Do Donkeys Keep Coyotes Away? (6 Things You Need To Know)

Donkeys are a good match for a coyote. One-on-one, donkeys will keep coyotes away with their superior strength and size. That’s one reason why they have a good reputation as guard animals.

In this article we’ll expand on that. You’ll learn:

  • How and why donkeys keep coyotes away
  • If either species is capable of killing the other
  • When the threat extends to other donkey breeds

Keen on learning more?

Let’s go.

How Do Donkeys Keep Coyotes Away?

Donkeys keep coyotes away by:

  • Braying loudly and stomping their feet: sending warning signals that they’re prepared to fight if provoked
  • Kicking out: using their hard hooves to prevent coyotes getting close
  • Charging and chasing: running toward the predator and displaying their size
  • Picking them up by the neck and shaking them wildly: possibly causing trauma that can disable or injure

Usually these techniques are very effective. They’re also similar to how donkeys keep snakes away.

You also have to factor in the weight advantage. With the average donkey anything between 350-500 lbs and the average coyote 40-50 lbs, it’s no surprise that, one-on-one, it’s easier for the heavier to keep the lighter away.

Are Donkeys Scared Of Coyotes?

Donkeys, unlike horses, don’t tend to show fear when it comes to coyotes. They don’t run away like horses and will instead confront and face down any threat.

Why Do Donkeys Keep Coyotes Away

It’s said that this derives from evolutionary behavior. Donkeys are generally slower than horses so speed isn’t their best defense. Instead they had to develop the tool of aggression.

This response has been honed on the savannahs and deserts of Africa and the Middle East (where wild donkeys come from). In this environment, the animal had to find ways of protecting itself from feral dogs. Especially as a semi-herd animal that often found itself alone.

This instinctual response still seems to be with many domesticated donkeys today.

Even the one’s who do live side-by-side with other animals!

But it’s not that they don’t get scared of possible predators (especially coyotes). It’s just that they choose to stay and hold their ground.

Perhaps that’s one reason for the stoic resolve some say donkeys symbolize.

Why Don’t Coyotes Like Donkeys?

Coyotes don’t specifically dislike donkeys. Not if they see them as an easy meal.

A single coyote, due to a donkeys superior size advantage, will know it’s not favored in a fight though.

A Donkey Fighting Coyote (And Hyenas)

Perhaps the biggest proof of a donkey’s aggressive tendencies when it comes to coyotes and dogs is when people actually film the confrontations.

Here’s a video that shows different donkeys taking on hyenas and coyotes. Notice how the donkey that kills the coyote seems to be doing it after losing a foal of their own?

You can see how donkeys will stomp these other animals to death after facing up to them.

Pretty impressive!

Do Coyotes Kill Donkeys?

It’s important to highlight that donkeys won’t always win the battle against coyotes or other predators. Being outnumbered can always be a factor – as can the donkeys individual size, temperament and age. A group of coyotes could easily take down a single, old donkey.

Don’t get a false sense of assurance that your donkey can handle a threat like this easily. You’ll still want to keep them as safe as possible by providing them with a shelter and paying close attention to where they are on a farm or ranch.

One more thing to mention is that it’s not a given that a donkey will always face up to a coyote. There are many reports of them running away or grouping together with other animals (like cows or horses) for protection.

Not all donkeys are destined to be great guardians. Temperament is hard to predict from birth.

Do Mules Keep Coyotes Away?

As mules are the offspring of horses and donkeys they share similar traits. Like donkeys, they are said to have the same natural instinct to drive dogs and coyotes away from their surroundings. They also possess a powerful kick that can easily disable these threats too.

You can see from this video that a dog will get easily scared by one kick from a mule.

Notice how the farmer keeps donkeys with cows? That’s a common move to help keep all the animals safe together.

Do Mules Kill Coyotes?

Mules are capable of killing coyotes. They are similar in size to donkeys and quite a deal bigger (and stronger) than a coyote. If killing one is necessary to protect either itself (or other animals in its herd), it won’t shy away.

Do Miniature Donkeys Keep Coyotes Away?

Miniature donkeys, given their size, could have a lot more trouble keeping coyotes away. For that reason they’re more commonly kept as prize pets rather than guardians. Although they’re capable of kicking out, it’s possible a big coyote could overpower them.

If you are a miniature donkey owner you’ll want to much more vigilant of any threats to the animals in your care.


Interested In Learning More About Donkeys?

Our guides can really help you keep your donkeys in great condition and help them live long and happy lives.

Source: Donkeys Kicking Coyotes Out of Pastures (LA Times, 1989)

Image Credit: @edinphoto at Unsplash

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