I have a mammoth donkey that has developed a bad habit of kicking at Farriers. Unlike horses they can kick sideways making this very dangerous for the farrier and they pretty much universally are refusing to come out and clip his feet. His feet are starting to get bad and I feel like I am running out of options.

I heard a suggestion from someone to just have him sedated mildly each time, but that means I have to pay for a vet visit with a farrier each time, which could get prohibitively expensive.

I've heard that this is a common problem with donkeys, but am not hearing any practical solution for foot/hoof care. Anyone have any advice for dealing with this situation?

  • 1
    Does the donkey kick at you, or just farriers? How much time do you spend handling the donkey and touching its feet? Jul 17, 2014 at 10:33
  • He really doesn't kick until the farrier is working on his back feet. He is fine up front, but he just doesn't like them grinding away at the back feet.
    – JohnFx
    Jul 17, 2014 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


I am not an donkey expert, this answer is a basic animal husbandry response, pending a better answer by an expert on the subject.

As with any question like this, visiting a vet to rule out, an existing injury or infection is causing pain on treatment, is indicated.

You have ruled out ongoing sedation as financially impractical, and I am going to assume none of the farriers in your area have mobile device like the one in the image below for restraining the donkey

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Image from Three Gables Farm

The next immobilization device is any several types of hobble which can be used to physically restrain the donkey from kicking by limiting the amount of free travel each hoof has.

But as your donkey can live 30-50 years a better long term solution might be training. Work with your animal in a manner that is safe for both of you, too accept having their feet worked on. As with any pet training, start with activities well inside of their comfort zone and provide positive reinforcement. You might touch, rub and or slightly lift the animals foot, then provide pets or a treat. You want to create a positive experience, then expand that until the pet is ready accept the previously unpleasant activity as something it knows will not harm them, and will lead to the positive experience (i.e. treat).

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