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. 🙂

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

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Donkey Looks Preganant

The photo above is of a male donkey early twenties who suffers from insulin resistance. If he was a female many new donkey owners could think he was pregnant.

Donkeys can trick owners into believing they are pregnant even when they are not pregnant. I have met so many donkey enthusiasts who were sold the story take this donkey she is pregnant and the new owner is excited for a new baby donkey. In fact, the new owner starts feeding grain thinking the baby needs the grain. Only to end up with an obese donkey who is now suffering from obesity and the side effects. Obesity in donkeys causes hoof abscesses, insulin resistance, laminitis, hyperlipaemia (fat in the blood), kidney failure, and extremely painful death.

How Can I Know For Sure My Donkey Is Pregnant?

An ultrasound is the best way to ensure your donkey is pregnant. It is really important to not feed grain to the desert equine the donkey as the side effects from being fed to rich of a diet are serious. If you are want to give a supplement to a pregnant donkey you are 100% sure is pregnant I would look for a vitamin supplement low in sugar. I would avoid grain.

Stay On Donkey Time ® when training and caring for donkeys. Meaning, have a plan, become educated, and enjoy your donkey.

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

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Donkey Drinking 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 ®

Setting the Record Straight on Winter Laminitis

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Salt For Donkeys, Horses and Mules – Loose is better

Salt For Donkeys Lose Is Better

Shop In Our Store 

Read Salt For Donkeys, Mules & Horses

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

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

Donkeys Neck Should Never Look Like This

The Dangers of Obesity in Donkeys


Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys living in the U.S.A. are being overfed and fed the wrong foods. Once the neck crest breaks over nothing can be done to repair the neck. Insulin resistance, laminitis, and soon death. If you rescue a donkey with this abuse, get a donkey vet fast. You can save this donkey’s life. Diet 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, create a donkey track, clean water, salt, and portion control with a slow feeder. 

The donkey must live on a dry pasture or paddock for the majority of their life. If we feed the wrong foods such as alfalfa hay, apples, pears, cookies, oats, bread, or munching all day on grass, brush, and trees we will see this in our donkey’s neck. Not to mention death. Death comes next as the donkey evolved from the desert, the donkey was created to live on low sugar/protein hay, clean water.  Round bales for the donkey will cause this too! Hay should be measured and controlled as the donkey evolved from the desert.

Laminitis is a condition in which there is inflammation in the laminae of the foot that connect the pedal bone to the hoof wall. This can progress to rotation or sinking of the pedal bone within the foot. The cause is not fully understood and many factors are involved but obese animals are more prone to develop the disease.”

Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Overweight donkeys often develop a fat, crest neck and fat pads around their tail base. When this occurs the donkey can develop a metabolic disease known as ‘Equine Metabolic Syndrome’. This causes insulin resistance and increased levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. In equids, this can lead to recurrent episodes of laminitis or founder. This disease involves inflammation of the white lining or laminar junctions of the feet, extreme foot pain and difficulty walking and chronic abscesses. In severe cases, this is death for the donkey.

Cushing’s

Select What Is Cushing’s

Hyperlipaemia is a condition in which triglycerides (fats) are released into circulation which can result in organ failure and death unless treated rapidly. The early signs of dullness and reduced appetite can be difficult to detect. Hyperlipaemia can be triggered by anything that causes a reduction in food intake e.g. stress, transport, dental disease.

Causes of hyperlipaemia

A number of risk factors have been identified as contributing to this condition. It is known that a female donkey is at higher risk than a male, especially when there are high energy demands such as if she is pregnant or lactating. Overweight and obese animals are at higher risk than those in average condition but even thin donkeys are at risk. Donkeys that have lost significant weight in the preceding weeks should be monitored carefully as they are at a much higher risk of developing this disease. When managing your donkey’s weight, care should be taken not to crash diet as this will put your donkey at risk.

