Orchard Brays Miniature Donkeys

Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, WR8 0AQ
Tel: 01684 311471 Mobile: 07942 069663 Email: Click Here

Sharing our love of donkeys ...

Orchard Bray Miniature Donkeys

The Care of Miniature Donkeys

Please note that whilst we are happy to share our experiences on the care of these precious animals, we are by no means experts or vets - if you have any concerns about the care of your donkey you should speak to a qualified equine veterinarian.

Feeding

The main diet for your donkey is good quality hay and barley straw. Whilst barley straw can be fed freely, hays should be limited to avoid your donkey becoming overweight. Overweight donkeys develop fat deposits around the buttocks, abdomen and neck. The fat deposit on the neck is referred to a 'crest' or 'fat roll' - once this has developed it will stay with the donkey for life - do not over feed your donkey!

During winter months, when there is little grazing, we give our donkeys an evening feed consisting of Alfa A and pasture mix to supplement their diet.

Pregnant and nursing jennys, and foals, require additional feed to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. We give Alfa A and pasture mix.

During spring and summer you may need to limit grazing to avoid your donkey becoming overweight and/or to avoid foundering. Barley straw and a little hay will soon take their minds off the lovely lush green grass!

Fresh, clean water should be available to your donkey at all times. During freezing weather, it's always a good idea to give warm water - it also takes longer for it to freeze overnight!

A salt block should also be available to your donkey at all times.

NEVER HAND-FEED TREATS TO A DONKEY - a donkey is never satisfied with one treat and he may become overly interested in your hands and fingers if he learns that treats are 'kept' there! Small treats can still be given to your donkey, but always feed them to him in his feed bucket.

Shelter/Stabling

Donkeys do NOT require rugs during winter or in wet weather, but they DO require shelter all year round. It is important to provide shelter during hot, cold, windy, and wet weather. They are much happier when they can shelter when they feel it necessary to do so. There is no need to make this decision for them - they are much happier when they are allowed to decide for themselves!

A donkey's coat is not waterproof but they generally dislike the rain and will almost certainly dive for cover within minutes - so don't worry about them getting wet! However, foals should certainly not be left to make the decision for themselves. They can become very cold very quickly, and can take hours to dry out. Young foals should be kept indoors with their mothers if rain is expected.

Nighttime stabling is not required providing your donkey has shelter. Our stabling is located in the donkeys paddock with the doors permanently left open so they 'come and go' all night long. However, we do stable new foals with their mothers for the first few weeks - this allows the mother to relax a little during the night without the worry of other donkeys getting too close to her foal, and also keeps the foal safe from foxes.

Worming

Worming frequency depends on your donkey's environment. If you remove manure from the paddock and stable on a regular basis, worming frequency will be less. Always talk to your vet to get the best advice on a worming programme tailored to your donkeys needs.

Hoof Care

Hooves should be picked out daily.

Hooves also require trimming several times a year. Frequency will obviously depend on how quickly the donkeys hoofs grow and whether they have access to a hard, dry surface which will help to wear hooves down naturally. Our donkeys hooves are trimmed 2-3 times a year. They have access to a concrete area (which they love to run up and down!), which also allows them to escape the mud during wet weather. Make sure that you find a farrier that is familiar with trimming donkeys hooves as they sit up higher in the heel than horses.

Vaccinations

Our donkeys are vaccinated against Equine Influenza annually and Tetanus every other year. Consultation with your vet is always advised.

Teeth

Teeth should be checked annually. It's a good idea to arrange for your vet do this when he visits to vaccinate your donkey to avoid paying two visit charges!

Grooming

Donkeys love to be groomed - they love the attention as well as a good scratch from the brush! Don't over groom your donkey during winter as he will need a good coat to keep him warm. During spring and summer, a good daily grooming will help to remove his winter coat to keep him cool.

Fly/Lice Control

As with all equine, during fly season you will need to protect your donkey from flies. There are several good products on the market to control flies and lice - seek advice from your vet.

A fly mask will stop your donkey from injuring his eyes from rubbing.

Companionship

A lone donkey is a lonely donkey. Donkeys are herd animals and whilst donkeys can be good companions for horses, there is no substitute for another donkey.

Donkeys are very sociable animals and love human interaction. As well as forming strong bonds with other donkeys, they form strong bonds with their owners - guaranteed to demand more of your attention than you can give - even if you give it 24 hours per day they still want that extra hug and scratch!

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