We are very lucky at Carry Farm on Argyll's Secret Coast to have our donkeys Barney and Louis. Barney has been a companion of our Hebridean sheep for a number of years. In July 2017 we introduced Louis, the baby of the family and Barney's little cousin. They not only provide company for the sheep and control the rashes, but they also give us and our visitors a lot of pleasure, and can be very entertaining. Donkeys are amazing animals, here are our top ten facts about them.
- Donkeys are also known as burros, ass and jackstock. We prefer Barney and Louis the donkeys, unless they are just being an ass!
- Did you know that donkeys have an excellent memory? They are capable of remembering a place they have been to or other donkeys they met 25 years ago! We hope Barney and Louis always remember the first day they met - it was love at first sight.
- A happy, healthy donkey can live for more than 40 years.............we must remember to add them both into our will!
- Due to their large ears a donkey is capable of hearing another donkey brae from a distance of 60 miles in desert conditions. We think this distance is perhaps reduced in Argyll, but still pretty impressive.
- It is no surprise that China has the highest number of donkeys in the entire world. In Britain, our donkeys need to have a passport.
- A male donkey is often referred to as Jack while a female goes by the name Jenny.
- Jennies stay pregnant for 11 to 14 months and eventually give birth to a single baby donkey.
- A donkey will never get involved in an activity it considers unsafe. Compared to a horse, donkeys are capable of independent thinking and decision making, ensuring their safety. If they sense something is wrong, they will simply not move and dig their heels in. This has led to them having the misleading characteristic of being stubborn.
- Donkeys can be well trained, although it does require some patience! Once you have earned their trust, they will be willing learners.
- Their large ears evolved to keep them cool in hot, arid conditions. Arguably not required for this purpose in Argyll. However, you cannot argue they definitely contribute to their delightful look. Donkeys are rarely seen running, an instinct which evolved in the high temperatures to help keep them cool.
If you would like to get to know Barney or Louis a little better, then why not book a stay in one of our lodges by the shore. They would love the attention and you would go home enriched by the friendly contact from two very cute donkeys!