Stress will cause a donkey to reduce its feed intake and can be brought on by many stressors such as:

  • Pain
  • Removal or death of buddy
  • Diet Change
  • Transport
  • Living With Another Animal Who Is A Predator
  • Bad weather
  • Sickness
  • Forced To Live A Life With Constant Stress And Abuse

Action Plan To Lose Weight – DO NOT STOP FEEDING THE DONKEY.

  1. Build Pastures made to exercise, a track
  2. Donkey lives on a dry paddock
  3. Ask your vet to do blood work insulin resistance or cushings
  4. Have the dentist come out and examine the donkey’s teeth
  5. Engage in an exercise routine
  6. Take Your Donkey For Walks
  7. Make Sure Your Donkey Has Toys and A Buddy To Play With
  8. Clean Water
  9. Test Your Hay 10% Or Lower In Sugar and Protein – Measure for portion control.
  10. No treats, sweets, bread, alfalfa, oats


Looking for more help?

Sign up for personal Consulting time with Melody Johnson WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM

Donkey Care

To learn more go to Donkey Whisperer Farm ®.

A Donkey Hoof Abscess (Abscess Video Training On Demand)

Donkeys evolved from the desert. The donkey was created to live on low protein and low sugar forage. Please test all of your hay or straw before purchasing. We do not feed straw on the Donkey Whisperer Farm ®. Donkeys hooves were created to walk on rocks and hard dry ground, the desert. When the hooves get soft this is an opportunity for bacteria and debrie to enter the hoof. Sometimes a hoof trim can trigger the abscess. Eating too much fresh green grass or the wrong hay can trigger abscesses too. So much to learn to keep the donkey healthy.

Jan 25, 2019 while doing our evening farm check Oboe our rescue donkey had a limp. It’s a hoof abscess I said to my husband Scott. We began working fast to get Oboe out of pain. If you would like to learn how to build a boot for your donkey. Make your own poultice and print out a shopping list to take to the store. Our written PDF is attached with each training video we sell on demand. The best part of our training program videos is you can take me, Melody Johnson to the farm with you via any smart phone or device. We sell all of our videos with lifetime access. We do not rent our videos.

Order Your Donkey Hoof Abscess Training Video On Demand Here www.donkeywhisperer.com

We are not vets. We teach you how to get your donkey out of pain fast. Everything we are teaching you has been taught to us from our vets.

Please call the vet if your donkey is not getting better within three days of soaking and creating a new boot and poultice.

Please do not let anyone cut a hole out without an x-ray to find the infection tract line. A hoof tester is not good enough. The hoof takes one year to grow out after cutting the hole out. Donkeys can tear a ligament, or even fracture a bone, just like the horse.

Pain 

Please learn how to get your donkey out of pain quickly and keep the blood flow moving in the foot, prevent colic from not moving. The best pain relief for a donkey is banamine. If you are not careful with drugs the donkey can colic.

Donkey Whisperer Farm

WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM

Donkey Diet – Consider A Track

How To Safely Put A Donkey, Horse Or Mule On A Diet

Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys are the exotic equine. Donkeys are seriously easy keepers. Donkeys need a strict diet, hay tested, a dry paddock and so much more. 

Resource: How To Safely Put A Donkey, Horse Or Mule On A Diet

Check out the Donkey Whisperer Farm Store

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Donkeys Evolved From The Desert – Bringing Home The Donkey

The donkey was given the gift of self-preservation to survive in the desert.

Select Science Donkeys Evolved In The Desert.

Donkeys come in three sizes Miniature, Standard/Burro and Mammoth. Donkeys challenge us humans to learn how to train and feed 100% different from the majestic horse. Owning two donkeys is a gift from God. Donkeys are healthier emotionally, physically and mentally living and working with another donkey.

“Horses Dream Of Being Trained The Way A Donkey Demands To Be Trained” Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm.

