Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys must have a strict diet of low sugar/protein hay or they will get sick and eventually die a slow painful death.
If you own a donkey in a green area please do your best to get educated on how to set your farm up to keep your donkeys healthy. Never throw them out in a tall field or wooded area of brush as they will get laminitis, white line, colic and founder. The donkey can grow a fat crests neck and/or a big belly. Next the hoof starts rotting off literally and they can’t walk. It is not a pretty site to watch.
Diet, exercise, clean water, (warm in winter) and dry ground is essential to a healthy donkey living in domestication. Just like a horse a donkey needs a vet check, shots depending on what you are doing, teeth check at least once a year, fly spray, fly predators, pick up the poop compost. Standing in urine and poop will cause health problems with the hoof. The hoof in domestication on most small farm should be done every six weeks in the spring and summer as the hoof grows so fast in the warm season. Seven weeks in the fall and winter, keeping your donkeys on a regular schedule will prevent major vet bills, save you money and tears.
Donkeys do not shed out like the horse
All are different, we have ages from twenty-one to three here on the Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC and each sheds at their own pace. Some are patchy and some like Rio our Mammoth donkey lose their hair nicely. We do not shave our donkeys as we do not show them. Donkeys actually do not enjoy riding in the trailer and prefer to stay home in my most humble opinion.
We let the individual donkey decide when it is time to shed. The long hair we leave on them is removed using a dog shedder (fur removal) careful on the face go light, tender and under the belly by their private parts it works! I trim around the jawline using scissors, a buzz cut on their mane. You need a trained donkey to do this as accident will happen if you do not have a plan.
Why Do I leave the Fur on?
The insects will make a donkey bloody, the long fur prevents this. Shelter is a must as it is for the horse and mule! Plus it is so much work to razor clip an entire donkey.
Lice can happen to your donkey so be prepared and talk to your vet about what works best. We use a liquid spray on that prevents ticks, fly’s and lice named buzz off. Talk to your vet. Many people say my vet knows nothing about donkeys we now have the internet and many vet’s around the world are doing studies on the donkey. Ask your vet to coordinate with a donkey vet, if your vet refuses find another vet. Better yet do your own homework and share what you find out as vet’s are busy.
We have cut our hay-field four times since spring appeared in 2015 on the Donkey Whisperer Farm in Sequim, WA with our brush hog. This does two things;
- Prevents weeds from spreading
- Keeps our horses and donkeys from over grazing and getting sick
If you would like to know how to set up your farm for your donkeys to keep them in optimum health. I am now taking two more new students. Select Our Store to sign up virtual coaching, consulting and training sessions. I look forward to meeting you!
Our donkeys live full-time in a sacrifice area and only get small amount of times a few times a week in these pastures until the grass is safe. Mornings is the best time to let your equine graze as less sugar is in the grass in the morning.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!
Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC
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