You Don’t Know Jack


Sheep are great mowers.
They even trim. In the foreground, you can see the most recent section of pasture the sheep have been mowing. Beyond is the first section, beginning to grow back. This week, fencing was finished on the third pasture, which had gotten quite high. They can now be rotated through three pastures, giving each field plenty of rest time to grow back. You gotta love the free food of spring and summer and fall. (We made the rookie mistake of being unprepared this past winter with adequate hay and had to scramble. We’ll do better this year. We’ve already lined up our sources of free and low-cost hay for the animals for this winter.)
The sheep have been salivating to get into this new pasture, into the tall, tall grass.
They’ve got a lot of mowing and trimming to do over there.
They got to work right away. (They’re just taking a break here. This yard work gig is exhausting.)
Every homeowner in every suburban neighborhood needs a sheep or two. Then they could get rid of their lawnmowers and weed-eaters.
That’s not a sheep.
Naming a male donkey Jack is like naming a dog Dog, but Jack came with that name and we kinda like it. We like Jack, too. Jack was free to a good home, and we are that home.

A lot of our animals have been free. If you let people know you’re interested in acquiring animals, next thing you know, it might be raining donkeys. There are plenty of reasons people sometimes need to find new homes for their animals, including simply not being in a good position to be able to take care of them anymore. Jack’s owners heard about us through Faye at the little store in town. We got a call and they came to check out our farm then we went to meet Jack. You should have seen him being loaded up. He demonstrated the definition of stubborn with two steps forward and one step backward. It took a lot of convincing and bit of shoving to get him on the truck.

Jack is 12 years old. (Miniature donkeys can live to be 20 or 30 years old.) He’s not gelded. He’s very sweet and tame and he loves treats. I love Jack. Maybe someday, when Pocahontas is old enough, she can love him, too, and they can make miniature donkey babies together. In the meantime, Jack has a job.
He’s guarding the sheep in the bottom pastures.

That’s right. Jack’s in charge of the sheep.
Good luck with that, Jack.


  1. Sandy says:

    Yes, good luck with that Jack. That last little sheepy looks a little on the sneaky side to me.

  2. CindyP says:

    and you were just kidding about wanting a mini donkey, eh? Now you have two! 😆 😆

    Soon your farm will be “Suzanne’s Animal Rescue” 😆 But it’s so wonderful that you do rescue some animals that need a home!

  3. Box Call says:

    The Farm Menagerie continues to grow. Suzanne you are going to have to create a program so I can keep up with all the players. This is the best blog! Best of all,I can now say I do know Jack.

  4. Esther says:

    Your photo of Morgan today is awesome. It’s a one in a million shot.

  5. Cyndi L. says:

    Amen to the sheep in suburbia! Do you know how much time and money people could save?! Not to mention they wouldn’t need chemical fertilizers because the sheep would take care of that too! Then of course they would have wool and dare I say meat, if need be. Oh, I forgot… these things magically appear at stores. (Like the replicators in Star Trek.) Now, I just need to figure out what to do with said animals in the winter. The garage just isn’t gonna cut it.

  6. Linnet says:

    Oh my gosh! That was a surprise. Jack looks sweet and that is awesome that you have enough pastures to rotate the sheep between. Good thinking!

  7. Diane says:

    We keep saying we should get sheep to help with the grass. lol. Mainly in the times when the tractor does not want to work so we can cut the grass.

    Jack is sweet. He has a good home with you.

    We aquired pet rodents the same way though out the years. Guninea pigs we got for free. Ended up finding homes for most of them. Then kept a baby and an old one. The oler one died. Then somone was looking for homes for degues they had. We took them in. A year later oddly enough someone else had these little critters. And they needed a home. We took them in too. Nice when small critters come with their homes all set up and ready to go. lol.

    We have aquired free funiture, food, building supplies, scrap, tv’s. You name it. All because people know we will take it. If we can not use it then we find people who can. Or we recycle it. lol. Makes for an intresting life. lol.

  8. Linda says:

    Jack looks sweet and I am thankful for loving people like you that are able to give animals good homes. I have been on the giving end because of no way to feed and it broke my heart.

  9. Ms. Caddy Wumpus says:

    We’ve come to the same conclusion. I want to lash five or six goats or sheep together and mow lawns – fertilizing as we go. How much more environmentally friendly does THAT get? I suppose you’d need some sort of insurance against flower and veggie death though..

