Mike’s Donkeys will be coming to this year’s Kent County Show. When they are not working, they spend their time relaxing with their friends in large, grassy fields with open access to shelters. In the winter they are housed in warm stables filled with straw and provided with good quality hay and hard feed. They have about three months a year off and the donkeys will only work four days a week. So now we know that they live a wonderful life with Mike, all donkeys love the attention they receive when they are working and a healthy, working donkey is a very happy donkey indeed.
All the donkeys are much-loved individuals with their own likes, dislikes and personalities. They have been selected for riding because of their fantastic temperaments. The donkeys love nothing better than meeting new people and getting lots of strokes and attention from their riders.
Donkeys were at one time the backbone of Britain, those who could afford to use horses were actually few and far between. It was the much loved donkey that earned their keep for thousands of British families over the past few centuries. Donkeys are very strong and intelligent and is stronger than a horse of the same size. Donkeys came to England with the Roman invasion of Britain in 43CE they helped with water and wood fuel collection, land cultivation and transportation of produce to market. Donkeys were used as guard animals for cattle, sheep and goats since they have a natural aversion to canines and will keep them away from a flock.
Donkeys have an incredible memory – they can recognise areas and other donkeys they were with up to 25 years ago. Donkeys are not easily startled (unlike horses) and have a keen sense of curiosity. Donkeys have a reputation for stubbornness but this is due to their highly developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest or safety.
Donkeys originate from desert areas of the earth where they are able to hear the call of another donkey 60 miles away, they have far larger ears than horses. Their large ears also help keep them cool. Donkeys don’t like being kept on their own although a single donkey will live quite happily with goats. A herd will choose the strongest donkey to be their leader, even if domesticated. In the wild the lead donkey would stay to ward off an attack by a wolf or other predators in order to allow the rest of the herd to escape to safety. Donkeys in a herd will groom each other in the same way as monkeys and chimps do.
Donkey Rides will be taking place in the countryside area throughout the Show.