Donkeys & Ponies
There are two donkeys at the Farm, called Alice and Hermione. They are ‘jennies’ or female donkeys. Donkeys are related to horses, but are smaller and stronger for their size. They have a distinctive black cross over their backs, and have large ears – watch their ears move around as they listen in different directions. Originally in the wild, donkeys lived spread out over large semi-desert areas, so their large ears and loud bray helped them to hear and be heard!
Donkeys eat straw and grass, but can put on weight easily, causing them health problems. That’s why we ask visitors not to feed our donkeys, and similarly, the pony.
Miniature Shetland Pony
Our small dark pony is Keira, a Miniature Shetland Pony. A pony is basically a small breed of horse, but very strong in relation to its size. Shetland ponies are incredibly hardy, being native to the cold harsh environment of Scotland’s Shetland Isles.
Uses of Donkeys and Shetland Ponies
Because donkeys are so strong, and a compact size for humans to handle, they are an ideal working animal, especially for pulling carts and carrying goods on their backs. Likewise, because of their strength and hardiness, Shetland Ponies have been used as working and pack animals, and also worked in coal mines as ‘pit ponies’. Here at the Farm, the donkeys and the pony are used for giving rides to children (by arrangement or on weekends).
Donkey and Shetland Pony Personalities
Donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, but this is because they are intelligent animals who like to look out for themselves and won’t be blindly led!
Shetland ponies need to be handled well to bring out their gentle and good- tempered side, otherwise they can easily become irritable and uncooperative.
Adopt a Donkey or Pony!
You can now adopt your very own Surrey Docks Farm donkey, pony or both. Our adoption packs are a great present that gives a little extra. Unlike regular adoption packs where you get a picture and that’s about it, at Surrey Docks Farm you get to groom and walk your very own donkey!
When you adopt a donkey or pony you are not just helping us keep our animals in the style they have become accustomed – lots of lovely bedding and fresh carrots, but you are helping us as a charity keep on doing what we do.
Our adoption packs are valid for one year from date of purchase, cost £45pp or £135 to adopt both our donkeys and our pony. Click on the images for more details.