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  #1  
Old 12/14/13, 10:30 AM
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Donkey feed

Right now we are giving them all stock wrangler. Would corn or oats or barley be better? What do you equine people think?

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Old 12/14/13, 11:28 AM
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You don't say what the condition of these donkeys are.
Is there a reason to feed them the way you are, or was it just a choice you made?
One thing that you might want to remember. A donkeys digestive system is considerably more efficient at extracting nutrients than either horses or mules. On a normal basis they don't need as rich a food. Most times good clean grass hay will keep them very well. Consistant grain usually isn't good for them.

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Old 12/14/13, 12:23 PM
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Barley is a really hot feed that is used for cattle and not a good idea for equines because it's way too easy to founder them on it.

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Old 12/14/13, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CIW View Post
You don't say what the condition of these donkeys are.
Is there a reason to feed them the way you are, or was it just a choice you made?
One thing that you might want to remember. A donkeys digestive system is considerably more efficient at extracting nutrients than either horses or mules. On a normal basis they don't need as rich a food. Most times good clean grass hay will keep them very well. Consistant grain usually isn't good for them.
The condition of the donkeys is very good. They get hay twice daily. They get mostly pasture in the summer. The reason we feed sweet feed is because, first equine ya get. Just assumed to give them sweet. Would oats or corn be a better choice to feed?
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Old 12/14/13, 01:38 PM
 
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Adult donkeys do not require any grain. They will do fine with hay or pasture; you need to be careful with access to too much pasture as they will founder (they are basically desert animals). A basic equine mineral, regular dewormings and hoof trims, clean water and a shelter where they can come and go are about the only requirements.

Donkeys are expert trainers and will have you feeding them everything they want after they convince you that you're starving them to death.

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Old 12/14/13, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by G. Seddon View Post
Adult donkeys do not require any grain. They will do fine with hay or pasture; you need to be careful with access to too much pasture as they will founder (they are basically desert animals). A basic equine mineral, regular dewormings and hoof trims, clean water and a shelter where they can come and go are about the only requirements.

Donkeys are expert trainers and will have you feeding them everything they want after they convince you that you're starving them to death.
We have grain them during the winter. Right now it's blanketed in snow. Wouldn't the donkeys go hungry without grain?
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Old 12/14/13, 02:00 PM
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We have grain them during the winter. Right now it's blanketed in snow. Wouldn't the donkeys go hungry without grain?
They have shelter, a mineral block, a water trough, we don't work them unless it's neccessary. We trim their hooves annually.
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Old 12/14/13, 03:38 PM
 
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With adequate hay, they require no grain, even in winter.

Most recommend hoof trims every 10 weeks or so. Perhaps "tiempo" who posts on this board will speak up on this! Or you could PM her

What work are your donkeys doing? Are they mini, standard, mammoth?

The American Donkey & Mule Society's website might have some helpful information for you on their care:
http://lovelongears.com/

If you have miniature donkeys, you'll want to check out the National Miniature Donkey Association:
http://nmdaasset.com/

Some all around general info and articles, with a special section on hoof care, if you're interested:
http://www.shadowridgedonkeys.com/links.htm

I was a breeder for a number of years, haven't foaled out any donkeys for 6 years (no market for the minis) and I have a lot of computer bookmarks, so feel free to ask questions and I'll try to help. Still have 13 minis (6 are geldings) and 2 mammoth jennets.

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Old 12/14/13, 03:47 PM
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If they are being properly fed, they will not be hungry without grain and if they are not being properly fed, grain is not a solution. It sounds like their condition is fine but once you start adding grain, you risk obesity and founder, neither are good situations.

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Old 12/14/13, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by G. Seddon View Post
With adequate hay, they require no grain, even in winter.

Most recommend hoof trims every 10 weeks or so. Perhaps "tiempo" who posts on this board will speak up on this! Or you could PM her

What work are your donkeys doing? Are they mini, standard, mammoth?

The American Donkey & Mule Society's website might have some helpful information for you on their care:
http://lovelongears.com/

If you have miniature donkeys, you'll want to check out the National Miniature Donkey Association:
http://nmdaasset.com/

Some all around general info and articles, with a special section on hoof care, if you're interested:
http://www.shadowridgedonkeys.com/links.htm

I was a breeder for a number of years, haven't foaled out any donkeys for 6 years (no market for the minis) and I have a lot of computer bookmarks, so feel free to ask questions and I'll try to help. Still have 13 minis (6 are geldings) and 2 mammoth jennets.
They are little minis. The CUTEST donkeys to ever walk the Earth! I need to give my little baby donkey grain though right?
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Old 12/14/13, 05:17 PM
 
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Although there is absolutely nothing cuter than a miniature donkey foal, most areas of the United States do not need more miniature donkeys; there simply aren't enough homes for them and they have a long lifespan (25-35 years).

