Donkeys and Goats

My vet says women in east TN want 2 things, Donkeys and Goats! Now she doesn’t understand why, but if you’re reading this, you probably do!

Why Angora Goats?

What came first, the donkey or the goat? On my farm it was the goat first. My goat barn was built before our house was done! I started with dairy goats, added meat goats and eventually added a couple of fiber goats.

The goat journey for us started in 2011 but I sold my herds around 2018 to focus on donkeys and gardens. The last couple of years the focus has been all on donkeys! Running a single species farm has its pros and cons. Pro is I can better focus on 1 species, this is a lovely thing! A big con is the forage plants that the single species won’t eat becomes very overgrown. Multi-species farm animals usually break up parasite cycles too.

Which brings us too….

The husband wanted meat goats to clear the wood lots and brush..
I did not want goats at all because they have done me that! I like sheep but they don’t do well on rough pasture and weeds.. they don’t clear woodlots… that’s all I got here!
I admit .. after not having goats for 3 years all the things donkeys won’t eat (like poison Ivy!) is getting out of control.
We compromised and got fiber goats because I do like mohair from angora goats … I can have it processed and use it for tack making!! and I like their calmer temperament compared to the rowdy goats I used to keep.
Goats are extremely useful animals on the right farm if you get a breed that doesn’t make you crazy! 
I’ve got 2 donkeys that have been around goats a lot .. that was Theo’s life… guarding the pasture for a large fainting goat herd, before his owner neglected his health and hoof care to the point he couldn’t. All his years of keeping her goats safe and she couldn’t even get his hooves trimmed! But that’s another story.. Rescue Donkeys Case Study of Theo and Boone

Goats and Donkeys Living Together

Donkeys do not always like goats.. I find donkeys to be extremely accepting of sheep but goats are sometimes… for lack of a better description.. buttheads!
Introductions to the new goats will be slow and there’s a solid chance Jasper will never be allowed with them.. he’s way to playful and tends to be a bully.
So management will be, keep them with the donkeys that accept them and rotate them after the donkeys that don’t care for them. 
I tend to run my goats in 2 separate herds anyways..
Goats do break equine parasite cycles so that’s a bonus!
They’ll have to be separate during kidding time so the donkeys don’t think the new kids are intruders .. I never took that precaution previously and never had a problem but I will this go around. Just in case…

Donkeys as Guard Animals

Please read Using a Guardian Donkey if you are looking into donkeys because you want them as guardians. Not all donkeys (like not all livestock guardian dogs) make good guards! If this is your primary purpose for wanting a donkey please make sure the donkey has everything it needs to be successful! 
Please don’t underestimate the donkeys care needs or the donkeys training needs! My Donkey Training Membership Group can help!