Question & Answer
Melody, My donkey is obese how can I help my donkey lose weight.
Donkeys who are obese can have what’s called insulin resistance making it harder to lose weight. People have insulin resistance too. Here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm ® we have one obese Donkey a rescue donkey named Tuba. Tuba is estimated to be in his late 20’s his weight is better and his blood work is great. Schedule blood work with your vet to see if you have insulin resistance and if the donkey is in the mid years and obese check for cushings, Pracend is used to manage cushings. Thyro-L can be used to treat insulin resistance for a short time when used with a correct diet and exercise.
Tuba is obese but he is healthy. Taking the weight off him is a slow process. Tuba has perfect hooves. Tuba’s blood work is perfect. This is amazing as Usually when a donkey is obese the hooves rot off, white line separation and more. Controlling his diet is key.
My donkey has a thick fat neck that has broken over. Can I fix this? Once the neck fat breaks over the donkey is stuck with this for life. Here is the good news. If your donkey has a fat neck that has broken you can still help him/her have a healthy diet and life. The donkey can recover in most cases and have a long beautiful healthy life. The donkey who is obese will gain weight much faster than the donkey who is not obese. Kinda like people.
Never starve a donkey. Losing weight and changing the body and blood chemistry takes hard work and time. You can do this! Your donkey is depending on you to learn everything you can to help him/her stay healthy.
How Can I Get My Obese Donkey Healthy?
Schedule a vet to come and take blood for insulin resistance and Cushings.
1. A dry paddock or pasture is a must. Donkeys evolved from the desert they cannot eat all day and night without getting obese and eventually sick or death. Please understand donkeys die from obesity. It is a sad death.
2. Create a track connected to the dry lot. The track is for exercise and not for meals. Feed tested low sugar/protein hay under 10% for meals.
3. Make sure your donkey is not getting fed by the neighbors etc., as this happened to us when we moved to our new farm.
4. Test your hay to ensure you have hay that has no weeds, alfalfa and is 10% or lower in sugar and protein. If you cant find low sugar/protein hay soak your hay to remove sugar. Soaking hay to remove sugars that can exacerbate metabolic conditions such as insulin resistance takes more time. If you’re using warm water, you’ll need to submerge the hay (again, a hay net makes this easy) for 30 minutes; if your water is cool or cold, soak the hay for 60 minutes.
5. Weigh your hay.
6. Slow feeder helps the donkey eat slower and make sure you are giving at least two meals a day. If you want to give more you must be weighing your hay.
7. Do not feed people foods, breads, cookies, etc., fruit foods. Sugar is sugar.
8. Do not let your donkey eat on pasture, brush, trees etc., all day and night. This can cause weight gain too. A dry paddock is a must. Toys and another donkey to play with are vital to your donkeys health.
9. Train your donkey to walk with you and take your donkeys for lots of walks and exercise.
10. Exercise is important for donkeys the same as humans. Donkey 101 & Donkey 102 will teach you how to get the foundation training in place to train your donkeys.
Donkey Whisperer Farm