Funny long ears
|Height:||90 – 160 cm|
|Features:||long ears, standing mane, often light colouring on the belly and zebra-like markings on the legs, tassel-like tail, shoulder cross|
|Coat colour:||grey, brown, black, rarely also white|
|Character:||intelligent, very social, sensitive, courageous|
|Suitable for:||animal-supported therapy, sheep herd protection, landscape conservation|
Underestimated long ears with special abilities
A very extraordinary member of the horse family is the house donkey. It is descended from the African wild donkey and was domesticated thousands of years ago. It was mainly used for riding and as a beast of burden, but was then increasingly replaced by the horse. Because of its toughness and sure-footedness on uneven ground, it has remained a faithful companion of mankind until today. Especially poorer classes of the population could usually afford a robust donkey as a workhorse rather than a horse. This has contributed to the fact that the donkey has (unjustly) received much less recognition than the horse to this day.
The long-eared animals are still considered to be stubborn. However, this assumption is based on a misunderstanding: when danger threatens, donkeys do not immediately take flight like horses, but remain standing still for the time being. They take a moment to decide whether to run away, stand still or attack – in fact, donkeys sometimes attack their enemies when necessary. Even if it often doesn’t seem so externally, donkeys are under great pressure in this decision-making situation. If a keeper then tries to push or pull the donkey on, this causes even more stress for the animal. The donkey will therefore not move at all. A donkey is by no means stubborn, but dealing with it requires a lot of patience and empathy. However, once a person has gained the trust of a long-eared person, the latter turns out to be a very loyal friend. The cooperation is then also characterized by a high motivation and willingness to learn. The intelligent animals also like to show their comic side, which various donkeys have already proven several times in the show.
Other characteristics – other needs
Donkeys are very closely related to horses, but differ in many ways. They do not have a lush tail, but a tail that ends in a tassel. Typical for the animals are also the short standing mane as well as the eel line that runs across the back. Their calls are much louder than a horse’s mule, so that they can communicate with each other even over long distances of up to three kilometres. To be able to hear these sounds over such a long distance, donkeys have longer ears than horses, which makes them particularly droll. The donkey’s usually grey fur is not water-repellent, so a donkey needs a protective stable when it rains. The food is also different from horses: Donkeys are good feed converters and should eat little grain and juicy grass, otherwise diseases and obesity threaten. Instead, they need a lot of woodchip, for example branches and bark, hay and straw.
Did you know? The cross between a horse and a donkey is called a mule. A mule has a stallion for a father and a mare for a mother. With a mule, also known as a mule, it is the other way round: the mother is a horse mare and the father a donkey stallion. However, mules and hinnies cannot reproduce further.
Donkey at CAVALLUNA
Donkeys have been seen several times in our shows. In the show “World of Fantasy” the shaggy Poitou donkey “Anouky” by Laurent Jahan caused astonishment and laughter in the audience.