  10. Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:

    How funny! Love the pictures. Has Pocahantas met Jack yet? Just to rub noses, I mean.

  11. monica says:

    :wave: That last pasture will be quickly brought to low grasses, but there are many trees to keep the sheep cool in the summer heat. :hole:
    I knew Suzanne couldn’t ‘have just one’ donkey!You are so lucky!

  12. Carol says:

    Suzanne, you are living my dream! Acquiring/rescuing animals of all different kinds. I’m so happy Jack, and all your other critters, have a happy home!

  13. Heidi533 says:

    Jack is so cute. I’ve heard that guard donkeys are great to have.

  14. Miss Becky says:

    :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: Pocahontas has a companion! No surprise here, and that last photo of the sheepster still has me in stitches. I love that face; Jack, you are one lucky guy…

  15. Melissa says:

    1. Jack looks like he could give birth any day now. He should lay off the beer.
    2. Donkeys are good guard animals. Well, that’s what I heard. You’ll have to confirm it.
    He’s a cutie!

  16. Lynn says:

    I did find out at the Donkey show this past week that they are not prone to foundering (as I had thought). They are however prone to getting tubby. I think Jack will work fine guarding the sheep until Poco is old enough to be bred.

    Miniature donkeys are so endearing. We got thousands of pictures of them last week and some are in this gallery on our website.

  17. The Retired One says:

    I just love your farm humor.

    “Good luck with that!”…..LOVED IT!!! LMAO

  18. Steph says:

    I’ve seen a snake the past two times I have mowed. I should hang up the mower keys and get some sheep!

  19. Claudia says:

    I call our horses our “green mowers” and they are so much quieter than all that buzzing! You’re place is so nice and green, your animals have a great place to live. :sun:

  20. cgReno says:

    Applying to the City of Reno for a permit for a two sheep yard. This will save me a bundle on gardners. Cooperation from City and neighbors doubtful however. These people have NO sense of humor…. Urban Farming Give It A Cahnce!

  21. Kim W says:

    Did you know that Pres. Truman kept sheep on the White House lawn to keep the grass ‘cut’ & to save $$?

    Blessings from Ohio…

  22. Amber says:

    That is so cool. I love donkeys. I’ve heard they are excellent herd protectors. Llamas too. I won’t be the least bit surprised if you end up with some llamas in the future!

  23. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Suzanne, you did it again – surprised us! Well, maybe not such a surprise as we now know how you love to add animals to your farm. Jack does look like a sweetie, but he needs to be strong to tell that Jacob sheep what to do! Has Annabelle met him?

    I love that photo of Morgan – her face is a vision of happiness and delight!! :fairy: :sheep:

  24. Jen R ( says:

    I need to move out into the country so that I can have animals! Living in town, even if it is a small town of <4000 people, is not conducive to my goal of being overrun with animals!

  25. Estella says:

    I knew you couldn’t have just one miniature donkey.

  26. Marilyn says:

    I love your Jack. Have you had “full male” equine before? There are a couple of delicate issues you might want to know about. But perhaps not suited for open blogs.
    Love the tall grazing in the fence. I hope to have more fence this year.
    Do you know about milkweed being not good for the sheep to eat. Ya, I was suprized when my sheep raising friend told me it was a NO! NO!
    That tall greenery in picture #4 looks like it might be marsh milkweed.

  27. Sheryl says:

    Free is always good! lol! You have done very well with your animal acquisitions. I am glad he turned out to be good natured and sweet.

  28. EightPondFarm says:

    I completely agree with Marilyn, #27. Please be cautious around any intact equines, including mini donkeys. They are not necessarily good ewe guardians — unless they are experienced at/trained in guarding sheep. And you might want to watch out, too!

  29. Sharon says:

    Suzanne: I haven’t read all the posted warnings yet, but the few I have read, reinforces my thoughts also. I used to have miniature burrows, also in with our goats, until one day I saw the burrow pick up a small goat and sling it across the barn. Also, they also like to bite butts, so don’t turn your back on him when you are in the field. They are really sweet and loveable, but sometimes unpredictable, especially ones which you haven’t reaised from babies. GOOD LUCK AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

  30. Sharon says:

    Suzanne: I must have missed something somewhere along the line. I’ve never seen a goat with TWO sets of horns. What’s that all about? Is it a special breed? That picture is adorable, but just a little freightening.

  31. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Sharon, those aren’t goats! They’re Jacob sheep. I wrote about them here:

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