donkeys and straw

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by mymarespet, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. mymarespet

    mymarespet Senior Member+

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    We have had an unusual year of weather fluctuations and the donks don't like it one bit.
    They are cold and miserable so they now live in the barn with blankets. MUCH happier now!!
    I would like to bed their stall with straw but I am concerned they would eat too much. I know there isn't much nutrition in straw but since the donkeys are proving to be sensitive in their care I just need assurance they will be fine. They do have access to fresh water all day.
     
  2. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Senior Member+

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    Some people actually feed high quality straw to donkeys when hay is too rich. It allows them more food without the excessive sugars (?) and calories.

    As long as they aren’t hungry, they won’t eat it. It depends on the individual though.
     
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  3. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    My parents once fed the horse and mule rice straw for two days when they were ranch sitting for me. Everyone I spoke to said people sometimes feed straw to fill bellies without adding too many calories. If you are concerned with the straw, just use shavings or pelleted bedding.
     
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  4. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    When I picked up the rescue fjord maple, she was eating the straw I needed the trailer with on the way home :( I started out by feeding fresh hay at every stop, and some alfalfa mashes and water, but when I saw her finish off the hay and then keep eating the straw, I threw a whole bale of hay in with her.
    She never had an issue after she consumed the straw, so I wouldnt worry too much
     
  5. mymarespet

    mymarespet Senior Member+

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    It is so easy to overfeed the little Donks and they are a bit different from the horses. The horses were not bothered by the cold at all but the donkeys were very cold.
     
  6. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

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    It is strange they were cold, mine grow twice as much coat as any of the horses and look like fur coats on legs.

    Straw, good clean straw and not decorative stuff, will not harm them. Many, many donkey and mule peeps including me, feed straw as a filler of sorts. You have to continue to feed some quality hay to ensure protein and such, but it will not harm them at all.
     
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  7. mymarespet

    mymarespet Senior Member+

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    These guys don't seem to have much coat, it is thicker than their summer coat but not by much. Dunno, seems strange to me too, its part of why I am being so careful....

    equinitis, how big are your donkeys and how much hay are you feeding? Do you feed anything other than hay (and mineral/salt of course)?
     
  8. mymarespet

    mymarespet Senior Member+

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    Have you ever known donkeys to be sensitive on their backs? This seems really odd to me. If you run your hand along their spine they flinch. The person who sold the donks said this was normal....donkeys don't like their back touched.....This doesn't seem right to me and actually I am quite sure when first purchased they did not exhibit this behaviour. Ideas?
     
  9. sherian

    sherian Senior Member

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    quite a few people have gone to barning their cattle donkeys here in winter - we had one extremely harsh winter and people were finding their donkeys with hypothermia by morning. They get good and fluffy but the coat just isn't as dense and waterproof/windproof as a horse? I wouldn't worry too much about them eating the straw, if they seem to be gaining weight on it you can always cut back their hay. Straw will be warmer for them than shavings.
     
  10. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Senior Member+

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    I would keep up with blanketing. My miniature donk would shiver when under 30 degrees because he was simply cold. He got a waterproof heavy weight blanket with a belly band and hasn’t complained since.

    If I had access to quality straw, I would feed. I do not. He gets a large flake of hay a day (split in two meals) and a handful a ration balancer. He has a thick coat, but donks’ coats are not meant for the cold, rain, and snow.

    As long as they aren’t hungry, they won’t eat it. And if they eat a little, they will be ok. Just some filler food.

    As for the soreness, I do not believe that is normal either. I would look into a equine massage therapist or chiropractor is that is an option.
     

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