Donkey Care


Donkeys are herd animals; they need companionship, preferably another donkey!  They will bond with other animals like sheep, goats and horses, but are happiest when they are with “one of their kind!”

Donkeys like to be touched and rubbed, and in return, they give back unconditional love.  While you are in their barn or out in the pasture, they will try to stay as close as possible just in case you have time for a friendly scratch or hug.  Time spent grooming and brushing donkeys is a wonderful way to bond with them and earn their never-ending trust.  

Donkeys need clean, fresh water at all times — without exception!  They need plenty of hay, even if you have a good pasture for them to browse and nibble.   Never feed alfalfa hay; it is much too rich and high in protein.  Bermuda or native is good.  Minerals in block or tub form should also be available.  A very small amount of a high protein grain may be added to their diet, but not on a daily basis.   An occasional animal cracker, ginger snap, graham cracker or other low-fat type snack is okay.  Carrot slices are a favorite; they are nutritional as well as low in calories.  Donkeys gain weight easily and develop a “fat neck roll” or “broken crest” if fed a rich, high-protein diet.  This unappealing neck roll is almost impossible to get rid of once it has built up.  Donkeys really don't require treats; they thrive on personal attention.  I like to say - rub them, hug them, pat them and love them, and they will be happy little creatures!

To protect them from the weather — wind, rain, hot or cold — donkeys need a shelter with a minimum of two sides and a roof.  Make sure the back of the shelter is on the north side and the opening on the south; this will ensure that your donkey is protected from the colder winds/temperatures in the winter!

A farrier visit should be scheduled every three to four months, depending on the hoof growth of your donkey herd.  Make sure that the farrier you choose knows donkey feet; one of the best ways to find a good donkey farrier is by recommendation from another donkey owner.   

It is important that donkeys be wormed every two to three months; we use Zimecterin Gold; it is 'rotation free' and kills more than 29 types of worms, including bots.  You should check with your local veterinarian
for his recommendations in your particular area.  Donkeys also need yearly vaccinations — VEWT (Venezuelan, eastern, western encephalitis and tetanus); we use Innovator 6 that also includes flu and rhino.  In some areas, your veterinarian may also recommend rabies and West Nile. Preventive medicine is the best medicine! 

If you are fortunate enough to own a miniature donkey, take care of it — you will be rewarded with healthy, happy animals ready to reach out and touch your heart!  A donkey hug will change your life forever! 

Another donkey hug!

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