Originally Posted by NorthernMama
No sweet feed for a donkey. Donkeys are designed to live on very little and should always been very lean. It's easy to overfeed a donkey.
You know how you don't make friends with a horse to work with them? Well, you pretty much DO make friends with a donkey. They are much smarter than horses. Think of working with a young child - it has to be fun and entertaining, but rules still apply.
This also works with horses. I know some schools of thought don't think so, but quite a few do. Having a good relationship with any social animal with which you are going to work is important if you want to reach full training potential. Have a look at the progress this lady is making with an unbroken mustang, with whom she is definitely friendly. She got him very, very recently, and he is just oozing happy cooperation, and learning lightning fast. Augustus the Mustang | Adventures of Augustus the Mustang
And while donkeys are smart, horses aren't exactly dumb by comparison. Because donkeys aren't such fast runners compared to horses, they tend to use other strategies when frightened or mistreated. This is one reason the myth abounds that donkeys are "stubborn"...
Very good advice on feeding. We got our donkeys two years ago, overweight, and are still reducing their weight. It's a long slow process and it's great if you can avoid getting to that point. They definitely can't be given unrestricted access to lush pasture: Dry, fibrous material is good, and not in abundance either.