Donkeys are not horses with long ears, donkeys are donkeys. Donkeys evolved from the desert they love to eat wood. Donkeys will seek out roots, dig holes, bark and leaves. Make sure you keep toxic leaves and trees away from donkeys. Donkeys are stoic will hide pain and sickness, sometimes it is too late to get a veterinarian. Prevention is most important when caring for donkeys.
Pine Pellet Bedding Add Water. If you do not add water you risk the donkey eating the pellets and the pellets expanding in their tummy causing death with colic.
Donkeys evolved from the desert making their metabolism different from the horse. Donkeys thrive on low sugar and protein forage. Donkeys living in the wild walk up to sixteen miles per day searching for food and water. Creating a Paddock Paradisetrack is a game changer for the health and life of donkeys, mules and horses living in domestication on green lush farm land.
What happens if my donkey becomes obese? Insulin resistance, laminitis, colic, fat in the blood, fat pockets on the body, the neck gets so fat the crest breaks over forever, hoof abscesses, white line disease meaning the hoof rots off. Sadly, the donkey dies a slow painful death due to not feeding the correct forage low sugar/protein and not giving portion control. Yes, donkeys need portion control.
The benefits to feeding a healthy balanced diet with exercise is healthy donkeys without the tears and stress of trying to find a veterinarian to save the donkeys life. Please learn how to care for your desert equine the most beautiful and humble of all the equine the donkey.
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Donkeys evolved from the desert meaning one of their gifts is to survive and thrive on low sugar/protein forage. When donkeys are fed the wrong foods and given the ability to graze twenty-four seven on pasture and brush along with fruits, cereal treats, oats and even vitamins they can gain weight quickly and become obese.
What Is Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) do horses get it?
Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a disorder causing the blood insulin levels to become too high along with fat on the body and in the blood. Making it very difficult for equine (horses, donkeys, ponies) to lose weight. Donkeys with EMS produce higher than normal levels of insulin and are slow to return to a normal value.
Donkey side effects:
A fat donkey, cresty neck, fat pockets on the body, diarrhea, drinking more water, chronic hoof abscesses, laminitis, white line disease, cushing’s, laminitis.
How Can I Prevent EMS?
Watch the diet closely, work with your vet to do preventive care such a blood work and Thyro-Lfor a short amount of time along with diet and exercise.
What Can I Do To Help My Donkey or Horse that has EMS?
Do not starve your equine. Test your hay before you purchase it for the year. A great place to send off hay samples is Equine Analytical Lab. Use a slow feeder we use the Hay Pillow using 1 1/4 holes. Last but most importantly portion control you may need to weigh your hay. If you have a thin donkey needing to gain weight you may have to create another eating arrangement for the obese donkey. Do not let this equine graze on grass or brush ever as the sugar is too high.
Weigh your donkey regularly
Create a track for your equine to walk and run keep moving but not eat fresh grass. A great book is Paddock Paradise.
Freezing Weather With A Horrific Wind Chill Is An Emergency For Most Farm Animals.
“A blanket is like a fire extinguisher, we are prepared before the emergency hits” Melody Johnson. Some equine (donkeys, horses and mules) need a blanket until the freezing temps leave. Shivering, shaking and blowing diarrhea means they need a blanket. As hypothermia begins to set in, the core body temperature begins to drop.
Basic Care Needed:
Provide a slow feeder with hay, clean warm water and free lose salt. If you do not have an electric bucket to plug in bring your equine warm clean water within two hours of each meal.
Shut the door in the shelter if you have high winds with below 0 freezing temperatures. Frost bite can be prevented. Ordering a blanket at the last minute is almost impossible due to shipping and roads etc., plan ahead. Frostbite is also more common in donkeys and mules that have longer ears.
Providing shelter from wind and moisture is the single most important thing you can do.
Watch the footing for ice. Ice accidents can become a serious medical emergency.
Where Can I Find A Blanket for my donkey?
The Donkey Whisperer Farm ® is a dealer for Kensington we can sell any thing they sell using their MAP price always lower than the MSRP. Order Miniature donkey blankets, standard, burro, baby donkeys or Mammoth directly from me. I will help you find the best fitting blanket and weight for the cold with a life time warranty from Kensington. Send me an e-mail at Melody@donkeywhisperer.com asking for support. We have had donkeys in our life since 2007, if you need consulting sign up under Donkey Trainer for anything you need help with.
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.
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.
Create shelter big enough for all the donkeys to get out of the rain, snow and heat.
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?
Healthy young donkeys eat hay. Geriatric donkeys eat hay mash Standlee Hay Pellets add hot water and make into an oatmeal consistency.
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.
Provide salt with minerals add selenium if your hay does not have it and remove it your hay has selenium. We use lose salt add as needed for our donkeys and horses.
Clean water is a must, warm clean water in the winter.
If you would like to hire Melody Johnson as a personal consultant or coach for your farm select DONKEY TRAINER for a Zoom meeting.
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, Orchard, Teff, Timothy, Yellow Hay can test up to 28% 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.
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.
Straw has no nutrition. Please give your donkey tested low sugar and protein hay for the main diet.
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. Have dental checks once a year to ensure your donkey can eat hay or straw.
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 Pillowas 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.
Create a track to keep your donkeys exercising. Remember a healthy donkey eats healthy and exercises on a regular basis.
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.
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.
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.
Salt is important. Please make sure your equine have access to free salt at all times.
Please before you add straw make sure your vet has checked the teeth and gums.
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!
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!