The stipulations for getting a donkey (in answer to Leo’s constant pleas) were: the barn had to be finished (which it is for the time being), there had to be water in the pond (it’s full) and the pasture had to be fenced off. So, can we get a donkey now, asks Leo?
He’s old and gentle, super smart, is happy to have the kids bug him constantly (especially as he has quickly figured out that they bring him apples).
For now, we have walked him with us and the other animals, and the kids have ridden him a little bare-back. Later on today, we’ll be getting out the saddle.
So what does a donkey add to the Food Web? He can work a plow and so will help make swales. Donkeys are great watch dogs and will let us (and the dogs) know if a predator comes anywhere near. Plus he lives off the land without any extra input from us, and is a joy to the kids.