Why do Donkeys Bray – How to Stop them?

Why do donkeys bray? That is an arousing query in mind whenever someone sees a braying donkey. Most people don’t like the loud sound of donkey’s brays, and they want to normalize this braying routine of donkeys.

The first and most important thing is to understand the personality of a donkey. Familiarizing yourselves with personality will clear your mind about the braying of donkeys and their communication and behavior traits. 

Donkeys have remained a part of the human community from ancient times and their role is found from the ancient Egyptian arts to merchant scrolls about the traveling of people walking along the silk road. 

Male donkeys are commonly known as jacks while the female donkeys are called jennies and jennets. Donkeys are named later by owners.

You must be familiar with the bray of donkeys and notice the braying many times the whole day. That bray of the donkey is not an unusual act, however, it is a sign of communication by donkeys with other donkeys.

No technique is developed yet to completely silent the donkeys from braying but by understanding their behavior you can limit the frequency of vocalization. I notice many factors that make them bray to actually tell something disturbing them.

Why do donkeys bray?

Like the other animals like dogs and horses, donkeys do communicate with each other but their louder vocals make them more noticeable whenever they bray. 

Donkeys actually make a loud sound to maintain their contact with other donkeys over the wide spaces, that loud sound is known as bray. Many other reasons also make them bray that is discussed below but the major reason is their loneliness.

The sound produced during the breathing of donkeys is considered the primary reason for their louder vocalization as you must notice the “hee-haw” pause in the vocals. These hee-haw sounds are produced during the in and out of air course. The “hee” sound is produced during the air intake and the “haw” sound during the air outflow.

Do female donkeys bray?

Yes, of course, they do bray too but the males are typically more vocal than females. These vocals consist of a series of brays, typically by male donkeys, with the little variations and end up with the burst of sound when the animal becomes short of breath.

The scientific reason behind the donkeys bray:

According to the Acoustical Society of America, donkeys’ vocalizations are produced majorly by breathing in and out. Donkeys are the only species that makes a sound while breathing in and out. 

These vocalizations are an important factor to identify that the animal is under some kind of stress. Besides vocalization by breathing in the first place, many other reasons make them bray like; warning other animals, to call other scattered animals through the savanna, and many more.

Reason for Donkey Braying; why do donkeys bray

Understanding the behavior and communication traits of any farm animal including donkeys clarifies the vocalization of animals. These vocalizations are an important key to tell any stress like food, pests, or disturbing things. 

In the case of donkeys, the vocals are due to many reasons that you might be not familiar with. Donkeys bray often due to:

1. Loneliness

The primary reason found to make the donkey bray is their loneliness. It is a kind of stress and donkeys are very sensitive animals to overthink it. That loneliness makes them bray to break the quietness.

2. Excitement/Sing

Donkeys do often bray when they are excited by anything, that could be the lovable food to them, nicer weather or might be the singing behavior.

3. Communicate with other animals

Like the other animals, donkeys do communicate with their fellow donkeys. That’s why they produce vocals (bray) to tell something to other donkeys. This is the most common reason for braying I noticed. Whenever they see other donkeys they bray to communicate.

how to stop donkeys from braying

4. Bray stressed

Most donkeys go under the bray stress in which they bray louder with hee-haw variations and end up with the burst sound. Donkeys go through bray stress when they are under stress by keeping them in separate stress and they bray back and forth to each other from separate stalls in a barn.

5. Stress

In case of any injury, pests, or damage to the body part leads the donkeys to stress. They do donkey vocalizations (bray) to tell the owner and fellow about the stress it is going through.

6. Anticipation of food

Donkeys are known as the well animal having a reliable clock in their stomach and a little variation in the feed time makes them braying. They do not bear a little variation in feed time.

7. Call for a friend

Like other animals, Donkeys do make friends with whom they communicate. During the loneliness in a stall or walking through the silk road, they often bray to call for a friend. 

8. Threat 

You must have noticed the braying donkeys during the night time. These vocalizations are actually produced when a donkey feels some kind of threat. They actually bray to alert the other fellows in the barn about the threat.

How many sounds do donkeys make?

People are commonly familiar with the braying sound of donkeys. The louder frequency of the braying sound makes people think that donkeys just do bray. However, donkeys make six types of sounds. Bray is one of them. The other sounds are:

  1. Bray
  2. Grunt
  3. Growl
  4. Snort
  5. Whuffle
  6. Squeal

Bray being the loudest sound among them, can travel several kilometers.

How to stop a donkey form braying

Most people don’t actually like the donkey’s vocalization and want to limit the frequency of these louder vocals. But understanding the reasons that make the donkey’s bray, are the primary step to stop a donkey from braying.

No successful study has been made yet to completely stop the vocals of animals completely but there are many techniques found to limit these vocals. As for donkeys, you can control the brays made during excitement, calling a friend but can limit them to make vocals by distress bray, the anticipation of food, and loneliness. 

These are some technique to limit the donkey from braying:

1. Install the sensor lights

The technical way to limit the braying is by installing the motion sensor lights in the stall. It will protect the donkeys from predators. The motion sensor lights will scare off the predators, like wolves, coyotes, before donkeys go to alarm.

2. Consistent feeding schedule

According to the American Donkey and Mule Society, donkeys have a strong internal stomach clock that makes them bray when feeding time comes closer. Maintain a consistent feeding schedule to limit the braying produce at feeding times.

3. Placing with other animals

Loneliness is a major issue of donkey’s vocalization during night time, especially when they are placed alone in a stall. That night time disturbing braying sounds can be stopped by placing the donkeys with other cattle or other animals in the barn.

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