Have you ever heard about the people who love donkeys more than horses? Who think donkeys are cute? Who thinks donkeys are worth more than to just haul things around?
By Dharampreet Dhillon
Have you ever heard about the people who love
donkeys more than horses? Who think donkeys are cute? Who thinks donkeys are
worth more than to just haul things around?
Kim Bowie and Shanna Jones are the
few people that consider donkeys to be more than haulers. Both sisters come
from Scottish heritage. They are always ready to talk about
miniature donkeys and love to spend their time on their farm. The venture between
local and a city girl is very interesting. While Shanna hosts the donkeys,
sister Kim has become training & showing partner.
How Kim Bowie, a city girl found her love of
donkeys? What were the things which took her to a farm house from a big city?
“Donkeys are amazing little creatures,” said
Kim Bowie owner L’Lass Miniature Donkeys in a face to face interview. “They’re
wonderful animals to just hang out with.”
farm located in Rocky View County, Alberta is the place where you can find
little donkeys walking, running or playing in the big ground and simply living
Her sister, who lives on John’s Hereford
Ranch, one of the ancient and old ranches in Alberta has always wanted to raise
donkeys, and they decided that it would be a nice thing to do together as
“I’m a city girl, and I was excited to start
learning more about them,” she said. “They’re great jumpers, and they also pull
us in carts.”
There are so many breeds of donkeys.
Miniature donkeys which Kim and Shanna own are a distinctive breed. They’re not
miniaturized from a larger donkey, they possess different genetics than the
standard donkeys. There are the three sizes of donkeys that are available in
Donkeys are new to North America, they didn’t
come here until the early 1900s. And they originally came into Alberta, to work
in mines. They can pull about 300 pounds, about their weight behind them. And
they’re also small enough to get into mines easily. The working donkey in North
America didn’t last for very long. They became pleasure animals fairly quickly.
Kim loves to train her donkeys. It is a
challenge to train any kind of animal, the challenge of teaching them, to do
obstacles to get them jumping, to build trust between them.
“They’re just really gentle, loving animals,”
she said. “There’s no better feeling than walking into a field of donkeys and
having them surround you looking curious about who you are if you’re new to
Her sister Shanna Jones, who’s a rancher, helped
her to build a confidence in raising donkeys and the rural life.
“She grew up in the city most of her life and
she found it an incredible challenge to be able to be a part of a rural
endeavor,” said Jones in a face to face interview.
Lots of people that have donkeys also have
horses. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy getting on top of a horse and
riding it, owning a donkey is a great substitute.
Donkeys tend to get along with horses very
well. Racing horses often will have a donkey’s companionship to keep them calm since
they differ nature. Donkeys are very calm animals, while horses on the other
hand, especially high-performance horses, can get spooked easily and be high
Kim owns a breeding herd of Jenny’s (female
donkey) and she sells some of the babies every year and sells adult animals as
well. Sometimes they sell female donkeys who are breeders and produce foals. They
also have two intact males, the breeders. Sometimes other donkeys come in and
pay to use their studs.
“It’s really more an endeavor of love, than
it is of profits,” she said. “You’re never going to get rich by raising
Stampede provides a chance to people of
Calgary, to learn about the miniature donkeys.
Kim comes to stampede every year with her donkeys. She loves to tell
other people about her donkeys.
There’s an obvious division between urban and
rural people. Almost everyone buys their food comes from grocery store like
Safeway but they don’t have a proper understanding of where their food comes
from, where animals come from, what animals are used for. Events like Stampede
helps to narrow that difference.
I’ve developed a real passion for them. And I love sharing that with other people. – Bowie.
Kim and Shanna started raising
donkeys in 2010 in Shanna’s family farm under the name L’Lass Miniature Donkeys. “Lass” is the
Scottish term for young girl, and L’Lass is an abbreviation for “Little
Lass,” which is also a perfect description of the small female