Donkey 262: Watch this special message for Farming Life readers
Many people will be familiar with the name ‘Donkey 262’, as the Co. Antrim farmer has taken the internet by storm with his funny, tongue-in-cheek videos.
Indeed, he’ll do a variety of things for a ‘chip butty and a portion of chicken goujons’ and isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind.
Donkey, whose real name is Robert Heaney, has always been a fan of creating funny content, but that was usually reserved for his friends.
It was those same friends who encouraged the 33-year-old to share his videos online and the rest, in Robert’s words, “is history”.
But how did the name Donkey 262 come about?
“When I started doing the TikToks, I needed a username,” he explained, “so I came up with Donkey and put 262 at the end – it’s random! The rest is history!”
As fans are aware, the ‘262’ element of the username has grown in length somewhat, thanks to a few of Robert’s accounts being removed by TikTok.
“Anytime I got an account banned, I made a new one and just added another ‘two’ to the name and it became an ongoing joke.
“I think I have 16 twos at the end of the account I have now – I hope I don’t get logged out of it.”
The suckler beef producer lives just outside Bushmills where he farms with his dad, Jimmy, who is famous in his own right thanks to a few cameos in his son’s clips.
“My great-granda bought the place,” Robert explained.
“There wasn’t much at it, but my granda built it up and now my dad and I farm it.
“We have 130-head of stock and we farm it part-time. You’re never done doing something,” he added.
To begin with, Robert shared his videos on YouTube, but he soon found a bigger audience for his content on TikTok.
“I’ve been making videos for years with my mates and putting them into group chats and they said I should be putting them on the internet.
“So, I started a YouTube channel before they got me onto TikTok.
“At the start, I thought it wasn’t great, but I stuck some videos on anyway doing a few of the trends and some farm related stuff.
“Then people were asking me about the tractors, so I did a walk around of a tractor and spoke about it in the video and folk went mad for it!
“Then I started the videos that I do now, where I do the ‘stitches’ on TikTok and voice my opinion on the things. It’s a bit of craic.
“It started with me making fool videos for my mates, and of nights out, and it has snowballed from there.
“I can’t get over it!”
Now, no matter where he goes in the country, the Co. Antrim man finds himself being recognised.
“If I go anywhere, folk know me. I’ll be walking down the aisle of a shop and they’ll be shouting at me or looking a photo.
“I can’t get my head around why they want a photo of me,” he laughed.
It may, however, be something to do with the impressive 100,000 followers who discovered his first account on TikTok – before it was taken down by the social media giant.
Robert continued: “I was getting a thousand new followers a day.
“The back-up account I made got to about 50 or 60,000 followers, but the new accounts never get a chance to grow because they get taken down.
“Then folk told me to start a Facebook page.”
The internet is almost a full-time job for Robert who, in between feeding calves and tending to their suckler cows, is receiving up to 50 messages a day across his TikTok and Facebook.
The Causeway farmer admitted he had considered packing it all in due to the number of times he has had accounts taken offline.
However, when he realised he was helping others through his humour, he decided to persist with his content.
“Some people take the videos to heart, or take it the wrong way.
“I was going to pack it in, but I’ve had people get in touch who have been having a tough time.
“They’ve messaged me to say the videos have helped them through that, so that’s why I keep going,” he revealed.
Things escalated further for the Co. Antrim native when he decided to launch his own range of ‘Donkey merchandise’.
He may have caused ‘another financial disaster’ for some fans as they are spoilt for choice when it comes to hats, jackets, t-shirts or mugs bearing their favourite Donkey quote!
When he was encouraged to produce his own range of merchandise, Robert admitted he didn’t know where to start.
However, he was put in touch with a company that could handle everything for him, printing, orders and postage.
“I never thought people would buy it,” he said, “and I didn’t know how I would go about it.
“The stuff is selling better than I thought!” he confessed.
Whether you have watched his videos, or bought some of his clothing, Robert is very grateful to everyone who has supported him along the way.