Ever Wonder Why Donkeys Dig?


For those of us who own domesticated donkeys we understand some donkeys are diggers and some are not. Our big boy “Mammoth donkey Rio Johnson is a digger.” He started digging at the age of one when we lived on a smaller five acre farm. I study the behavior of donkeys, horses and mules extensively it is really one of my obsessive compulsive passions. We have video surveillance on our farm. I am always in the student mode when working, cleaning stalls and teaching.  Thank you Jesus for giving me this passion and purpose in life.

Donkeys dig looking for roots and in desert water. Donkeys dig when bored. 

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Please never leave any halter on your horse, donkey or mule while not in 100% attendance to avoid death or self-mutilation.

Please never feed your donkey alfalfa, bread, grass clippings, and limit citrus fruit as this can cause colic. Donkeys are stoic will not show pain until it is to late. Sadly this means death for the donkey. 

Donkeys have a serious diet of low sugar/protein hay testing at (10%) or lower. 

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Why did Rio dig at the other farm so much?

My theory is he was bored, he did not have a large paradise paddock track as he does today. On the former farm of five acres he lived on a dry paddock with my first young horse and Rocket Man our mini donkey. Rio would dig 3ft deep holes.  Looking for roots and then boredom. This was a problem as when he dug he put dirt and rocks into his hooves. It was a difficult process to learn. Additionally the dirt Rio dug up was used  to make a soft bed, keep insects off the donkey. I had pin chips down for a soft bed for him. Did not matter, Rio wanted a dirt bed as he is a Mammoth donkey with a serious mind. Donkeys also dig to find roots, the paddock in the former farm had lots of trees we removed to make the paddock for the equine. Here on the Sequim, WA farm we have no tree roots. Rio is happier as he has a larger space to move. Donkeys enjoy walking and taking a bite here and there.

Here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC in Sequim, WA we have a huge paradise paddock track for him to go out in and walk back to get water, shelter etc.., He can graze some, let me explain. Donkeys evolved in the desert their diet is extreme.



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

Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC





3 thoughts on “Ever Wonder Why Donkeys Dig?

  1. Thanks for sharing this about Rio. I’ve never wondered, because I didn’t even know donkeys dig. Yet, like you, I enjoy all of God’s critters and finding out about them. If I owned a donkey, which I don’t see in my future, you would be my main source of info. I’ll stick with my birds for now and enjoy hearing about your love for your big critters. Blessings.

  2. Pingback: Why Do Donkeys Dig Holes? (Explained) - HayFarmGuy