We have finished three tracks paddock paradise for our horses and donkeys. The tracks help our donkeys and horses keep walking and exercising. Test your hay before purchasing for the desert equine the donkey. If your donkey is getting fat pockets, fat neck or a big tummy. You must learn how to keep your donkey healthy.

The Donkey Whisperer Farm is working on a new video  “Bringing Home The Donkey”.

Topics

Shelter

Pasture

Pair Up

Sex

Poop

Emergency

Pasture

Tracks

Emergency Preparation

Select Donkey Whisperer Farm to browse in our store. http://www.donkeywhisperer.com

God bless you and your family two and four-legged. Melody Johnson, Donkey Behaviorist.

WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM

Winter On The Donkey Whisperer Farm

 

Winter has returned to the farm. We are having a wicked freezing snowy, deep snow storm in the Pacific Northwest.  All the donkeys and horses have the choice to go in or out of the stall. All eight equine are standing in their stalls out of the wicked wind chill. Its snowing tiny flakes, the beginning of the storm hit around 8:00 am this morning. Looks like this winter storm will run at least five days or more. 

A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we are prepared. We only use the blanket when it is needed. A donkey has arthritis, a donkey is sick, a donkey has vet rest. Planning ahead makes the emergency or trauma a bit easier.

Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys do not do well in the cold weather we must do our best to help them stay warm and healthy. Our weather is in the teens with the wind chill and this is dangerous for a donkey.

Take a look at Donkey 101 & Donkey 102 Video On Demand Training Series. Melody Johnson is a donkey behavior expert and a trainer of humans.  Training the owner or caretaker to train the donkey using resistance free methods. Never abuse, or old cowboy techniques. Donkeys are smart not stubborn. Donkeys have photographic memories. If you are going to work with a donkey you must have a plan. Donkeys are game players.

Did you know donkeys die every winter from the cold? Yes. Donkeys are stoic and do not show pain until it is too late. Preparation is the key. Learning how to be a fair leader. Learning how to train the donkey to trust us to introduce new objects, places, things and people.

Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys must live on a dry paddock just like the desert with limited time out on the grass. Donkeys cannot eat hay too high in sugar or protein without getting sick. Donkeys cannot stand and eat brush all day and night without getting sick.  Donkeys are seriously easy keepers. If we do not pay attention to the diet the donkey will get fat, obese and develop insulin resistance, fat deposits on their neck and tummy. Once the fat roll breaks on the neck we can never fix this. All of this is preventable. Please read, research and learn how to care for the magnificent and brilliant desert equine the donkey.

Shelter is important for Donkeys

Clean water is a must. Some donkeys do not like a bucket color. Yes donkeys can see in color. Donkeys prefer clean warm water in the winter. Clean is very important. Make sure to keep a little extra hay in the slow feeder. Salt is imperative to drinking water. We chose free lose salt. No selenium in the salt if the hay has selenium. Never feed alfalfa hay to a donkey. No oats, sweet feed, breads, etc., A safe treat is 1 or 2 bites of a one carrot. Thats it. I never give a bite of a carrot for standing and looking cute. I am not a treat dispenser. I give a bite of a carrot for doing something I asked the donkey to do i.e., come to me on 10 acres when I call.

To learn more visit our store at WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM

 

 

Salt For Donkeys, Horses and Mules – Loose is better

 Most donkey, horse and mule owners may not think about salt.  Did you know that salt blocks were actually designed for cattle?  Cows have rough tongues that can easily lick the block.  A block of salt is better than nothing at all. The best is loose (granular) salt.

Donkeys, mules and horses have smoother tongues than a cow and may not actually get their needed amount of salt from a block.  They may end up biting the block in an attempt to get more, which can lead to teeth and jaw or tooth problems.  The equine suffering from salt- deficient may lick or chew on objects or may actually lick or eat dirt.

Test your hay to find out how much selenium is in your hay?

