A Few Safety Tips To Remember
- Make arrangements to have a veterinarian you can call on whenever needed – ask if they can provide emergency care. Invite them over soon after you bring your Miniature Donkeys home .. . this way the vet will see how your Donkeys look and act when they are feeling well and the visit will also allow the vet to learn how to get to your farm quickly if needed. There really is nothing like a good preliminary visit with your veterinarian – whether on your farm or in his office – to put your mind at ease about the healthy future of your Miniature Donkeys.
- Never leave a halter on your Donkeys due to the danger of hanging.
- Check your pasture for any toxic plants! (your Cooperative Extension Service is a great source for identifying these troublemakers).
- Start working with your Donkeys on basic halter training.
- Learn how to take your Donkey’s temperature.
- Be aware of any changes in your animal’s behavior, eating, drinking or manure.
There are many good references that can help you learn more about your Donkey. The American Donkey and Mule Society (ADMS:) have some wonderful resources in their Book Service at www.lovelongears.com.
It’s true there are responsibilities in caring for Miniature Donkeys, but you will find them to be wonderful companions and great family members. May you have many years in the delightful company of these magical critters.
Donkeys are desert animals and thus with our wet temperate climate and lush pastures are in a somewhat alien environment. This single factor determines the basis of their care and particularly feeding and how it significantly differs from horses and ponies.
Donkeys are herd animals and a single Miniature Mediterranean Donkey is a very lonely donkey and is unlikely to thrive. They should always have at least one companion. Goats, sheep and ponies are not suitable as companions. Two miniature donkeys will require a minimum 1 acre of land. Poor quality or wetness in winter may indicate the need for a greater area. This should be subdivided into sections to ensure against! overgrazing and prevent over eating.
Droppings should be cleared daily from the pasture.
Miniature donkeys are healthy animals but do require shelter from bad weather. Unlike native ponies, donkeys are not waterproof and a 3 sided field shelter, with entrance facing away from prevailing winds, is the minimum requirement and will also provide shade in Summer. Fresh water must be provided daily. Dirty/stale water will not be accepted, even leading to dehydration.
In freezing conditions warm water is highly recommended as donkeys will not drink icy cold water. Most donkeys normally need to drink more water in winter than in Summer as they are consuming more dried food. We recommend miniatures are stabled at night, especially in winter. Additionally for security purposes a stable with security lights is the safest place for such a friendly animals all year round after dark.
The same annual vaccinations as for other equines are recommended with protection against Tetanus being the essential minimum. A full conventional equine de-worming programme is necessary throughout the year. Miniature donkeys will need regular hoof care and feet should be trimmed every 8-10 weeks & teeth should be checked regularly.