When A Donkey Gets Really Mad

An aggressive donkey can be scary and off-putting. Donkeys can show aggression by snorting, kicking out with their hooves and facing up to perceived threats square on. Sometimes they’ll attempt to pick things up and shake them. It’s often unpredictable exactly what they’ll do.

How donkeys can act aggressively

There are several scenarios donkeys have been observed acting angrily or aggressive. Common ones include:
– When confronted by predators (especially things like coyotes and snakes)
– Attacking other, smaller livestock they’re penned in with (sometimes even ducks, chickens or geese)
– In attempts to be petted (sometimes they might bite or nip)
Even though it’s rare, donkeys have also been known to kill, shake or stomp other animals. But most, it has to be said, are usually very happy being kept with non-threatening animals.

Donkeys attack and kill wolves

Why do donkeys sometimes act aggressive?

Often these responses can be put down to fear, frustration or boredom. Other times they can be in direct response to hormones. Sometimes there may not be any obvious reason.
Even though they’re domesticated you can never fully predict their behavior.

Are some donkeys born aggressive?

Donkeys don’t tend to be born with aggressive tendencies. Most foals are gentle and calm, urging on the side of timid. Aggression tends to come later, around the time of sexual maturity.

How can you tell if a donkey is angry?

You can tell if a donkey is angry the same way you can tell it’s being aggressive. The signs are very similar; kicking or shuffling, violent head shaking etc. Even though donkeys are a lot more stoical and less expressive than horses, you can usually tell an angry one.
The signs are much more apparent than a happy or content one.

Signs of Angry Donkeys

Do donkeys attack humans?

Donkeys very rarely attack humans. Those that do are usually acting out of fear. Perhaps they’ve been abused or struck by humans in the past and associate them with pain.
An aggressive donkey can be unpredictable though. If they’ve been displaying destructive behavior with other livestock, it’s generally a good idea to keep them away from people.
Especially small children who a donkey could easily overpower and cause harm to.

Fatal donkey bite in children

How to deal with an aggressive donkey

Dealing with an aggressive donkey is never particularly nice. But there are a few things you can do to help curb their behavior.
Here are several good tips:
1. Think about gelding (castrating): sometimes that can calm territorial jacks. Generally the earlier you do this, the better.
2. Check for potential stressors (and remove them): maybe they’re acting out when grouped up with other animals. Try separating them and see if your donkey calms down.
3. Give them work: sometimes a task (like pulling a cart etc) can be a welcome distraction that can help soften bad behavior.
A last resort would be re-homing. Obviously, you’ll only want to do this if you feel you’ve exhausted all options. But sometimes it can be necessary. Especially if your donkey poses a threat to your other animals (or worse, people).
Hopefully trying some of the things above can make a big change.
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