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.