Aggie: The Wonder Donkey

We bought Aggie to be a pet, and to protect our sheep. One winter’s day, she did in fact manage to save the life of one of our ewes. The threat was not a coyote, but something we had never even considered.

For those who do not know anything about donkeys, let me tell you that they are wonderful gentle creatures. Equally so, apparently more people are killed by donkeys every year, than die in airplane crashes. Donkeys can kick without warning and are often kept to guard other livestock against predators.

This is Aggie, I took the picture.

They are often referred to as being stubborn. In my experience, the donkey is not stubborn, but is actually very intelligent. They don’t do something just because you tell them to do it, they do something because they want to do it. So if you want a donkey to do something, you have to convince the donkey it wants to do that thing itself, food often works well.

Donkeys are very personable, they love their owners, they love it when their owners feed them. They love being “know it alls”. A person cannot enter a pasture where a donkey is kept, without being noticed, and either greeted, or chased out, if you are a stranger. Donkeys are far from dumb.

We bought Aggie to be a pet, and to protect our sheep. One winters day in fact, she did manage to save the life of one of our ewes. The rescue was not from coyotes, but from something far more common, a threat we had not even considered.

It was late, around eleven at night, I was just going to bed. She had come to the place in the pasture closest to the house, a place she normally would not stand, and was braying. Donkeys have a loud bray, usually it means “Howdy” or “GET OUT HERE AND FEED ME NOW!!!”. Eleven o’clock pm is not meal time, so I thought she was just lonely. After she called a few times I thought I would go out and tell her to go bed.

When I poked my head out the door I heard off in the distance a faint “baa” sound. From where I was it is impossible to see the sheep, but could figure out the call was from behind the old barn. This is where we would typically feed Aggie and her mini horse pals. In the winter we keep the big guys in a separate pen from the sheep, since sheep need oats in the winter, whereas donkeys and mini horses are prone to health problems if they get oats.

It was either this gal (Diamond), or her sister (Favorite) who got into trouble that night (it was dark I am not sure who it was now that I look back) 

Back to the story. I put on my winter coat and boots, grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. It was a crisp winter night, and very frosty. Out behind the old barn one of our woolly ewes had got her head stuck in the fence. Being a piggy sheep, she had put her head through the fence to get the hay on the other side, her wool wrapped around the wire and because of the frosty nature that evening it tangled and froze. Lucky for both of us, she is also a friendly gal and allowed me to work her wool free from the wire and set her on her way.

At this time I was able to go back to bed, and Aggie, happy she put an end to all the fuss, also went to sleep.

Other Sheep Links

Lucky Lamb and her First Year

Exotic Jacob Sheep

Beautiful Barbado Hair Sheep

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Republished here.

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User Comments
  1. Darla Smith

    On January 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Great story!

  2. C Jordan

    On January 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Nice story B

  3. Tel Asiado

    On January 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Amusing, B! Thanks.

  4. Betty Carew

    On January 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    What a wonderful article I like it. I’m a big lover of animals and it seems like Aggie is no different lol.

  5. Brenda Nelson

    On January 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    In case anyone was wondering – Diamond, is the sheep in the photo, but her eyes are brown – when you take night pictures of sheep they reflect blue (you know.. how like people get “red eye”)

  6. PR Mace

    On January 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Good story. But she looks so cold in the picture.

  7. Figgins

    On January 16, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Wonderful story! It’s wonderful how animals look out for each other!! We would like to own a donkey some day.

  8. Sotiris

    On January 17, 2009 at 6:44 am

    You are very lucky to have animals :) . My Grandma used to have many animals too! Now she has only hens!


    On January 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    What a great story! Go Donkey!!

  10. OhSugar

    On January 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Heart-warming. What a face.

  11. eddiego65

    On January 22, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Great story.

  12. Glynis Smy

    On February 28, 2009 at 7:28 am

    I love seeing the donkeys here in Cyprus, they are so loyal. Great article

  13. catlord

    On August 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    very kewl stuff! :-)

  14. lisa

    On January 2, 2010 at 6:40 am

    its amazing how people think donkeys are stupid when they’re the opposite.
    its like pigs and dolphins, they are intelligent and also people orientated. they make a fuss over anything you give them.
    my grandparents had a sheep farm and they also had a pig who greeted anyone who came up to its pen.
    as what people say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” applies to this!

  15. catlord

    On January 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    very kewl

  16. Marisa Cooper

    On August 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Such a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Peter, Sydney Group Dining

    On August 12, 2011 at 4:26 am

    That’s a wonderful story! Very amusing.

  18. Workshop manuals

    On August 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Aggie is so cute and fuzzy!

  19. Christian Hollingsworth

    On September 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    What an inspiring story. Appreciate the share. The donkey is pretty adorable as well1

  20. Tony

    On October 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Me & my kids love donkeys!

    Roman Gladiator

  21. drvaughandabbs

    On March 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Excellent information. This site definitely explains essential concepts to its readers. Thanks for continuing to write such wonderful articles.

  22. Luxury Independent Floors

    On June 12, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Nice article on donkeys…liked it :) thanks for sharing.

  23. Sofia

    On August 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    lovely story, that is what i call team work!

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