Question for donkey owners - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 09-16-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question for donkey owners

Hi, I am considering getting a donkey as a stable pal for my mare. I have no knowledge of their care, I have never had one - have seen many wild ones, but that gets me no where. I have read that alfalfa is too rich and they will founder on it. This presents a problem for me. I feed alfalfa and I don't want to store additional stacks for a donkey. Is it true about alfalfa?

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post #2 of 15 Old 09-20-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy May View Post
Hi, I am considering getting a donkey as a stable pal for my mare. I have no knowledge of their care, I have never had one - have seen many wild ones, but that gets me no where. I have read that alfalfa is too rich and they will founder on it. This presents a problem for me. I feed alfalfa and I don't want to store additional stacks for a donkey. Is it true about alfalfa?
My donks are very easy keepers. They have a shelter but they don't really use it. They get a small amount of grain and hay in the winter. I think Alfalfa would be fine as long as they don't get to much of it. I have 3 and they share the grain and hay but I make sure they each get an equal amount (different buckets in different spots). They are on pasture 24/7 so the grain and hay is only nessecary for them in winter when pasture is bare and practically nothing. Hope I helped!
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-20-2012, 07:01 PM
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I have a mini donkey & I only give grass hay. Both my vet & my farrier told me to never, ever give alfalfa to a donkey. My donk will get a very small amount of grain in the winter (just because everybody else gets some) & my vet keeps telling me not to cause my donk is on the chubby side.

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-20-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for the replies. I am still considering it, I don't want to solve on problem only to be confronted w a bunch more. :) THey are cute.

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-20-2012, 08:07 PM
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Donkeys really need little to eat and can live on straw! I would be worried about feeding alfalfa to a donkey. We rescued a mini from a herd in which all of the donkeys were very fat. Dusty Donk is fat too, but she is getting better. She is with my horses to protect them and she has to wear a grazing muzzle right now for summer. In winter, we use slow feed hay bags for the horses and the donkey gets only what falls on the ground.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-20-2012, 08:09 PM
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Donkeys utilize what they eat extremely well and as you know alfalfa is very rich.
I took in two rescue donks this past January and they have been surviving very well on first cut grass hay and a mineral block. No feed what-so-ever and they are chubby bunnies!

Hoof trims may be of concern for you because they are a little different than horses, but it is something you would be able to learn easy enough. Their hooves don’t generally grow quite as fast either.

Something else to know (according to my vet anyway) is that when it comes to meds, besides dewormers, it isn’t quite as easy as “Oh, just give half of … (whatever) “ again because of the slight metabolism difference.

They think entirely different than horses…
It might come across as stubborn, but in fact they are quite smart and are not easily convinced that you know more than they do.
(Hmmm… sounds like someone on HF I know.... )

There have been some pretty good threads over the last 6 or 7months all about donkeys that will come up in a search and here are the links I like to give-
http://donkeyrescue.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.page&id=1003
http://calkinsart.net/donkeyinfo/index.html
http://www.donkeyforum.proboards.com/
I don’t mean to sound negative about them… I just adore my Chico and Rosie and plan to keep them permenently. But, they are far different than my fat yellow Digby for sure!
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-21-2012, 12:18 PM
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My little Donkeys are so fat I think I am going to move them to a dry lot and feed a little Grass hay daily. They were over weight when I bought them and 1 had a fallen Crest. But talk about a couple of little love bugs.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-21-2012, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I do not want to have to stack two separate stacks of hay for the likes of a little grass burner that makes funny noises, but I might just end up having to "biting the bullet" and doing just that. Let me tell you something you all already know...there are some dam fine horses for sale out there - dirt cheap. I want one of those...but, my mare has an eating disorder (eats dangerously fast when another horse is present) and a few personality quirks that makes finding the perfect companion extremely difficult. I can't risk "maybe a good companion" b/c if it didn't work out, what would I do?? I couldn't sell it b/c it would keep me up thinking about its well-being....all night. Oh, for the days of just plain old, "here is a new buddy". <<<<head down, pounding fist on table>>>>>

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-21-2012, 08:44 PM
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Have you considered a llama or a goat? Ordinarily I would say get another something of the equine species, but sometimes a small ruminant is just the right thing and both could do well in your environment.
The llama might be likely to stomp rattlers too and save you a few pellets. :)

The "likes" aren't working very well, but l tried to "like" your post.
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-21-2012, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lockwood View Post
Have you considered a llama or a goat? Ordinarily I would say get another something of the equine species, but sometimes a small ruminant is just the right thing and both could do well in your environment.
The llama might be likely to stomp rattlers too and save you a few pellets. :)

The "likes" aren't working very well, but l tried to "like" your post.
Haha...no goat. Uh uuuuuh, went down that road once before - and found out why the devil is often depicted as being half. It was so bad, my family still asks to hear "the goat stories" at gatherings!!! If one of those horrid beasts (goats) would work..it would be nice, since it would get little of my affection (she stresses over that, too) and I wouldn't even feel guilty. :) But it will be a cold day before I got another!!!!

Llamas just don't seem like they would suit me - but I never knew they stomped snakes...maybe I will look into them!

Thanks for liking my post even though the "like-er" was broken.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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