I figured the last post must have left a few of you confused so I should clarify. I have been reading up on caring for donkeys and posed a question on a farm Facebook page about their dietary needs. There isn’t a whole lot I know about equines so I am starting from scratch here. About the most I know about equines is how to ride a horse proficiently in the arena and on trails and also that they eat hay. That’s all I’ve got. So needless to say, I am doing a mass amount of research on donkeys before diving in and purchasing one for our future homestead.
I am both reading books and doing a little online research utilizing resources with some sort of credibility.
Most of what I am finding conflicts in one way or another so I am doing my best to cross reference and take notes on my findings. This is what lead me down the path to my recent inbox of hate-mail. Online, I found an incredible website for a Canadian donkey rescue that had multiple videos and lots of information. In one of their videos they mention that because donkeys are naturally “desert” animals, that they do not require the nutrient dense feed that horses require. So instead of feeding 100% hay during the summer, they feed barley straw as part of the donkey’s summer rations.
Now, this made sense to me. I read that wild donkeys travel and forage over long distances and therefore can become overweight on a purely hay or alfalfa diet. This also made sense to me because I know that my rabbits can get quite fat on alfalfa. Then I made the mistake of asking a Facebook group if they had heard of this before or if feeding partial barley straw was common practice. I don’t know! I figured the local community of farm people would be able to give me a little insight.
Note to self– Facebook sucks. That’s where all my hate-mail came from… right before I sent it on to the proverbial trash can.
If you have any helpful information or tips and tricks on donkey care or donkey nutrition, I would LOVE to hear it! I am always happy to learn. And if you have any idea why some people recommend feeding barley straw and why others swear it will kill your donkey… I’d appreciate your insight.
Until then, I am going to keep reading and taking notes. I will share my findings soon.