Donkeys evolved from the desert. The donkeys gift is to survive on low sugar and protein forage and use every calorie. Donkeys are stronger than a horse the same size. Donkeys have pointy hooves made to survive in the dry climates with rocks. Donkeys long ears are made to hear their donkey buddy up to 60 miles away in the desert and to cool them down in the desert heat.
Donkeys living in the U.S.A. are being overfed and fed the wrong foods. Once the neck crest (fat) breaks over nothing can be done to repair the neck. Insulin resistance, laminitis, hoof abscesses, white line disease, hyperlipidemia (fat in the blood) and soon death. The good news is with diet and exercise the donkey can live a healthy life.
Do not starve a donkey trying to loose weight. Tested hay in a slow feeder with portion control works best @haypillowinc
What can I do to help my obese donkey? Just like humans diet and exercise changes everything in most cases. Test all of your hay, equine analytical lab in the USA to ensure 10% or lower in sugar and protein. No grain, no sweet feed, no oats, no vitamins give salt with minerals, no breads, beet pulp or human snacks. Limit time grazing on pastures and brush. Diarrhea is on sign of too rich foods along with stress. A safe treat is a bite of a carrot. If you cant find low sugar/protein hay remember you can soak it to remove sugar.
Exercise & Diet:
Create a donkey track connected to the shelter and dry paddock for clean water, salt, and portion control with a slow feeder. Remember portion control is important no big round bales of hay eating on full-time 24×7. Do not let your donkey graze on pasture and brush.
If you would like to learn how to setup your farm for the desert equine sign up in my store under Donkey Trainer for a consultation.
Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm ®