Bonnie the Guard Donkey


Welcome to Peckham Farm here at the University of Rhode Island. Today we’re going to meet Bonnie, a guard donkey. No doubt you’ve heard about guard dogs,
but have you ever heard of a guard donkey? Bonnie is specially trained. So exactly what does she guard? A guard donkey is very, I don’t want to say skittish, but they’re very aware of their surroundings. Before we had the guard donkeys,
we had attacks on the sheep by wild dogs. So what they do is, they don’t like dogs or
any sort of predatory animal, so they’ll atually attack them. One of their big defenses is stompking and kicking, so it creates that barrier between the dogs and the sheep. It’s a wonder that Bonnie gets any sleep at night,
she’s busy counting sheep. So far, there are 44 newly born lambs here. There’s a lot involved when you have to clean off the sheep. You have to make sure they’re breathing, make sure they get up and start to
nurse after about 15 to 20 minutes. There are several times when I’ve been here
well past 1am or 4am. But Bonnie isn’t the only one keeping the eye on the flock. Sometimes mothers even serve as woolly launching pads. Bonnie does a lot. She does a really good job, she’s nice, she doesn’t beat up the sheep, she’s just a good donkey. We have significantly cut down any
problems we’ve had with coyotes. She sticks to herself a lot.
She’s very protective of the flock but she’s not really willing to go up to people too often, but she will stick around, kind of like a special tie.
It’s nice to see.


14 Responses

  1. Globe2219

    April 17, 2014 6:03 pm

    What the people are saying tends to be drowned out by the sheep bleating…who's bright idea was it to record there?  What could be an informative video is reduced to a waste!

  2. Laura Dent

    March 21, 2018 9:56 pm

    I just learned the other day about guard donkeys… cool!!! Never knew they had it in them. Love learning new stuff.

  3. forbiddencrisis

    May 23, 2018 9:23 am

    I hope they have two. Donkeys are very sociable and get depressed without company. Still coolest idea I've seen as a guard

  4. skoal022

    July 31, 2018 3:46 am

    We have a 9 month old jenney thats been pretty rough with our sheep. She was 5 months old when we brought her to our farm. She was with both parents along with cattle when we picked her up. She was wild and never been handeled. She is gentel now towards us and pretty much like a dog now. She had been alone on our farm for a few months until we bought the sheep. We used woven wire to seperate the barn in half. She was on one side freely able to come and go. Sheep were fixed on the other in the barn. All seemed well the first few days she licked them through the fence. 

    I turned the sheep out after 5 days she started stomping and chasing them. I since now have divided the paddock with 3 strands of electric fence right down the middle of the barn. So now she can see them out in the pasture, but wont attack them because of fear of the electric fence. She is now 9 months old. I noticed her bite my ram and a ewe through the woven wire in the barn this evening. I immediatley smacked her with my hat. What should i do? I need her to protect them and ti all be together. I heard coyotes tonight when i left them. Shes there only hope of survival. Would you recommed a shock collar for her aggression/training?

  5. CornyBum

    December 21, 2019 10:53 am

    These sheep prison gangs are outta control, and all those tattoos just ruin their chances of getting a job if they ever make it outta the joint.


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