As a result of eating food such as carrots and bread, which is sometimes left in their trough, donkeys can develop laminitis or colic, two life-threatening conditions. Extreme dieting can put donkeys at risk of developing hyperlipaemia, a potentially fatal condition. Make sure any supplementary feeds are high in fibre, low in calories, and suitable for laminitics. Many donkeys will not eat or drink when in harness. You can feed things such as carrots, apples, maybe bananas and turnips. What to feed your donkeys. It’s tasty and full of nutrients. What not to feed your donkey: Feed supplements, unless recommended by your vet Cereal-based feeds as these may be too high in sugar Treats with a high sugar content. Although there are many vegetables and fruits that are safe for horses to eat, there are a few vegetables and fruits that are not safe to feed to horses so it is important to check before feeding any vegetable or fruit that it will not harm your horse. Just as one’s finger may really throb if it is inflamed or infected so a donkey’s pulse may be felt either side of the fetlock. See our guide on, Feed according to your donkey’s body condition. It is important not to provide pasture that is lush and nutrient dense. Due to the donkeys’ increased ability to metabolize energy and protein it is important that we do not feed concentrates that are high in these nutrients. Straw. Most donkeys will do well on a plain diet of timothy or grass hay, with access to clean water and a salt block. Use natural treats for training or handling purposes. Therefore, it may be necessary to remove all harnessing depending on individual donkey's preferences. These are often marketed as ‘boredom breakers’ but are not suitable for donkeys due to their high sugar content, Do not give straw with retained grain to your donkey, either as feed or bedding. Donkeys do not need high levels of sugar in their diets. I know a lot of people like to do that. There are more than 200 different species, and they can be found from Mexico to Southern Canada, and from the east coast of the United States as far west as New Mexico. Avoid cereal grain-based feeds. Do not over feed your donkey – check the body condition of your donkey regularly. They have a very good digestive system that will turn their food into fat. Donkeys do not do well on concentrates or rich diets. Donkeys can also eat carrots, vegetable scraps, and at times cookies without filling. Many donkey owners think of straw as bedding for animals and don’t like the idea of feeding it. Provide aid-lib barley straw. Should you give them mineral lick, be sure to give them equine salt and not mineral licks intended for other types of livestock or ruminant as it contains … Onions, leeks, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), anything from the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, aubergine), stoned fruit and chocolate are also to be avoided. Feed should be given based on weight, not volume. Once you have this fat problem it will take a long time to remove it, which will mean very careful feeding, but not starving your donkey. Donkeys come into contact with cantharidin by ingesting alfalfa ha… However, according to Peroni, Italians don’t eat donkeys used for work or sports. Straw. Donkeys Are the Philosophers of the Equine World. Donkeys do best on high fiber – low protein hay. Donkeys have a very stoical nature and they do not behave in the same way as horses when they have severe foot pain. Most major feed companies have an equine nutritionist on … Do not restrict your donkey’s total food intake to encourage weight loss. The meat can be found at delis or supermarkets as well. You can maintain your donkey, and even encourage weight gain, on fibre based products. Feed no more than a handful of chopped apples, carrots, or high-fibre nuts each day. Feeding. They require fewer calories to maintain weight than a pony of the same size, and enjoy trickle feeding on highly fibrous feeds. In industrialized countries, just the opposite is true – the main problem among donkeys is obesity. The Donkey Diet. See our guide to, Do not feed unnecessary supplements. You can cuddle with one anytime, and your dog will not give you the silent treatment when you get home. Planning a visit to Sidmouth between 19 Dec and 4 Jan? Avoid feeding your donkey more than 500g of supplementary food at a time. A lot of people want to feed other things, such as fruits and vegetables. Some donkeys may have something contagious, so it’s best to keep them away from other equines for 3 weeks. Restrict intake of energy-rich feeds (such as hay, haylage, or grass) if your donkey is overweight. Donkeys love grass. When feeding donkeys, consult your veterinarian or equine nutritionist. For more feeding and nutrition advice, please contact us. Place enough straw in the feeder so that they can browse through it. You’ll need a ticket. In addition, the donkey can also eat hay or chaff. Some people call them the dogs of the … The best way to clean donkeys is to brush … A donkey will tend to lie down more than usual or adopt subtle weight shifting as it stands. Donkeys don’t smell – you might think they do, but that’s just the manure that makes an excellent fertilizer by the way. Donkeys are particularly prone to obesity and laminitis when kept in the UK and need careful dietary management to avoid problems. While pasture can supply all of your donkey's needs in warm weather, keep him off lush grass. Due to the donkeys increased ability to metabolize energy and protein it is important that we do not feed concentrates that are high in these nutrients. Studies have shown that donkeys voluntarily consume much less forage compared to horses; 1.5% of body weight (BW) for donkeys compared to 3.1% of BW for horses. Unless your vet tells you otherwise, your donkey should only need a vitamin and mineral supplement or forage balancer. Lick blocks are ideal as donkeys can help themselves as and when needed, Provide safe logs and branches to help satisfy your donkey’s natural browsing behaviour. Have extra funds set aside for health care. Feeding Sick Donkeys Lack of appetite is one of the most common signs that a donkey is ill. Donkeys are naturally very stoic and do not show such overt signs of pain as other equines, often the first sign of a problem is For advice on the welfare and management of donkeys please contact The Donkey Sanctuary Tel: 01395 578222 What do donkeys eat & drink – can I feed them? Keeping Your Donkey Healthy Brush the donkey regularly. Donkeys are different to horses in more ways than one. What you need to be prepared for if you rescue a donkey from a feedlot/meat pen situation: A quarantine area. If in doubt, consult your vet or contact our feeding and nutrition team. We recommend feeding donkeys quality barley straw as it is high in fibre and low in sugar, and closely resembles the food that a donkey would ... Hay. A one-stop shop of simple golden rules and advice to follow when it comes to feeding your donkey. You’ll need a ticket. Don’t feed immediately before or after exercise; Stick to a feeding routine Do not feed your donkey with powdery or moldy stuff. See  our fact sheet on, Carefully restrict your donkey’s grazing by limiting the amount of grass that is available. If your donkey needs to lose weight, feed low-calorie products in combination with exercise. Salt is important to maintain your horse’s electrolyte balance – consider using a salt lick. Fruits that are safe to feed horses include: Apple; Apricot; Banana (can be fed with the peel) Donkeys should be allowed to rest between long working hours. Here’s our list of foods that can be harmful to your donkey. Donkeys do well on high fiber diets that are not rich in protein or carbohydrates In many parts of the world, donkeys face the issue of malnutrition and starvation. Feed your pets according to their age and weight. Donkey nutrition varies from animal to animal - here's a more comprehensive guide for you to follow. The following is basic feeding advice for normal, healthy animals, if you require more specialist advice eg geriatric animals please contact us for further information. In fact, in Britain they are locked out of pastures, as the green forage makes them over-fat and results in laminitis, an inflammation of the hooves that causes severe lameness. Continually assess your donkey’s body condition and make changes to their diet accordingly. Most donkeys do not require this supplementation with the high fiber cubes. If your donkey has dental problems, replace long fibres (such as straw, haylage, and hay) with a shortchop diet instead. NEVER feed donkeys meat or dairy – animal protein can be fatal Cereal grains such as corn, barley and oats All cakes Chocolate All biscuits Bread Broccoli Onions Garlic Aubergines Leeks Cauliflower Tomatoes Peppers Potatoes Make up the remainder of their diet with hay or haylage, or restricted grazing. Clean water is essential to your horse’s health. Unfortunately, as with so many delicious foods, there’s a downside. Their weight is completely in your control and it … Donkeys kept indoors require a floor-level feed bin or corner-floor feeder placed so that feed cannot get soiled. Are donkeys friendly? For more feeding and nutrition advice, please contact us. Pet donkeys can even get … Hay nets are not recommended as it is better for donkeys to eat from the floor and empty hay nets can be a hazard. Avoid sugary biscuits, bread and cake and never feed meat or dairy products – animal protein can be fatal to donkeys. Always ensure that donkeys have access to fresh clean water and an equine specific mineral lick if not being fed a vitamin and mineral supplement/balancer. If your donkey has no dental problems, feed a diet of 75% straw in summer and 50% straw in winter. Donkeys and mules that are not doing any work should be able to meet all of their nutrient requirements from good grass hay fed at a rate of 1.5% of BW and a low intake ration balancer pellet such as LMF Super Supplement G. If the donkey or mule is overweight