In many parts of the world Spring has arrived and with it bulbs are blooming and birds are singing. It is a joyous time as we all stretch our wings from a long winter slumber, BUT, Spring is also the arrival of one of donkey’s worst enemies…GRASS!
If there is any health threat that is the most difficult to understand and get across to donkey (and all equine) owners it is the extreme dangers of spring/summer grass.
Grass, whether in a pasture, field or lawn has been dormant all winter. In response to increased temperatures and more direct sun, high concentrates of sugar are produced by the root system to signal sudden growth. This sugar is carried from the roots of the grass to the stem. Grass becomes lush and green and brimming with sugar and simple carbohydrates. It is the equivalent of a rich pastry for us human beings.
Our donkey’s have been in mud, cold and gloom for months and we cannot find it in ourselves to keep them from “getting out”, “being in the warmth of the sun” and “doing what comes natural”. BUT, grass is NOT natural for donkeys and is detrimental to their health! As desert dwellers donkeys rarely have access to green grass in the wild. Their natural diet is high fiber woody materials and every inch of their anatomy is designed for this, including their gut and their feet.
The list of health ailments caused by grass consumption in donkeys are numerous, including insulin resistance, foot abscesses, colic, Cushing’s Disease, laminitis, metabolic disease and founder.
Remember SAFE GRASS takes work to find. Studies have proven mowing the donkey pasture down to nothing and feeding tested low sugar/protein hay helps. We created tracks for our donkeys and horses to exercise on and not eat too much spring or summer grass.
Please monitor your donkeys access to tall grass. Turn-out on the tracks in the early am before 10:00am as the NCS is the lowest. During these hours the sugar has receded from the stem of the grass back down to the roots. Sugar will be at its lowest.
Here at https://donkeywhisperer.com we are dedicated to donkey healthcare and wish you and your donkey a beautiful Spring.
GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!
Melody & Scott Johnson