Mini Donkey Feed for winter

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jma6004, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. jma6004

    jma6004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Carencro, LA
    I have taken over the care of 2 minature donkeys about 10 months ago. This is our first winter together. I live in South Louisiana. The grass is dieing but there will not be any frost or snow that sits on the ground. The person who had the donleys before me told me that they only gave hay on nights that dropped below freezing (a couple times per year). She sid that they will forage on grass that is dieing and be fine. They two minis are in about .75 acres and were not able to keep it all down this summer. It is plenty for them. I was giving them about 1 slice of hay per day and they were tearing it up quickly. I felt like I was not giving them enough so I called the past owner to discuss it and she assured me they were just greedy and they were not actually hungry and to stop feeding them so much because thye will just get fat with the hay and the grass. They are healthy appearing but not fat. Any thoughts on to provide feed or not provide feed? Thanks.
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Donkeys have a longstanding reputation for getting fat on air. Sounds to me like the previous owner knew her animals pretty well. That doesn't sound like much feed to me, but whether one flake of hay per animal (or just the remaining semi-dormant grass) is enough depends on the condition of the animals. You need to get your hands on them to properly assess that - minis often grow a pretty fuzzy coat in the winter, which can make them look "fat" when they really aren't.

    You shouldn't be able to feel their ribs when you stroke their sides, but it shouldn't be too hard to find the rib bones if you press your fingers in on them.

    You obviously don't want them too thin, but you don't want to let them get too fat, either. Donkeys develop thick pads of fat on their necks and rumps that can be impossible to get rid of. I have seen an elderly donkey that was so thin, her ribs were showing, yet she still had these big, ugly lumps of fat on her rump and her neck had a massive glob of fat that had slumped off to one side.
     
  3. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    Chattanooga, TN
    I have a standard size donkey. I have a few books on the subject, all my knowledge previously was on horses only, and follow Lucky Three Ranch feeding guidelines. You would split these measurement between the two Mini's. Winter time: I give 1/4 Cup per day increseing every other day until we reach 1 cup (by weight) of oats, use rolled or crimped, 1oz of sho-glo-1 oz of corn oil, 1 flake of hay at night. Spring after last frost: take a week or so to lower oats by 1/4 cup a day or 2-down to a small handful-just enough to mix the sho-glo and corn oil into, if you have grass by now then stop the hay. There are certain hay to stay away from-cereal's does NOT do a body good if your a donkey and oats will mostly pass straight thru if not crimped or rolled. The sho-glo and corn oil are for hoof and coat care, and to keep the intestines regular. Mine must wear a grazing muzzle 23/7. Once a day I add a lead line, remove the muzzle, feed the oat mixture, re-muzzle. I would prefer to only use the muzzle during the day--but He will not let you catch him to put it back on!! You can also keep them in a dry lot over the summer. Donkeys in the wild, are from very arid climates,and usually spent the entire day walking all over to find enough to eat. So, they eat far too much in a normal pasture situation. My farrier also keeps a close eye on his weight--I don't know if we can ever remove the fat crest from his neck, but it is much better than when we first bought him. Mine also gets wormed every other month.
    Did you know donkeys are second only to camels in going so long between watering's? that said, it's important to have a supply of fresh water and to add a heater in winter because the water can get cold to the point they will not drink enough, mine's on a thermocube so it only comes on just before freezing. I don't think it gets freezing where you are in LA.
    Your former owner is correct donkeys are on the greedy side, but a flake a day of hay shouldn't hurt between two --just watch and feel through the coat for signs that they are getting overweight.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Have you had a vet check your donkey for Cushings disease ( EMS)? If he has cushings, you should not be feeding him oats, if he has Cushings, carbohydrates are not good for him.
     
  5. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    Chattanooga, TN
    No, his fat lump is from being over-grazed when we bought him three years ago-he was never grossly obese.Just heavier than we thought was ideal- and has a lump of neck fat. He has responded well to the change in feed and the amount of feed,and does not gain weight when on a limited number of calories. The neck fat is not as big as when we first got him and not Cushings- the farrier agrees. We keep a close eye because we should and I was worried at first about Cushings. You are quite correct about EMS/Cushings and I should have asked the OP if that was a problem, since it was not listed about the donkeys I didn't. The picture of him as my avatar is when his weight was almost where he needed it to be.
     
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Good job! A lot of equines live a life of misery because their owners do not realize the animal has a problem.......... I am glad you are caring for him so well.
     
  7. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    Chattanooga, TN
    Aw shucks, thanks! He thinks he's a golden retriever, and brays for us when we stick our noses out the door or turn on my bedroom light at night just before bed! My best friend bought him a blanket last year after the polar vortex. He only gets blanketed under 30* and wouldn't get that if we had a herd to keep him warm with. I'm glad the OP has two, they get mighty lonely. I'm well aware that my husband and I are part of a pack, herd and flock, keeps us humble.
     

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