Donkeys evolved from the desert their gift is to survive on low sugar, low protein forage:
Equus asinus (Donkey) evolved in the desert regions of our world. Donkeys have been been given the gift to survive in the desert, a part of our world where very few other creatures can survive. Donkeys can survive and thrive on very low sugar, and protein diet. The donkey has one of the most efficient digestive systems seriously better than the horse helping the donkey metabolize low nutritional value shrubs and trees, grasses for survival. Donkeys digest foods much slower than the horse and this gift helps the donkey to absorb more nutrients from lower-quality forage. Drugs in donkeys are not the same as with a horse. Most vets must learn the hard way about giving far fewer drugs to a donkey as their bodies absorb drugs differently from the horse per weight and size.
Please remember donkeys are healthiest emotionally and physically when getting to live with another donkey. Never make a donkey live without another donkey in isolation. Can a horse work out? It depends, most donkeys prefer another donkey over a horse but will take any animal in lieu of being forced to live in isolation. If you decide to place your donkeys into a pasture environment with cows, horses, sheep, lama, etc. you will have to watch the diet of your donkeys as they cant eat foods the other animals eat without becoming obese. Obesity in donkeys is a life-threatening health concern as laminitis, hoof abscesses, insulin resistance, fat in the blood, and kidney failure are all due to a rich diet. Additionally, donkeys grab the neck in play with their pasture donkey buddy, and in battle, they can kill another small animal quickly.
How Do I Keep My Donkeys Happy and Healthy?
Tested low sugar/protein hay with portion control. Test hay at Equine Analytical Lab before purchasing enough hay for the year. Do not feed free-choice hay twenty-four hours a day or your donkey will become obese. No grain, oats, grazing full-time, eating brush as even brush can be high in sugar in the Pacific Northwest. Create a hot wire track (dry) but safe for exercise and enjoyment.
Use The Hay Pillow mesh size 1 1/4 inches works best.
Geld jacks as jacks (stallions) are never a safe option for the farm. Only experienced donkey breeders should be keeping a jack.
Provide excellent fences, gates, and locks. Donkeys are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet they are capable of opening gates and doors that are not secure.
Shelter, donkeys need to get out of the rain, snow, and sun.
Clean Water and warm clean water in the winter.
Salt with minerals, add selenium if your hay does not have it, and remove if hay has selenium.
Vet care is needed for a donkey; spring shots, fecal samples (spring and fall) health checkups, and dental exams once a year.
Farrier visits schedule every six weeks in the spring and summer and seven in the fall and winter to trim and balance the hooves preventing white line disorder, seedy toe, and more.
Check for lice and rain rot in the winter months and spring.
Watch my free youtube video Bringing Your Donkey Home
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!
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