Irish Donkey Welfare Organisation
KEEPING YOUR DONKEY HEALTHY
A healthy donkey is a happy one! Nobody wants to have unnecessary vet bills so its worth going that little bit further to keep him as fit and healthy as possible.
Feeding - provide good quality forage. Barley straw is best, then oat and finally wheat. Hay should "smell" and look fresh. Avoid cereal based foods and anything that has a sugar content. Clean, fresh water daily is a must. Providing access to a salt block with added minerals (please avoid the bucket variety which are full of molasses ie sugar)will ensure your donkey has a balanced diet. Treats should be kept to a minimum - carrots, apples and bananas are fine but in moderation only. A very occasional gingernut biscuit or mint is allowed but don't make it a habit!!
Immunisation - Annual Flu and Tetanus vaccination is worth considering especially if your donkey mixes with other equines.
Worming - all equines carry eggs but its the worm burden that is important. A good way of checking this is to take a faecal sample either once or twice a year for testing and dependant on the results, whether or not your donkey needs to be wormed. There are numerous preparations on the market but your vet will advise which is suitable and dosage. When obtaining any new donkey, its always a good idea to give a worming preparation.
Drenching - Pour-on preparations can be used if your donkey has external parasites. Look regularly to check for tics, lice etc.
Grooming & socialisation - probably the most satisfying of all the aspects of donkey ownership. Time spent with him cannot be underestimated - it produces trust and a close bond between donkey and owner.
Daily jobs - check out your donkey daily by running your hands all over his body, legs etc. This way you will be able to feel any lumps or bumps as soon as they appear. Pick out his feet, making sure any small stones are removed. Make sure his nostrils are clear and his eyes free of any discharge. Remove any dung from the field and especially from the shelter. Check for external parasites by checking areas of the coat. Ensure he has a plentiful supply of water.