August 21, 2008 - Eugene Rich keeping donkeys for pets in Blairsville, Georgia
Eugene Rich traded in most of his beef cattle and brought home a couple of donkeys. He says, "They started breeding and now I have ten. They make good pets and aren't much trouble to keep."
People have been spotted in the driveway taking photos. Eugene adds, "It's the new solid white baby. Everyone stops to see it."
Donkeys are interesting animals. They are members of the horse family. The males are known as "jacks" and the females "jennies". Donkeys are vocal creatures and their loud call is known as a "bray". They have large ears that can pick up sounds from long distances. Donkeys can live quite well on desert land and eat plants that horses and cows won't touch. They have an extremely tough digestive system and are not prone to developing colic. Donkeys make great guard animals and will protect their young (or a herd of cattle) by kicking and biting predators (especially dogs and coyotes).
In the United States, donkeys used to be kept as working animals but are now usually considered pets. They are good with children and can be saddled up like a horse or trained to pull carts. Although known for being stubborn, they are friendly, loyal, intelligent, and eager to learn. Eugene's son Tony says, "The donkeys are kind of like Dad. They are stubborn and strong willed, but friendly and dependable."
Rich Farm is located on Murphy Highway in Blairsville, Georgia and is the home of Rich Construction & Cabinet Shop. If you would like a closer look at the donkeys, call Tony or Eugene Rich at (706) 781-1480.