Hi guys, we acquired three donkeys 18 months ago, two of which were overweight. Locking them up in a relatively grass-free yard 22 hours a day and letting them graze 2 hours seemed to help shift weight steadily, but meant hand-feeding the non-overweight donkey separately, and lots of boredom for the animals. A donkey breeder told us to free range them totally and they would eventually stop being greedy. Two months later they were fatter than ever, so we threw that idea under the bus and resorted to grazing muzzles which only allow them to pick small amounts at a time during all their turnout away from their yard, and over the past three months they are slowly losing a little weight. We do feed vitamin/mineral mix in a very little lucerne chaff nightly so they don't get malnutrition while being calorie restricted.
So far letting them free range in muzzles during the day seems to be the best thing in terms of them losing weight and not having a boring life (plus it means the group is always together with the normal donkey grazing normally) but any comments from experienced donkey slimmers are welcomed. Like, how many years will it take to get a trim donkey?
We are not in a position to work the donkeys, or design a treadmill for them. Encouragingly though, I've met them exploring the farm tracks at speed recently when out on my horse.