Donkey Conformation?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-02-2013, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Donkey Conformation??

Hi! :)
So I "acquired" a couple of donkeys late this summer from someone who was giving them away, and despite my utter lack of donkey knowledge, I didn't want them ending up in dog food. The other one I started under saddle and sold above meat cost, but this one is staying. Not due to health issues, but because my younger sister needed a companion animal after her dog got hit by a car.

So anyway, ever since I've been diving head-first into as much research as possible. But for all my efforts, I can't find anything on conformation. If she was a horse, I could probably gauge conformation for myself, however, I'm completely lost as to what rules still apply for donkeys.

She looks a lot better built (by horse standards) than a lot of other donkeys I've seen pictures of, but I don't know how much that means.

Going off of horse rules, I can tell she's cow hocked (I think from being used for burro roping, whereas she runs form anything mounted) and a maybe a bit ewe-necked.

Sorry I couldn't get her squared up--she likes to fidget on the rope
I also tried to get a shot of her head lowered like it usually is, but she was tied above the withers :)


Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-03-2013, 12:20 PM
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I don't know anything about donkeys either but I have to say she's adorable. And a lot prettier than most I've seen. :)
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-03-2013, 05:30 PM
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She is a beaut! I think what makes her more attractive than usual is she ISN'T
Slab sided. I guess round curves even look good on equines too!
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-04-2013, 01:15 PM
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I don't know about donkey confo but she's soo cute! A lot prettier than some other donkeys I've seen.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-04-2013, 01:36 PM
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I'm not a donkey person, but if you gauge by horse standards then I'd say that this donkey has a little bit of weakness in the back and every so slightly toes out. Could you take and post some better pictures for conformation? That way the donkey people here could give you a better conformation critique. =D
By the pictures it looks like he has a good attitude, and that is more important to me than any slight build problems.

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post #6 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 12:01 AM
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You really need to post better pics - squarer angles from lower down for eg. I hear you loud & clear about the lack of good info available about donkeys! So... I have a fair amount of experience with them (& great love for them) but no hard & fast facts on confo as compares to a horse, just what I've observed & upon speaking to other donkey people, seems to be normal. Of course, considering carefully how much 'normal' stuff is unhealthy & subject to their management, as with horses....

First up, she is very fat(even her tail looks fat!) & definitely needs to lose a fair few. Donks are built for really poor, arid type environments & as such are even more sensitive to the rich feeds & environments they're kept compared to horses, so therefore more at risk of IR, laminitis, cushings, etc.

The donkey differences that I think are *healthily* normal; Obviously their backs are built quite differently, far more flexible, no wither, etc. 'Cow hocked' is also a normal state of affairs for them. & they are usually a bit base narrow all round & have narrow shoulders & more angular croup.

'Broken forward' hoof/pastern angles also appear natural, as do (generally) slightly more upright hoof confo. A/p hoof balance in relation to the frog is also quite different, with a lot more toe in front of the frog apex than *should* be present in a horse. The heel corners end well forward of the rear of the frog and the quarters quarters tend to be straight or curve inwards a little. **However the basic principles of hoofcare are the same & walls/heels should be short, frogs full & wide, etc.

Hope that helps!
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 01:29 AM
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Okay I know zip about donkeys but if I were to look at him like a horse, I would say he's a bit swaybacked and calf kneed but for all we know, that could be a good thing in donkeys!

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post #8 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
You really need to post better pics - squarer angles from lower down for eg. I hear you loud & clear about the lack of good info available about donkeys! So... I have a fair amount of experience with them (& great love for them) but no hard & fast facts on confo as compares to a horse, just what I've observed & upon speaking to other donkey people, seems to be normal. Of course, considering carefully how much 'normal' stuff is unhealthy & subject to their management, as with horses....

First up, she is very fat(even her tail looks fat!) & definitely needs to lose a fair few. Donks are built for really poor, arid type environments & as such are even more sensitive to the rich feeds & environments they're kept compared to horses, so therefore more at risk of IR, laminitis, cushings, etc.

The donkey differences that I think are *healthily* normal; Obviously their backs are built quite differently, far more flexible, no wither, etc. 'Cow hocked' is also a normal state of affairs for them. & they are usually a bit base narrow all round & have narrow shoulders & more angular croup.

'Broken forward' hoof/pastern angles also appear natural, as do (generally) slightly more upright hoof confo. A/p hoof balance in relation to the frog is also quite different, with a lot more toe in front of the frog apex than *should* be present in a horse. The heel corners end well forward of the rear of the frog and the quarters quarters tend to be straight or curve inwards a little. **However the basic principles of hoofcare are the same & walls/heels should be short, frogs full & wide, etc.

Hope that helps!
Sorry about the pictures-like I said, she was being squirrelly on the rope (A work in progress!) :) I did my best to get the important parts, like the hind legs and the shoulders, but all the better views came out blurry because she kept moving.

I agree with you about the weight. She's lost a bit since I got her, but it's hard to ration her feed without rationing my mare and the others she's being kept with. Some of it might also be her winter coat, which is almost 3 inches long right now.

I know about the high risk of founder, laminitis, etc. and the need to stay away from rich feed. I've heard that during the winter they should be fed 3/4 grass hay and 1/4 straw, but I don't really feel comfortable feeding anything that much straw, and my horse(s) and other livestock can't have it, so I've just been feeding a straight low-nutrition grass hay, not the richer kind like timothy grass or orchard grass. My mare is also an easy keeper, but I've had to supplement her with a little grain and alfalfa pellets to make up for the gaps in the grass hay diet.

Anyway, I figure she could use the little extra "fluff" in the super cold parts of winter when it hits -20 F or lower out here. Once it gets past that point, I plan to put a little more effort into dropping weight off her, but for now she needs it. They all have access to a shelter, which acts as a windbreak and rain/snow cover, but it doesn't help the sheer temperature. Not to mention they'd all rather just turn their tails to the wind anyway (Silly horses :P).

Thanks! :)
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 03:52 PM
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She needs her feet trimmed by somebody who know donkey feet.

From the pictures they don't look the correct angle especially the front right one

She looks swaybacked which isn't normal for a donkey IMO
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 10:27 PM
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By donkey standards she is not very fat. I would not shed a bead of sweat over her weight. As an owner of a(n) [recently aquired] obese donkey, I can honestly say your donk is not in a sad state of affairs. (We are working on it, but winter isn't the season for crash diets.) Also, she isn't swaybacked. She has more of a curve to her back than your average donkey. Generally they have 'straighter' backs, for lack of a better word. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with your donkey that will cause her to fall apart. Toed out? Yes, but not terribly so. Being toed out is quite common among horses and donks alike. She is a very nice looking girl, have fun with her! (:
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