Donkeys have special nutritional requirements. They’re browsers by nature and can quickly become overweight if not monitored. Their digestive system and metabolism are different compared to horses. You’ll need to ensure their unique needs are being met!
- Their diet should be forage based, though you have to be careful what type. In general, they can tolerate a lower quality hay. An abundance of lush pasture or high-quality hay can actually be dangerous for them. They’ll quickly become overweight!
- Donkeys also enjoy shrubs and woody vegetation. You can offer them safe branches and logs (with the bark and leaves) to chew on.
- Avoid feeding your donkey grains or sweet feeds. A ration balancer can be given, but under the guidance of an equine nutritionist.
- They should have free-choice access to a salt block.
- Watch for signs of overeating, which can include fat pads on their rump and a cresty neck.
You’ll probably notice some similarities and differences between feeding horses and donkeys. If they’re kept in the same field, then extra care will be necessary. Remember, donkeys are easy keepers and tend to put on weight too quickly!