As you drive to Wellman you may have noticed the miniature donkeys under the chute of Henry Bontrager’s barn. Well, the other day I stopped and Elam Stolzfoos gave me some information about …
As you drive to Wellman you may have noticed the miniature donkeys under the chute of Henry Bontrager’s barn. Well, the other day I stopped and Elam Stolzfoos gave me some information about them.
These donkeys are called miniature Sicilian donkeys. He has seven on hand and has them as a hobby. They are only 30-34 inches high in size. He got his first one from a person at Decatur (Davis County), Iowa. He now gets some at exotic sales and raises some. He keeps 4-5 mares and they have little ones in the spring.
Colors range from gray, chocolate, spotted with white marks, brown and black. They are very quiet, playful and easy to handle. They eat hay and oats and seem content when in the barn. His children can ride them, lead them and drive them.
Elam has had them five-six years and has been in the exotic business eight years. He would like to get 15-20 at some time. Some people run these donkeys with zebras in order to calm the zebras down. You can cross these with a pony or zebra and get a small mule.
Then Elam said, “Would you like to see my fainting goats?”
So we walked out back and when we approached the fence where they were, he said, “You stay here.” He ran on to the fence, hollering and motioning to the goats to scare them and half of them fell over and laid on the ground for several seconds…They just plain fell over and fainted.
That’s why they are called Regular Fainting Goats.
After about ten seconds they jumped up again. They are similar to a pigmy goat. I just had to laugh when he showed me that trick. Somehow when they get scared their muscles collapse and they fall over.
He also showed me an eight-year-old pot bellied hog.
He may increase the goat herd. Leaving there, I just had to smile as I saw these animals.
But Elam said, “It’s nice to have a hobby when you are working in carpenter work all day.”
It is interesting to see what hobbies many people have.