…Continued from Part 1:

Shiloh is a bit unique in her husbandry, as she is housed with our Alpine buck, Stallion.  She is also pregnant (about 6-7 months as of this post). Because both goats and donkeys are herbivores, they have a lot in common, so I plan my husbandry in such a way that it will work for both species. 

  • Shiloh is housed with Stallion, in a large hot-wired (due to the buck), fenced pen, with a 3-sided shelter.  The shelter uses a semi-deep-bedding-system of wood shavings/chips and straw, which provides heat via composting in the winter.  She is turned out to pasture regularly, rotating with Athena (since Shiloh can’t be loose around dogs or she may charge). 
  • Her feed consists simply of about 6 lbs. of alfalfa/grass hay each day (3 lbs. twice a day), in addition to whatever she grazes in the limited pasture.  I also occasionally give a handful of grain, fruit and vegetable scraps.  She also happily cleans up wasted feed from the goats, which cuts down tremendously on our waste.
  • In the shelter, I have 3 containers of free-shoice supplements:  a bucket of Thorvin kelp meal, a container of Hoegger goat mineral, a container of a dolomite and copper (6:1) mixture, and white salt block (which I rarely see used).  In addition, I mix raw apple cider vinegar into her water trough. 
  • I regularly use the same herbal dewormer on her as I use for the goats.  Because its what I have, I use the Hoegger version for now, but due to the Black Walnut it contains, this must be done with caution.  In the future, I will be using Molly’s herbs, as they make it without the Black walnut, which is safer for equines, but sill effective.  Between herbal treatments, I give her treats of goat grain with diatomaceous earth mixed in.  This further helps with internal parasites. 
  • I have found Shiloh to require far less maintance than an average horse.  She thrives easily, and needs only the occasional brushing and exercise.  I trim her feet myself, about every 8 weeks for now.  Obviously, timing will vary with housing conditions and exercise.
  • I have always been a big advocate of vaccines, but with Shiloh, I have decided not to vaccinate–at least for now.  I may opt for a rabies and a West Nile once we move to Red Gate, though it won’t be every year as I used to do. 
  • Shiloh was already bred when I got her, but I don’t think she is a good candidate for future breedings.  We plan to keep her as a guardian, pet, and riding mount for the children.  If her foal is a jenny, we may keep her for the same reasons, but are still undecided right now.  If it is a jack, the plan is we will geld it using a burdizzo, which is faster, safer, and far less painful than a traditional surgical gelding, and there is no recovery period.  Of course, with a donkey’s potentially powerful kick, it must be done as early/young as possible! 

That’s about it for Shiloh.  She is one of the lower maintenace animals we have, and has the added benefit of being rideable and offer therapy for my boys!