What Do I Feed My Donkey

Congratulations you own a donkey! Donkeys evolved from the desert this is why the donkey has pointy hooves to walk on hard ground full-time. Donkeys have been given the gift to survive on low sugar and protein forage. Please understand if you give your donkey the wrong foods or too much food and the opportunity to graze full-time they will become obese get sick and die a slow painful death.

Owning donkeys is truly a beautiful and blessed experience I highly recommend you do your homework before bringing two donkeys into your life. Please watch my free youtube video “Bringing Your Donkey Home.”

Donkeys living in the desert will browse, eating highly fibrous plant material in small quantities throughout the day. Please think about the environment your farm is on. Do you live in the desert part of the world or the wet and green like we do in the Pacific Northwest, Washington?

Living in the green and wet part of the world takes a bit of planning.

  1. Create shelter big enough for all the donkeys to get out of the rain, snow and heat.
  2. Create hot wire tracks to keep your donkeys moving and exercising and not overeating. No grazing muzzle needed.

How Do I find low-sugar and protein hay or straw for my donkeys?

All forage (hay or straw) must be tested as the brand of hay or straw and color has nothing to do with the sugar content. Ideally, we want 10% or lower in sugar and protein for the donkey and portion control. Test hay in the USA at Equine Analytical Lab I use the slow feeder Hay Pillow to feed my donkeys and horses in tested low sugar and protein hay. Two meals a day is ideal. If you have extremely cold weather you can give a little extra in the slow feeder before bed. Do not feed vitamins, beet pulp, oats, or sweet feed. Donkeys need minerals Salt, clean water, and warm clean water in freezing temperatures.

If you would like to hire Melody Johnson as a personal consultant or coach for your farm select DONKEY TRAINER for a Zoom meeting.

Thank you for investing in your donkeys,

Melody Johnson

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Thinking About Straw For Donkeys

Hello Donkey friends and lovers,

I have been getting so many e-mails and FB messages asking me about Barley Straw for donkeys. I am hoping this blog post will clear things up for you. Here is the U.K Donkey Sanctuary Straw Article

Thinking about Straw:

Please remember if we are lucky enough to find Barley straw in the U.S.A. we must test it before purchasing. No forage hay or straw can be looked at to know the sugar and protein content, none. We must test all forage before purchasing. Barley Straw, Timothy Hay, Yellow Hay can test up to 30% or more in sugar. Testing can be done at Equine Analytical Lab https://equi-analytical.com/ U.SA. All forage should test 10% or lower in sugar and protein for the desert equine the donkey.

Read Feeding Straw

Straw Considerations:

  1. After you find low sugar and protein (10% or lower) hay and straw purchase enough for your equine for the year. This way you do not have to keep searching for low sugar/protein hay and straw.
  2. Straw has no nutrition. Plesae give your donkey tested low sugar and protein hay for the main diet. Straw is bedding not food.
  3. If you choose to add straw please add straw slowly into the diet. If you add straw too fast you will cause colic. 🙁 Donkeys are stoic will not show pain until in many cases it is too late to call the vet.
  4. Use a slow feeder for tested hay. Do not let your donkeys eat off a big round bale or free hay all day and night. Portion control is important even with tested hay. We use the Hay Pillow as eating slowly keeps the donkeys healthier. The hay pillow is quality. Feed on ground level. Here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm ®, we do not have as many donkeys as the U.K. Donkey Sanctuary we have 6 donkeys and 2 horses. We use the Hay Pillow for all equine that have teeth with tested hay. We have one rescue donkey Tuba that is in his late 20’s early 30’s he is on tested hay pellets, turned into a mash three times a day. No dry forage or deep grass, brush, trees for him.
  5. Create a track to keep your donkeys exercising. Remember a healthy donkey eats healthy and exercises on a regular basis.
  6. Donkeys and all equine who have teeth or serious deep pocket gum issues cannot eat straw or hay. Why? The equine cannot chew correctly and can choke or colic. Have yearly dental checks to be sure your donkeys can eat hay and straw.
  7. Watch the poop. If your donkey is not pooping you have a huge problem. Call the vet asap. Donkeys are stoic and will not show pain quickly like a horse.
  8. Clean water is a must. We change the water every other day on our farm unless the wind comes in and adds dirty than it is every day. All equine will drink way more water when it is clean and cool in the warm season. Warm clean water in the frigid seasons.
  9. Salt is important. Please make sure your equine have access to free salt at all times.
  10. Please before you add straw make sure your vet has checked the teeth and gums.
  11. Watch your donkey’s weight. 🙂

Heated Bucket – Make sure donkeys cant grab the cord to prevent electrocution.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Donkey drinking clean water

Clean water and salt are some of the most important things we can provide our donkeys while living in domestication. Why? Donkeys, mules, and horses will drink more water if it is clean. Provide warm clean water during freezing weather.

Rio our Mammoth donkey and Rocket Man (miniature donkey) will back up and poop in their water when they want it clean. Donkeys are so smart. Remember clean water is the natural prevention of colic along with salt and a slow feeder. We use the hay pillow, slow feeder.

Enjoy your donkeys!

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Salt For Donkeys, Mules, and Horses

Read Salt for Donkeys

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Salt For Donkeys, Horses and Mules – Loose is better

Salt For Donkeys Lose Is Better

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Read Salt For Donkeys, Mules & Horses

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Donkey Care

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