New donkeys---have a question about pasturing

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BlueDogAcres, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. BlueDogAcres

    BlueDogAcres New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2013
    Hi, I'm new to this site and new to donkeys. We have had two standard donkeys for two weeks (we got them from a local donkey rescue). We got them because we have plenty of pasture land (we have divided into five grazing areas with electric fencing) and we thought donkeys would be fun and help us avoid mowing these hilly areas on our property!

    So, my key question is: how long each day should I let the two donkeys graze on the pasture. Everything I read seems geared to people without the luxury we have of unlimited/plentiful pasture for the donkeys. Our pasture is not what you would consider *great* grass---just pasture rough grass and weedy areas. I don't want my now healthy weight donkeys to get fat but I also don't want to shortchange them on grazing! (We don't give them anything else other than a salt lick.)

    Ideas? Thanks!!!!
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    [​IMG]Welcome to BYC!

    I'm afraid you've asked a question that seems simple enough, but it really doesn't have a simple answer. Pasture varies widely in quality - the plants can be knee deep, but if they aren't a type that your animals like/can utilize, their condition will suffer even if they have access 24/7. Different grasses have different nutrient content, the grass can be thick or sparse, rainfall, etc, can even change the quality of the same pasture from one year to the next or even between months.

    You kind of need to know what you're looking at to know what you're looking at, you know? Watch the condition of your animals and watch the condition of the pasture, too. Too much time on the same patch of grass can degrade it, though if you think your animals are at risk of getting too heavy, having to rustle for their grub a bit can keep them trimmer. Where would the donkeys be if not on the grass? Standing around in a dry lot is very boring; the animals' mental well-being also comes into consideration.
     
  3. BlueDogAcres

    BlueDogAcres New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2013
    Thanks for the response.....although it keeps me circling for information! Our grass is "good for donkeys" or so we've been told......lots of variety....the rescue folks call it "donkey heaven"----I just don't have a clue about pasturing and how much time to graze, etc. I've been letting them graze 6-7 hours/day. Then they come up to our paddock area which is just dirt (well, it used to have a little grass but that's long gone!). They seem ok with it. But when I send them down to the pasture in mid-morning (around 9:30 a.m. each day) they are super eager to get to grazing!
     

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