Fall 2020 Newsletter

We have three new rescue donkeys here at Rancho Burro. Chili, Dory and Casanova. They came from a lady in Paso Robles Ca. whose health had failed to the point where she could not care for them. One of the three, Chili, with the coat on, is a sweet 30-year-old that is desperately in need of help. She is very emaciated and needs to be given the type of feed that can be processed by an older animal like her. Food like processed hay pellets as opposed to raw hay and straw. Our vet came out, examined them, and took samples for diagnosis.

Dory and Casanova appear to be healthy and all three-look happy trotting around their new pasture. We are keeping them in a separate pasture from the other donkeys until we are sure that they are healthy and that they are carefully introduced.

Progress on our new, sanctuary facility is going well. Projects like this seem to take forever, now given COVID precautions, availability of workers, permitting delays, etc. Since we are starting with bare land and only a couple of wells, there is a lot to do. Currently, Discing for a barley straw crop, fencing and road work is going well, thanks to the work of our great helpers. Preliminary plans from the architect are ready to be passed on to the building contractors for bidding.

 Featured Rancho Burro residents.

Ruby, our one mule, (half draft horse and half mammoth donkey) is an extremely sweet girl that we rescued from a Texas kill pen where she was destined to be sent to slaughter. Ruby is an older draft mule, around 25 we think, who was probably used for heavy physical work until she could longer do it. Now she has a forever retirement home here where she has partnered up with little donkey Jojo. Jojo is also an older donkey, retired from a life of being abused by cowboys that used him for roping practice.

A few facts about donkey ownership.

We frequently get calls from people that want to acquire a donkey. Rancho Burro does not currently offer adoption for its rescued animals. They have a home here for life.  We are happy to refer requests to other places that do provide adoptions. Also, we are more than willing to share information regarding the care of donkeys if you want to contact us.

Some basic things to know about donkey ownership are:

  • Donkeys are sweet and kind and should be treated in a similar manner.
  • You should never own a single donkey because it will be lonely.
  • Donkeys need another animal to bond with.
  • Donkeys need regular care … daily exercise, shelter, clean water, appropriate feed, vaccinations, hoof trimming at 6 month intervals, dental care, and regular vet check-ups.
  • There are emergencies that can arise so you may have unexpected expenses.
  • Donkeys are often mistaken for guard animals which is false and misleading.
  • They are not security guards. It is their instinct to chase and possibly kill a coyote, dog, or other intruding animal but not to save another animal.
  • Donkeys have powerful jaws and tough hides. They play rough with each other and sometimes grab each other by the neck. This can accidentally kill a goat, sheep, or other less stout farm animal.

     Gracie and Henry, a bonded pair mugging.