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The way you live your life can greatly influence whether you are happy or unhappy. If you’re striving for happiness in your life, the good news is it’s within your reach. Here are five things you need to stop doing if you want the best results.

Stop blaming others

If you always fall back on blaming others for why you’re unsuccessful or unhappy, you will never be happy. Blaming others is easy. If you don’t like how something in your life is going, you have to change it. You control what you allow in your life. If you have friends that are bad for you, you can either blame them for why you’re miserable or you can remove them from your life. If your job is a place you dread going, you can blame your co-workers or your boss or you can attempt to find a job that’s a better fit for you. Blaming others changes absolutely nothing and won’t result in happiness.

Stop holding on to anger

When someone does you wrong, it’s normal to be upset about it. If you hold onto this anger for too long, you are depriving yourself of happiness. Holding onto anger about someone else’s actions is allowing them to have power over you. Continuing to dwell over someone who cheated on you, lied to you, or was otherwise a not good to you will keep you unhappy.

Stop trying to make things that aren’t working work

It’s normal to want things to work out for the best, but they aren’t always meant to. Sometimes people or situations just aren’t right for your life. Attempting to force things to work won’t make you happy. It’s better to wait for the right thing to come along. It can be difficult to be patient, but in the end, you will be happier.

Stop hanging out with toxic people

Toxic people are ones who complain constantly, play the victim, gossip, and exhibit other negative behaviours. They can wear you down not only mentally and emotionally, but also drain you of your energy. No matter how positive a person you are, a toxic person has the ability to ruin that. The effects of hanging out with someone like this can last hours or days. If you recognize someone like this, it’s important to distance yourself from them if you want to be happy.

Stop living in a rut

Being comfortable in your life is good, but living in a rut and becoming complacent won’t make you happy. Doing the same things week after week, year after year is going to become boring. If you’re living in a rut, it’s time to make a change. Don’t shop at the same time at the same place every week. If you have to shop there, don’t stick to the aisles you’re used to. Take the time to explore. If you run or walk the same route, try a different one. You’ll see things you never exposed yourself to before. If you only read romance novels, try reading a mystery.

Happiness isn’t something anyone else can create for you. It can’t be taken away without your permission either. The choices you make in all areas of your life are what will determine your level of happiness.

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The Homesteader’s Guide to Guard Donkeys

When we think of livestock guardian animals, we usually think of guardian dogs or llamas. Donkeys are usually thought of as a reluctant work animal with a grumpy disposition. But the truth is, donkeys can be a very effective and loyal livestock guardian for sheep, goats, chickens, and even calves. They are naturally inclined to defend their territory from single canine predators like foxes, coyotes, and roaming dogs. If you haven’t considered the lowly donkey as a guardian for your herd, you just might be missing out!

A guardian donkey will be protective of his or her territory and be very alert while socializing and grazing with the rest of the herd. When his territory is threatened, he will go on the defensive very aggressively. His front and hind legs make formidable weapons and he will use his teeth as well. Their loud braying could sometimes be enough to scare off a predator, and it will also serve as an alarm to you and the other animals that something is wrong.

Choosing a Guard Donkey

The best guard donkeys are usually raised up with their herd from the time they are a foal. A jenny with a foal makes a great choice because the foal will bond with the herd as it grows up, and it will be a superb guardian. A jenny on her own may work out well, too, as long as she is used to being around other livestock. A gelded male donkey could also be a good choice. Jacks, or intact males, don’t usually work out well as guardians because they can be much too aggressive with other livestock. Just be sure the donkey you choose is a standard size or larger. Miniature donkeys are too small to be effective as a livestock guardian because they will be prey themselves. The same goes for baby or very young donkeys.

When introducing a new donkey to your herd, it’s best to set up a separate paddock for the donkey within your pasture. Keep the donkey separated for several weeks, and use that time to let the donkey get used to you. Introduce the donkey to your other animals slowly over time, and don’t let her loose unsupervised with the herd until they’ve had plenty of time to get used to each other. Don’t ever purchase an unmanageable donkey, especially if you are not experienced with equines.

Pros of Using a Guardian Donkey to Protect Your Livestock

Donkeys will bond with their herd over time and become very territorial. Often, the smaller animals in the herd will come to look at their guardian donkey as a protector over time, and will run to her when threatened. When a donkey’s territory becomes threatened, it will become very aggressive and charge at the threat in an attempt to chase it away. It will use its feet and teeth as deadly weapons, even potentially killing a single canine predator.

Donkeys often live for 30 years or more, so when you find a good one you can count on her for a long time. They don’t cost much to purchase, either. Their fencing and housing requirements are much like sheep and goats. Donkeys are generally calm until threatened, so you won’t need to worry about them being aggressive towards your guests. Unlike livestock guardian dogs, donkeys don’t roam, and they won’t keep you or your neighbors up all night with their barking.

Cons of Using a Guardian Donkey to Protect Your Livestock

Some donkeys won’t confront canines, and will choose to run away instead of standing their ground or charging. Others will only protect themselves and pay no attention when other animals are threatened. Some donkeys can be aggressive toward other livestock, too. Be especially careful of donkeys around lambs and kids. It can be difficult to know if a donkey is going to make a good guardian until you bring her home and try her out.

Donkeys can’t defend against large predators like bears, wolves, mountain lions, or wild hogs. They are not effective against a pack of canines either. They probably won’t pay any attention to small predators, like raccoons, or flying predators, like hawks. A single donkey won’t be very effective in a very large pasture where the herd is scattered in a large area.

Some donkeys will bray a lot if they are lonely, bored, or at feeding or treat time. This could disturb your neighbors and your family as well. Some guardian donkeys may not ever accept your homestead dogs and may attack them just like they would any other predator.

Caring for Your Guardian Donkey

If you are familiar with handling horses, you should do very well with a donkey. Their feeding, handling, and care requirements are pretty much the same as other equines. They require regular hoof trimming, vaccines, and check-ups. Donkeys will drink a lot more water than goats and sheep, so plan accordingly.

Feed your donkey plenty of hay. He will also need trace mineral salts and probably some grain to keep his weight up, especially in the winter time when grass is scarce. Your donkey will need to be fed separately from your sheep and goats. Don’t ever give your donkey access to Rumensin, urea, or other feed or supplements that are meant only for ruminants. Donkeys originally come from desert climates, so they do not grow a warm undercoat like horses do. They will need good shelter from rain and snow.

Don’t ever interfere with a donkey that is defending his territory. If you do, he may view you as a threat as well, and you will get kicked or bitten. If a donkey has attacked or chased off a predator, you should give him plenty of time to calm down before you attempt to approach him.


Donkeys can make excellent livestock guardians in situations where a guardian dog may not be ideal. Donkeys can often be trained for riding and pulling, making them a multi-use animal on the homestead. All-in-all, a guardian donkey is definitely worth your consideration when choosing a livestock guardian for your homestead.

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