People Animals


Jack goes wherever Poky goes, and if he can’t, then nobody knows the trouble he’s seen. He can’t bear to be parted from his beloved.

The other day, after I’d let Clover and her babies out of the goat pen into the goat yard for the day, Poky went into the goat pen. The other animals love to get in there just because they can’t at other times. Somehow Poky had gotten shut in there because the goat pen door, which had been propped open, had closed. JACK WAS BESIDE HIMSELF WITH ANXIETY.

He was so relieved when I went down there and opened the goat pen door. (I’m not sure Poky was so relieved as Jack immediately marked his territory.)

Anyway. Donkeys, like goats, are very people-oriented. If you walk into their yard, they can’t wait to be with you. And on top of you. And nibbling on you. And, well, they would absolutely go into the house with you and sit down at the table and go to bed with you (if you could stand it). Sheep? Nope. Not at all. (Maybe a bottle-fed lamb, like Annabelle. But not your ordinary sheep.) Not cows, either. Goats and donkeys are like the dogs and cats of farm animals.

Just sayin’. In case you’re shopping for farm animals and you want the kind that LIKE you. (Public Service Announcement #491073.)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 29, 2010  

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10 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-29

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve never had a donkey, but they sound just like our horses. Look out if you go in the field with them, of course first they think you have feed, when they discover you don’t, they are not happy for a few minutes. But then they will settle with being rubbed and the briers pulled from their manes and tails. And they will be your friend forever if you swat flies for them. Thank goodness we have our barn now to put them in when you just want to have one in the yard or my husband is working on their feet. They will go threw the electric fence to be together.
    FYI my dad always planned on one hundred bales of hay per large horse or cow to winter them. Of course goats, sheep and donkeys would be alot less due to their size. It also depends on how bad of winter we have. That’s how we figure our hay for the horses and 1/2 for the pony. It normally works quite well for us.

  2. 9-29

    I agree. You can’t do anything near goats without having one nibbling your clothes, one pulling your hair, one climbing on you, and another one “assisting” in whatever you are attempting to do. And heaven forbid if you set something down. It is either spilled on the ground, in their mouth or missing.

  3. 9-29

    Bottle raise a calf and you’ll have a cow that will follow you.

  4. 9-29

    Many years ago my “friends” gave me a Silly Billy the goat as a birthday gift. I loved Billy except for the fact that he was so bad! He shared about a 1 acre fenced in area with our pony, but of course that wasn’t enough for him, he was out all the time. And once Billy stepped foot anywhere it was “his” territory forever. The neighbors called more than once saying things like “Billy is on my car”, “your goat is on top of my hay bales. It wasn’t helped by the fact that my 6 year old daughter put him on a leash and walked him like a dog. Topped off by the day and she had brought him into the house. After that I came home several times and found him in places like standing on my bed and on my kitchen table. Silly Billy

  5. 9-29

    Okay, I have to speak up for the sheep…we have a flock of twelve Shetland sheep and probably four of them don’t want to have much to do with me (perhaps having longer memories than the other eight, though these are all adult sheep that I did not raise). The other eight however are quite happy to greet me at the fence or come and nuzzle me if I sit down in the field. Two of them like to lay next to\on my lap for scratches. Several of the wag their tail while getting scratches. While it is true that they aren’t as social as our goats and some of our llamas, they do appreciate human company if time is taken to cultivate that relationship. They are the sweetest animals we have and I couldn’t do without their companionship.

    I certainly understand Suzanne’s trepidation in entering the field with the ram…we had a wethered bottle fed ram that didn’t know his boundaries and knocked me over several times- we didn’t keep him long!

  6. 9-29

    I was wondering which ones liked people the most. Thanks for explaining that. :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly:

  7. 9-29

    Which one is Poky and which one is Jack? I’m guessing Jack is the lighter one on the left.


  8. 9-29

    Julia, Jack is the darker one on the right.

  9. 9-29

    did you rescue the donkeys from somewhere? Just wondering what purpose they serve? do you use them as pack animals? I have always wanted a little burro, but never had a chance to own one.

  10. 9-30

    I have to agree about the donkeys. If mine (who are the larger, standard size) could sit in my lap, they would. In the morning when the light goes on, Hawthorne starts to bray. Or if he hears the toilet flush at 3am. Or when I leave for work at 5am. Or whenever. They call us to pet them, feed them treats, scratch their “cross” on their back, or just to visit. Just like dogs; big 500 pound dogs.

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