him to go. She's pretty ineffectual. None of the animals around here take her too seriously. The part where she looks like she's patting Trombone is actually her attempt to smack him.

Hannah is serene, but you can tell what she's listening to. Forewarned is forearmed & all that. And she ENJOYS stomping dogs. My bad in choosing that word. Smiling
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
ImageCajuninKy
Feb 1, 2012 10:07 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
Donks do tend to hate dogs. Guess that is why they make such good coyote deterents.

I saw on FB that a lady in La. is giving away free donkeys. They were very nice looking donks and all in good shape.
Please join me at my Websites:
At Home Away from Home ~ Cajun's Corner

porkpal
Feb 1, 2012 11:18 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
I doubt it is any easier to place donkeys than it is horses around here now...
Porkpal

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