The Donkey Companion: Book Review

We recently obtained a copy of a very informative book, “The Donkey Companion” purchased from and authored by Sue Weaver.

The author has had various donkeys in her life since she was five years old. From the first time she saw a donkey in the “pony ride” exhibit at a County 4-H Fair, she has been hooked.

We wanted to review this book as a candidate for literature to pass on to new donkey owners. We believe it is our responsibility to breed and sell healthy donkey companions and provide the new owners with the tools to have years of enjoyment.

Table of Contents are as follows:

Chapter 1 – Meet the Donkey

Chapter 2 – Born to be Wild

Chapter 3 – The Breed You Need

Chapter 4 – A Donkey of Your Own

Chapter 5 – Donkey Behavior

Chapter 6 – Tack and Shelter

Chapter 7 – Feeding Your Donkey

Chapter 8 – Grooming and Hoof Care

Chapter 9 – Parasite Control

Chapter 10 – Health Care

Chapter 11 – The Holistic Donkey

Chapter 12 – Clicker Training

Chapter 13 – Donkey Riding

Chapter 14 – Donkey Driving

Chapter 15 – Fun With Donkeys

Chapter 16 – Breeding Donkeys

Chapter 17 – Those Mules

Chapter 18 – Making Money With Donkeys (Maybe)

Chapter 19 – Donkey Marketing Mojo

I really enjoyed this book! It is generalized in that the book covers information on all types of donkeys: Mammoth, Miniature, Poitou, etc. Yet the book does a very good job of describing the differences and giving resources such as ADMS (American Donkey and Mule Society) NMDA (National Miniature Donkey Assoc.) etc. One chapter is dedicated to the origin of the donkey and the various wild donkeys throughout the world. There are some beautiful color photos of wild asses as well as the various domesticated breeds. In addition, the book has a chart describing differences between donkeys, horses and mules.

The book outlines proper confirmation, as well as faults. Donkey behavior is discussed in detail. A great deal of time is dedicated to proper feed and nutrition, grooming and hoof care and health, including parasite control. Throughout the book , are very interesting tidbits, such as the introduction of mules on George Washington’s plantation, Queen Victoria’s donkeys and donkeys used as mascots during the Civil War, etc.

The book has multiple chapters dedicated to basic training, saddling a donkey as well as proper equipment, driving and the various activities at shows for donkeys. There are several color photos of driving, coon jumping, donkeys under saddle, snigging and pack riding. In fact, I recognized several individuals in the photos.

One chapter of the book was dedicated to homeopathic remedies which was quite fascinating. In my personal life, I would prefer natural ingredients to cure health issues as opposed to drugs.

The book also spent time on foaling and the business of breeding and selling donkeys. Emphasis was placed on breeding quality and not falling into the trap of fads; such as color, popular bloodlines, etc. This is near and dear to my heart, in that in breeding dogs for over 30 years, I have seen fads bring serious genetic problems, personality issues and over-exaggerated characteristics into certain breeds.

The appendix of the book provides many resources donkey rescue, donkey organization, donkey tack and equipment, magazine, videos, etc.

For the information contained in this book, it is a bargain and extremely educational. We highly recommend this book and intend to provide a copy to new owners of donkeys purchasing stock from Legendary Farms.

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