I have an older gelded Jack that I got right after he had been gelded, which was at about 12-14 years of age. He did fine, but I wouldn't really recommend they get gelded at that age! It does help their behavior, but it can take a couple months to see a change.
If you opt to do this, I would strongly advise having the vet sedate, castrate, DOUBLE LIGATE, and give antibiotics as well. You will want to take the donkey's temperature twice a day to monitor chances of infection.
We had our three older jacks castrated when we stopped breeding donkeys. One of them was a "bleeder" and although the vet resedated him and ligated him AGAIN, he persisted in streaming blood. The vet said load him up and take him to Blue Ridge Equine Clinic, and "don't stop on the way." There they would be equipped to handle any further problems, but fortunately, he didn't need additional surgery or anything. He was treated like royalty there, I might add, in a large stall knee deep in shavings and anyone who passed by gave him a handful of alfalfa. He never had it so good.
My goal was to keep my three "boys" together instead of in separated pastures so they would have friends and be able to share space. It took some doing and a great deal of time (a year and a half as I recall), but eventually they learned to tolerate each other (my rule was that no blood would be shed in the process). They're friends now, share barn space, and hay, but two get along well together; they tolerate the third gelding but he's the best donkey on this farm in my mind. God bless Rambo!
I would strongly suggest just having the gelding performed at the Vet Clinic, where they will have everything needed to aid the donkey if problems occur.
With the mature animal, the blood vessels are lots bigger, so if bleeding starts it is going to be a LOT of blood coming VERY FAST. Older male can bleed out easily if blood is not stopped immediately.
We had our older stallions gelded at the Clinic, no problems with the animals after a few weeks, hormone levels dropped. They were nice, easy to handle animals already, just became very nice geldings. Temperment did not change a lot, all were dominant animals, but not mean about it. I think being stallions who had run with a band of mares before our purchase of them, had herd manners firmly in place, they ASKED if they could do things.
No experience with donkey jacks, but they also would have bigger blood vessels as older animals than weanling colts. So the mention of bleeding does not surprise me to hear. While being gelded is pretty common, I think going the extra bit to the clinic setting, is good for being safer than gelding at home.
Any animal needs to be gently exercised DAILY after the procedure, twice or three times if possible, to keep him draining. The equines we see in trouble after gelding are those who are most "babied" with stall keeping, not exercised enough. Those poor guys get infections, swelling, have to have ANOTHER vet visit to fix their problems.
We had our yearling gelded in Sept, was the easiest gelding session I have ever dealt with! He was done at the clinic, came home after the second day, got turned out with his gelding buddies. They walked and moved around the fields, got stalled at night. He never got swollen, found no drainage to wash off, which was WEIRD for me. EVERYONE has drainage! His incision healed cleanly, smooth, no issues. He was checked twice a day for any problems, which we never found, no infection either. Just was an amazing, no work jogging him around, no gentle hosing of drainage off his legs, which all the others have needed. He has settled nicely now, with no stallion hormones pushing him to try dominating the BIG horses that "did not think he was amusing!" Colt was getting pretty beat up, so gelding him helped prevent constant damage from bites and kicks. I think he has ONLY one bite mark now!!
Some of those older Jacks are VERY laid back, no noise or attitude at all. We got a really nice Molly mule foal out an ELEGANT QH mare one time. There was a donkey that kept "getting loose" in the neighborhood, would travel to visit all the horses in the local area. He EVEN would jump into their fields, paddocks, so he was easy to catch when found. I am sure you see where this is going!!
Come Spring, almost every mare in the neighborhood dropped a mule foal. That cute, quiet, nice little donkey was a Jack, which no one had EVER LOOKED under to check on!! The folks with mares were LIVID, he was NOT CUTE anymore. They had some seriously nice mares with those mule foals. Not sure if they could collect damages off the owner of wandering jack or not. Anyway, I got our Molly for a cheap price, rudely weaned at 2 months when I picked her up. It was "take her or I am going to shoot her" so I took her.
Real experience owning a mule. Even tiny, she didn't react to anything like a horse. Molly was taken over by a aged mare in the pasture, who mothered her and even came back in milk when the foal tried to nurse!! Mare had not had a foal in 10 years, but was an experienced mom before that with several foals she had. So Molly didn't have any bratty behavior, got taught how to get along in a herd, nicely socialized. We did have to wean Molly AGAIN when we took her away from the Mare at age 6 months, but it went easily. PRETTY looking mule, quite refined as she grew, but all Mule, no horse thinking at all.
Donkey will have a better life as a John (gelded animal term) instead of being a Jack (ungelded animal).
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