I always fed the foals a little bit of grain when they were weaned at 6 months or so (started before weaning actually). All vaccinations and boosters were completed before weaning to reduce stress. I tried never to wean a foal alone (the foal had a companion foal or a jennet other than its mother).

If the foal is a male (jack), talk to your vet about castration. A gelding will stand a better chance at a good, forever home than an intact jack; even miniature jacks can be a handful and a management problem!!!!

You didn't say what type of "work" they do.

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Old 12/14/13, 05:26 PM
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We are having him gelded in Jan. They don't have any "work" Just to stand out there and scream at us to feed them. They are just pets.

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Old 12/14/13, 05:52 PM
 
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A donkey is naturally designed to thrive in a desert environment, eating the leftovers and scrubby stuff. Sure, feeding a LITTLE grain in moderation, especially in winter or to weanling foals won't necessarily HURT them, but really, why go to the extra expense. They honestly don't need it AT ALL, with the exception being perhaps a senior equine who has any trouble keeping weight on. Even then, I'd be more likely to simply feed a good, balanced, senior feed rather than just grain. Our foal thrived on just mom's milk and some hay alongside her, and our mature jenny does just fine on grass hay. Unless you just have money to burn, there is no need to purchase grain. If you like giving treats, a handful of grain here or there won't hurt, but I prefer to just offer a carrot or apple.

Donkeys are the easiest keepers you'll ever have. Enjoy it!

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Old 12/14/13, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CadesLilFarm View Post
They have shelter, a mineral block, a water trough, we don't work them unless it's neccessary. We trim their hooves annually.
CadesLilFarm, you mentioned working them. That's why I asked what kind of work they do.
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Old 12/14/13, 10:46 PM
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It sounds like you're new to livestock and may not realize that what is required to keep them well. Annual hoof trimming is a few shy of what should be done and you're not really comprehending that you can literally kill and animal with kindness. If you want to give them a treat, pick a nice benign treat like apple wafers, a carrot or maybe a handful of dry pasta but be aware that if you're as green as your posts suggest, treats won't make friends, they create monsters who are unruly if your pockets happen to be empty.

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Old 12/15/13, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by G. Seddon View Post
Adult donkeys do not require any grain. They will do fine with hay or pasture; you need to be careful with access to too much pasture as they will founder (they are basically desert animals). A basic equine mineral, regular dewormings and hoof trims, clean water and a shelter where they can come and go are about the only requirements.

Donkeys are expert trainers and will have you feeding them everything they want after they convince you that you're starving them to death.


I don't think I've ever seen a truer word said on here
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Old 12/15/13, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by G. Seddon View Post
CadesLilFarm, you mentioned working them. That's why I asked what kind of work they do.

Stupid auto correction. WORM them if neccesary. I hate autocorrection
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Old 12/15/13, 01:00 PM
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It sounds like you're new to livestock and may not realize that what is required to keep them well. Annual hoof trimming is a few shy of what should be done and you're not really comprehending that you can literally kill and animal with kindness. If you want to give them a treat, pick a nice benign treat like apple wafers, a carrot or maybe a handful of dry pasta but be aware that if you're as green as your posts suggest, treats won't make friends, they create monsters who are unruly if your pockets happen to be empty.

We're not new to livestock. Had goats for quite some time. Bad donkeys for about a year now. So we should trim their hooves every 2 months maybe? We trim the goats every 4 weeks. Same way?
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Old 12/15/13, 01:14 PM
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Goats and donkeys are not even closely related. You need to trim about every 6 to 8 weeks but if they aren't being used you may be able to go a bit longer. I'm more concerned about your lack of knowledge about proper feeding because some of your thoughts are dangerous to your donkeys and you seem to ignore solid advice from those who do have experience.

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Old 12/15/13, 01:29 PM
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No grain. Once a donkey gets fat its hard to ever get the neck roll off of them.

Depends on the donkey as far as hoof care. I have a donkey who needs trimmed every 4 weeks, she has bad feet and health problems of some sort.

Others are fine with twice a year, some every few months.

It also depends on where they are kept. Rocky ground will help naturally trim.

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