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Donkey Care Tips

May 14, 2022

Did you know that donkeys can live to be 50 years old? That’s pretty impressive for an animal! They’ve also got very long memories, and can recognize people, places, and other donkeys even after as much as 25 years of separation. Donkeys don’t get as much attention as horses, but they are quite fascinating, and definitely lots of fun to have around. A local Dawsonville, GA vet offers some advice on caring for these lovable, long-eared equines below.


They’re Sociable

Donkeys are very sociable, and tend to get quite sad and lonely if kept in isolation. Make sure Eyor has some buddies!


Exercise

Donkeys are extremely hardy. In fact, if you put a donkey beside a horse or pony of the same size, the donkey will usually be stronger! However, like many other animals that originated in deserts, they don’t do well in wet weather. Keep Eyor inside when it’s raining. Otherwise, he could get sick!


Handling

We recommend grooming your donkey daily. This will not only remove dust, dirt, and dead fur out of his coat, it will also make sure he stays used to being handled. Hoof care is also important with these guys, just as it is in horses. Just don’t expect Eyor to appreciate his beauty treatment: donkeys are notorious for rolling around immediately after being groomed.


Shelter

Donkeys have similar needs to horses here as well. A barn stall is ideal, but your hooved friend will need a three-sided shelter at the very least. This will need to be mucked out daily, just like horse stalls.


Pasture

Turnout time is just as important for donkeys as it is for horses. We don’t recommend keeping donkeys unless you have at least a few acres of pasture for them. 


Food

Donkey diets should contain lots of fiber. The biggest portion of your pet’s menu should be straw, such as barley straw. You can also use a good meadow hay or seed hay. You may also need to supplement with fiber cubes or sugar beet pulp. A salt lick is also beneficial. Ask your vet for specific advice. Fresh water, of course, is also a must.


Opinionated

Donkeys have pretty distinctive vocalizations. It can be pretty entertaining watching Eyor voice his opinion on … everything! 


Do you have questions about donkey care? We’re here to help! Contact us, your local Dawsonville, GA animal clinic, anytime!

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