Our Farm Story
Susie and I both grew up on a farm with animals so this is back home again.
When we bought our 14 acre farm it was an old farmhouse built in 1906
with a big bank barn built in 1867 and all old rusted useless fence
with trees holding it up but wouldn't turn anything that wanted on
the other side. After we bulldozed the entire fence and trees out
we surrounded the farm with six strand high tensile fence because
it is the safest and best for donkeys. It has done well at turning
everything but a wild billy goat who baaaed long and hard as he went
through the fence that one and only time.
The barn has seven different levels and holds our 600 bales of hay
plus it has three shops for my woodworking and harness making. In
the winter we now have heated water drinkers from the house well also. In 2009 we built a training barn to be able to teach our donkeys to pull a cart no matter what the weather is outside.
We started in miniature donkeys in 1994 when we got one to go with
our pygmy goats for our grandchildren. She needed a friend so we bought
two more donkeys to go with her from the same farm. Two years later
they decided to get out because of their failing health so we bought
the whole herd of three jennets and a jack. Then the trouble really
started when I went to a show in the next county and decided since
I met a lot of nice people that showing might be a lot of fun. I have
been showing ever since and buying a few more donkeys along the way.
Our jennets are moderate size of 30-33 inches since we have seen the small
extremes in goats and cattle and neither one were good. They all started
out gray dun but then Susie liked the dark brown and black so we keep
adding more dark jennets and a brown jack. We didn't think we liked
spotted until we went to buy some jennets with sorrel in their pedigree
and bought our first spot, a sorrel and the dark jennets with sorrel.
The spot is now a permanent resident because she has great foals and
is the official welcoming committee to all visitors to tell them she
must be petted first, then the rest!
Our jacks are from 31-33 inches tall with excellent dispositions and
conformation. In the meantime, I started driving different donkeys
to a cart. The highlight of the year was winning the single driving
donkey class at the Indiana State Fair. While I was at a donkey show
that summer a seven-year-old girl whose dad has big mules wanted to
get to pet a miniature. She ended up leading and riding Wilber for
the day and then came to see him at the state fair where we opened
his door and sat outside eating lunch while she fed Wilber potato
chips for his lunch. This is why we feel disposition is as important a requirement as good structure or confirmation and last is color.
We don't breed young jennets until they are mature, at least four years of age. We hand breed for the first cycle and then when the jack is done breeding his jennets we put them back with the jack to make sure they are all bred. We breed every other year so they can rest one year and be ready to produce another outstanding foal. Each jack has at least one jennet with him for company during the winter where they can come and go from the barn. We separate them to foal about a month before foaling. Each foal is handled daily to imprint them for life. When jennets are fed the foals begin eating a little of the grain mixture of whole oats, beet pulp and minerals to keep them growing. When weaned they go on a regular feeding schedule of the grain mixture. They get started on their five way shot to get them on the right vaccination schedule when they are 4 to 5 months old. Their feet have been trimmed every six weeks up until weaning then they go on an individual schedule since they vary when their feet need trimmed depending on the donkey. I like to do it myself since they differ on how fast their hooves grow. We are on a worming schedule of every 60 days. We rotate Strongid, Ivermectin, Anthelcide E Q and Panacur. The foals get Panacur then Strongid as a wormer.
Since miniature donkeys are the best kept secrets on the planet we
try to promote them whenever possible. We go to the Ag/Day each year
in our county where over 700 forth graders get to see, touch and hear
the donkey story for ten minutes each. We have paraded around churches
in Joseph's coats under palms to the delight of 200 Sunday school
We believe that the future of the miniature donkey is in the hands
of the breeder and how he treats his customers with honesty and good
information is the key. We own the best kept animal secret in the
world so do whatever we can to promote them to everyone every where
Jerry & Susie Patterson
6128S 1100W, Hartsville, Indiana 47244
(13 miles East of Columbus off SR46)
Phone: 812-546-6128 • Susie Cell: 812.614.4019 • Jerry Cell: 812.614.4451
Location: Click for Google Map
Established in 1994
Last Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017
Copyright © 1994-2017 ~ Ravenwood Farm ~ All Rights Reserved