donkey guarding sheeps

How Do Donkeys Kill Coyotes and Why? 

Do donkeys kill coyotes? That’s being asked because Coyotes love preying on our unprotected pets and domesticated animals. The quick answer is “Yes”.


We all know that donkeys are more popular guard animals than llamas and dogs. They are exceptional guard animals that help protect our livestock from various predators like coyotes. This is why you’ll always find coyotes grazing alongside other animals, particularly on horse farms. 

Can a Donkey Kill a Coyote?

As a guard animal, It is unlikely that a donkey can kill a coyote. Donkeys are not typically aggressive animals. Their primary means of defense is to use their size and strength to chase away potential threats. 

While they may intimidate a coyote by braying loudly, kicking, or charging at it, killing a coyote would be a rare occurrence.

Coyotes are wary of larger wild animals, and they are more likely to avoid confrontation if they perceive a threat. However, in some cases, especially if the coyote is hungry, it may try to scavenge food from domestic animals. This will result in interactions with donkeys or other farm animals.

It’s important for people who keep donkeys and other domesticated animals to take proper precautions to protect them from predators. This might include secure fencing, a guard dog, or other predator deterrents.

They don’t like coyotes, wolves, and dogs; therefore, they naturally chase coyotes. A donkey can injure and even kill a coyote by kicking it using its hind legs and biting it. Donkey bites can be unbearable for a coyote, and in severe cases, they may kill it.

Why Would a Donkey Kill Coyotes?

Donkeys don’t like foxes, coyotes, and wild dogs, among other canid family members. Therefore, when they see these animals, their temperaments get better, and they chase them away.

When kept for security purposes, donkeys can prevent coyotes from attacking your sheep and may even kill them.

How Do Donkeys Kill Coyotes?

Donkeys do not typically kill coyotes in the sense of actively hunting them down and causing fatal injuries. Instead, donkeys can effectively deter coyotes through their size, strength, and aggressive behavior. Here’s how they may discourage or deter coyotes:

  • Size and Presence: Donkeys are larger than coyotes and can be intimidating to them. The mere presence of a donkey can discourage coyotes from approaching, as coyotes tend to avoid confrontations with larger animals.
  • Vocalization: Donkeys are known for their loud braying, which can deter coyotes. The loud and brash sound of a donkey’s bray may startle or scare off coyotes.
  • Aggressive Behavior: Donkeys have been known to exhibit aggressive behavior when they perceive a threat. They may kick, bite, or charge at a coyote if it is too close to them or the animals they guard. While these actions are not usually intended to kill the coyote, they can effectively drive it away.
  • Protective Instinct: Donkeys often develop a strong protective instinct, especially when raised with or around other animals like goats or sheep. They will go to great lengths to protect their herd or flock from potential threats, including coyotes.
  • Deterrent Effect: A donkey in a pasture or on a farm can have a deterrent effect on coyotes. Coyotes are likely to seek easier prey elsewhere if they sense a donkey is on guard.

It’s important to note that donkeys are not trained to kill coyotes; their natural instincts make them effective at deterring predators. The outcome of any encounter between a donkey and a coyote can vary depending on the specific animals and the circumstances. 

Proper care and management, including secure fencing. However, other predator control measures should still be taken to protect your animals from predation.

coyote waiting for prey

What Donkey Is Best for Killing Coyotes?

Donkeys are not typically used or selected for the specific purpose of killing coyotes or any other predators. Instead, donkeys are often used as guardian animals to deter predators like coyotes from preying on other animals. 

When selecting a donkey for this purpose, one must consider their temperament, behavior, and protective instincts.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a donkey as a guardian animal:

  • Temperament: Look for donkeys with a calm but alert temperament. They should be comfortable around other livestock and not prone to aggressive behavior towards them.
  • Size: Larger donkeys may be more intimidating to predators like coyotes, but smaller donkeys can also be effective guardians.
  • Protective Instinct: Some donkeys have a stronger protective instinct than others. Choosing a donkey that has been exposed to the type of livestock you want to protect is often beneficial.
  • Experience: Donkeys with experience as guardian animals may be more effective as they have learned to respond to potential threats.
  • Health: Ensure that it’s in good health and receives proper care, as a healthy donkey will be more capable of fulfilling its role.
  • Training: While donkeys don’t require extensive training, some basic training and socialization with the animals they are guarding can be helpful.

Purchasing a donkey to protect your livestock requires a female donkey instead of a male donkey. They are easy to train and can be gentle on your livestock while being aggressive with predators.

How Many Donkeys Can I Use to Protect My Livestock?

The number of donkeys you should have for guarding against coyotes or other predators depends on several factors. The size of your property and the type of your flock will play a major role in your decision. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the number of guard donkeys your farm needs:

  • Size of Property: The larger your property, the more donkeys you may need. Donkeys can cover more ground on larger properties, which is important for deterring predators effectively.
  • Type of Livestock: Consider the type and size of the animals you want to protect. One or two donkeys may suffice if you have a small flock of chickens or a few goats. You may need more donkeys for larger herds of cattle or large flocks of sheep.
  • Predator Pressure: Evaluate the level of predator pressure in your area. If you live in an area with a high population of coyotes, you may need more donkeys.
  • Donkey Temperament: The temperament and protective instincts of the individual donkeys also matter. Some donkeys may be more effective guardians than others.
  • Training and Socialization: Donkeys that have been trained and socialized with the animals they are guarding tend to be more effective. They develop a stronger bond with the livestock and may be more vigilant in protecting them.
  • Terrain and Fencing: Consider the terrain of your property and the quality of your fencing. Donkeys can help deter predators, but good fencing is still essential to predator control.

Having at least one guardian donkey is a good starting point for many small to medium-sized farms or homesteads. However, larger properties with more animals and higher predator pressure may require two or more donkeys to work together as a team. 

It’s important to monitor the effectiveness of your guardian donkeys and make adjustments when necessary.


Despite being part of our flock, donkeys do make exceptional guard animals. Their utter dislike for coyotes makes them the best option for protecting our animals. 

When they see them, they become aggressive and start making noises while chasing them away. And if they catch them, they can end up injuring them.

Donkeys can kick and even bite coyotes. And in the worst-case scenario, they may end up injuring themselves; remember, severe injuries can cause their demise. It’s always a good idea to keep some donkeys, particularly female donkeys, on our farms. 

When picking the right donkey, you should consider its size and age. And stay away from a miniature donkey as it can be preyed on by coyotes.

Frequently asked questions

Do miniature donkeys make great guardian donkeys?

Unlike livestock guard dogs, a mini donkey rarely makes a great guardian animal. Mini donkeys are too small and may fall victim to predators.

Do donkeys make great livestock guardians?

Yes, donkeys can make excellent guardians under the right circumstances. They are known for their protective instincts and can be effective at deterring predators.

Can a donkey kill a coyote?

Coyotes tend to avoid huge and aggressive animals, particularly donkeys. But under certain conditions, a guard donkey can leave the coyotes injured and may even kill them if severe.

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