then this amount should be decreased to 1.2% of BW. The donkeys heightened ability to digest low-quality forage has been likened to that of a goat. They are browsers like deer and goats and enjoy blackberry bushes, etc. Donkeys usually eat barley straw, hay, grass (pasture) and various other things like bread, molasses & sugar beet which are mixed in with their feed, as well as carrots, apples, pears, turnip & swede. See our factsheet on, Do not feed sugary treats. Donkeys can live up to about 50, so it is a big commitment if you decide to have one. Follow this guide on our recommendations. Don’t feed supplements unnecessarily. Practical feeding Strategies. Donkeys prefer to eat little and often. Supplementary feeds suitable for donkeys with specific needs (such as underweight donkeys or those with dental problems) include: unmolassed sugar beet – excellent as a ‘top dressing’ for soaked fibre pellets. Some of this is okay. They're stoical, pragmatic, intelligent, and they … Donkeys prefer to browse for their bulk and fibre throughout the day. Healthy mature donkeys rarely require supplementary feeding, however as donkeys age they may require additional feeding. When feeding the donkey vegetable scraps, make sure that you do not give it green potatoes, as they are not good for your donkey's health. An average sized (175 kg) healthy, adult donkey needs 2-3 kg of fibrous food per day to satisfy their appetite. Donkeys are loyal and loving creatures. The American Donkey and Mule Society warns against feeding donkey rich hays, such as alfalfa. Make sure a source of fibre (such as straw) is always available to satisfy your donkey’s need to trickle feed. A domestic donkey's basic diet: A domestic donkey's diet needs to be rich in fiber and low in sugar, taking special precautions not to overfeed them because they can easily become obese, which consequently undermines their health.. Donkeys need to eat small amounts of food at regular intervals. Donkey Diet can be soaked into a soft and palatable mash, which can help to maintain fibre intake and ensure healthy digestive function. Have you still got a few questions about what to feed your donkeys? Poulin Grain's E-TEC® Balancer is a low intake, low calorie vitamin and mineral balancer pellet ideal for fortifying forage diets. The fat, in most cases, will firstly go to their necks and then to their bodies. Donkeys only require a vitamin and mineral supplement unless other products are recommended by your vet. Cantharidin can severely injure or kill donkeys when even a small amount is ingested. In the majority of cases this should be solely provided by straw, hay/haylage or restricted grazing plus a vitamin and mineral balancer. Book for free. Most donkeys are over fed. See. Book for free. Small frequent meals are best, Provide free access to salt. Find out what you should do and what should be avoided when feeding your donkeys. The actual animal does not smell. During the rest period, the animals should be offered water and a little feed. Do you know what is right to feed your donkeys? feeding and managing the underweight donkey, Feeding and managing the overweight donkey, Feeding and managing the underweight donkey, Feeding the donkey with endocrine disorders, Feeding the donkey with respiratory conditions, Give your donkey free access to good-quality feeding straw (barley and wheat are best), with small quantities of hay, haylage, or grazing, Feed a vitamin and mineral supplement or a low energy forage balancer that does not promote weight gain, Make sure your donkey always has access to fresh clean water, Have your donkey’s teeth checked at least once a year by a qualified equine dental technician or vet. Blister beetlescontain cantharidin, a toxic substance that is used as a defense mechanism against predators. Restaurants there mostly get donkey meat from local farms and there are a number of butcher shops dedicated to horse meat and donkey meat. Planning a visit to Sidmouth between 19 Dec and 4 Jan? To rescue a donkey is not … Grass. Provide an equine-specific source of vitamins and minerals by means of an unmolassed lick block, a feed supplement or a low calorie forage balancer. Donkeys are different to horses in more ways than one. Additional supplements may put your donkey off their feed, or cause health problems due to an overdose of nutrients, Do not provide sugar-based licks. "We already had to pay for the vet to come out and check our donkeys and we can't afford that at the moment with no income coming in," added Sara-Jane. The most common form of abuse of donkeys is allowing them to be overweight. If you’ve kept to one or two a day it’s fine as a treat. We often get asked about feeding straw and other forages. Feeding and nutrition advice. Read more of our frequently asked questions. Thy have specific breeding for the food use. Me and one of my “aww” moments at Donkey… Donkeys require specialist feeding, they are not a small horse and should not be fed as such. 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