Hay for donkeys should have no alfalfa. Test 10% or lower in sugar and protein.

If you have no selenium in your hay purchase equine salt with selenium.

If your hay has selenium purchase salt with no selenium.

No worries about equine over consuming lose salt. Simply place in a separate container in the shelter or give a little at night. Your choice.

 

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

Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner

Donkey Whisperer Farm ®

How To Safely Put A Donkey, Horse Or Mule On A Diet

buttsriobirthdaydinner

Friends of the Donkey Whisperer Farm,

After the semi-truck accident GOD Created A Miracle For Me I was unable to ride, walk, do much of anything period for years.  My main way to get around the farm is using the little red A.T.V. my husband purchased specifically for me so I could feed and see the equine as walking the big hill was impossible.  I literally had to pick what I could do for each day as my body could not over do it or I would have such bad spasms and pain for months after.

Our dogs put weight on and became very depressed and guess who else put weight on?

The donkeys and my horse as we use to take them for trail walks and I was riding my horse two and three times a week for three and four hours.  Now they are standing around and eating, and when they are not eating they are waiting to eat from boredom. Our sweet donkeys and my horse quickly became depressed and it was a very hard time for all of us.

Why Is Obesity Dangerous For Equine?

Just like people equine can get diabetes but it is called laminitis. Additionally they can founder, abscess and colic directly linked to not getting enough exercise and over feeding.  The last three years I have spent many, many hours reading about the paradise paddock, health, diet, hoof and much more.  We will be incorporating the paradise paddock into our new farm when we move.

Baby steps works the best just like for us humans – Take the weight off slowly

1.  Test your hay and get orchard or timothy hay 2nd cutting is the best – My hay comes in at 7% sugar levels try to get below 10%.  Please remember that fescue is high in sugar and is dangerous for some horses especially pregnant mares.  Alfalfa is a NO, NO for all donkeys and mules and most domesticated pet horses who do not get enough exercise.

2. Get a slow feeder helps the equine eat slower and this helps to prevent colic but it also uses less hay and keeps the equine satisfied as they are able to eat more hay during they day.  No need to try to feed three and four small meals anymore with the slow feeder and low sugar tested hay works great on a dry lot.  Please remember it best to not starve your equine but ensure what they are eating is healthy and safe for them.  We never feed oats, sweet feed, beet pulp or Alfalfa hay to our donkeys.

You can make your own How to make a slow feeder from the Dancing Donkeys blog.  Please remember donkeys are wood eaters this is why I use the plastic slow feeder. 🙂  Donkeys and horses can destroy a hay net and this is dangerous too as they can choke on the string from the hay net.  I do not use these either for this reason.

3. Stop feeding grain and treats.  1 cut up carrot or 1/2 green apple per day in small pieces is fine remember equine can choke.

4. Make sure your buckets are scrubbed and cleaned out at least every other day to encourage water drinking

5. Add loose salt in a dry place.

6. Make sure your equine are getting some exercise, they all love to go for walks with the human they trust.  If you cannot ride them as they are not big enough or old enough remember you can go for walks.

7. Ensure they have toys to play with and a buddy all equine need a buddy.  It was always my plan to get my horse another horse but after the accident this was just not possible.  Why?  Well horses play different from donkeys and she needs a horse. Donkeys need another donkey it’s really that simple.

8. Build a Donkey Track.   Fence off green grass with a gate. Dry paddock majority of the day with a buddy and toys. Only let your easy keeper equine out to graze for short amounts of time (1 hour) in the early morning 7am to 10:00am.

9. Test your hay to come in below 10% sugar and Protein no weeds.

 

* Build a Paradise paddock for them

Resources

What a donkey needs

Safer Grass 

Feeding and Care of Donkeys

UC Davis – Pay and Sign Up For the On-line Donkey Class or attend in person

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

Melody

http://www.donkeywhisperer.com

https://www.facebook.com/Donkeywhisperer