Foster Farm Network: FAQ

Q: What facilities are needed for donkeys?
A: Acreage: minimum 1 acre of grazing per donkey; Fencing/Gate: secure, in good repair, no barbed wire; Shelter: free access to barn or 3-sided shelter year-round. Minimum 200 sq. ft. for 2 donkeys. The donkeys need to be able to lie down free from cold drafts in winter;Water: free access to water at all times (not allowed to freeze in winter); Food: pasture and hay (low protein grass - little to no alfalfa, clover or timothy); Storage: hay needs to be stored in a location where it will be kept dry.
Q: How much time do I need to commit?
A: You need at least one hour per day to: remove manure and soiled bedding from the stable/shelter/paddock; feed the donkeys 3 times per day; fill water buckets and troughs; groom and pick feet; exercise and socialize.
Q: Why does the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada retain ownership of the donkeys?
A: The DSC always has the best interests of the donkeys in mind. Due to the situations from which many of our donkeys have been rescued, it is our mission to ensure the life-long safety and health of these donkeys. Fostered donkeys remain under the protection of the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada for their lifetimes.
Q: Why does a DSC Field Officer visit my farm twice a year?
A: Our Field Officers conduct biannual inspections of our Foster Farms to ensure the facilities and on-going care meet our standards of care. Our Field Officers also have extensive experience with caring for donkeys, and are available to provide guidance and answer questions.
Q: How much do you charge if we foster DSC donkeys?
A: Foster Farm charges are as follows: we charge for mileage to deliver the donkeys to the Foster Farms - we do not allow Foster Farms to trailer the donkeys to their farms (we prefer to send the donkeys with DSC staff to ensure a smooth transition of our donkeys to their new homes) there is no charge for the donkeys there is no charge for the Basic Donkey Care Workshop donkeys will have up-to-date vaccinations, worming, and farrier treatment when they are delivered there is a fee for the Foster Farm Start-Up Kit - applicants may select one of two packages: Package A - $40 DSC Donkey Care Manual Medical Records Blank Health Record Forms Cloth Measuring Tape Current DSC Foster Farm Newsletter Contact Information for Field Officer and Foster Farm Coordinator Package B - $80 includes all in Package A, PLUS: Good Quality Nylon Lead Rope Grooming Kit: basket, rubber and plastic curry combs, soft and hard bushes, hoof pick, fly spray, hoof treatment spray
Q: Are the donkeys that are sent to Foster Farms healthy?
A: The history of our donkeys is not always known. Not all of our donkeys can be fostered. Some have been abused or neglected, while others have come from good homes where the owners can no longer provide the care needed. We make every effort to foster healthy donkeys. They are vet-checked, and their vaccinations, worming and hoof care will be up-to-date. You will receive your donkeys' health records from the time spent in our care, and their histories as best we know them.
Q: Can I foster just one donkey?
A: The DSC will not place a single donkey if there is no other donkey present. Donkeys need to be with other donkeys, and often form strong bonds with each other. When separated, they can become stressed. We will not separate a pair of donkeys that have already formed a bond at the DSC.
Q: Can I get donkeys to keep my horse(s) company?
A: In our experience, horses tend to push donkeys around, and there is a significant risk that the horse(s) and donkey will not get along. In addition, donkey physiology is such that their nutritional needs differ from that of horses. Donkeys do not need the same high protein pasture or feed commonly provided to horses. They gain weight quickly on a horse diet, and this presents a higher health risk. We have rescued many donkeys from this very situation. Ideally, horses and donkeys should be kept separately to provide the best care for the donkeys.
Q: Can I get a donkey as a guardian for my other animals?
A: We will not place donkeys at farms for the purpose of being guardians to other animals. Generally, it is a misconception that all donkeys make good guardian animals - it all depends on the individual donkey's personality and temperament. A jack (intact male) should never be used as a guardian animal - his play is much too vigorous for other livestock, and he may end up injuring or even killing other animals, especially goats and sheep. Even jennies (female donkeys) and gelded males may not be suitable as guardians for this same reason. In order to be good guardians, donkeys must have the right disposition and form a strong bond with the other animals on the farm. It is unreasonable to expect a new donkey to guard other animals it does not know. We have rescued many donkeys that were originally acquired to be guardians, but did not meet the expectations of their new owners.
Q: What training will a DSC donkey have?
A: The donkeys in our Foster Farm Network have been trained to halter, lead, stand for grooming, hoof picking and farrier treatment.