Donkeys communicate with their human owners and with other donkeys by "braying", also more commonly known as a hee-haw. Every donkey has their own style of braying with some sounding quite comical. Donkeys develop schedules and if you are late in feeding, you will hear about it! On the whole donkeys are very quiet animals with the exception of some ungelded jacks.
Mules try their best to imitate the donkeys bray but most have a unique sound that is a combination of the horses whinny and the grunting of the wind down of a bray. Most will start out –Whinee........and end in "aw ah aw".
Donkeys are herd animals and should never be kept alone. They will bond with other livestock but their choice would be another donkey ( they know the difference).
A lone donkey is a lonely donkey, a lonely donkey can be a stressed-out donkey and a stressed-out donkey can end up being a very sick donkey.
Only standard and miniature donkeys have a cross and stripe, mammoths do not. The cross is a dorsal stripe of darker hair down the length of the back crossed by a shoulder stripe across the top of the body at the withers. There is a legend that the cross on the back of the donkey is the shadow of the cross as the donkey stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus died.
Donkeys make wonderful companions and there mission is to give love. They are very social animals who naturally love children and form very close attachments to their owners. Male donkeys should be gelded, jacks should be kept "entire" only if they are intended for breeding.
No-one really knows why donkeys have such long ears. One theory is that they help cool the donkey in hot deserts but just as many wild donkeys live in cold deserts where this would be a disadvantage. Perhaps it is to hear over longer distances because donkeys live further apart in a desert than horses do on the grassland. WE think its just to make them look SO gorgeous!
The old wives tale of donkeys and mules being stubborn is actually a sign of their intelligence. Due to the donkeys origins on the steep, rough mountains of their native land they are keen on self preservation. They do not get themselves into the trouble that a horse would. A horses instinct is flight, whereas the donkey is very cautious and will look the situation over and determine the best approach before proceeding. You could call it being "on donkey time".
SOME MORE INTERESTING FACTS............
China has the largest donkey population in the world estimated at 111 million.
The great wealth of the Egyptians was due to the precious metals carried from Africa by donkeys.
Male donkeys are referred to as "jacks," female donkeys are "jennets," and baby donkeys are called "foals.
The wool that was exported from South Australia in the 19th century was carried to the rail head by teams of donkeys, sometimes up to 24 in a single hitch.
The first miniature donkeys were imported to this country in 1929, by Mr. Robert Green.
Donkeys were used to carry silk along the 'Silk Road' from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean in return for trade goods.
In Greece donkeys were used for working on the narrow paths between vines and their work in vineyards spread as far as Spain.
The miniature donkey is a true breed and is not bred down.
The Roman Army moved donkeys into Northern Europe using them in agriculture, vineyards and as pack animals.
Donkeys were first imported to Australia in the mid 1800s and were used for transport across the desert.
Donkeys are often a lifeline to families in many regions of the world. . They help with water and wood fuel collection, land cultivation and transportation of produce to market.
Donkeys are often turned out with horses due to the perceived calming effect they have on nervous horses.
In the desert environment a donkey is able to hear the call of another donkey 60 miles away.