How to raise a donkey? Breeding tips

 How to raise a donkey? Breeding tips

How to raise a donkey? Breeding tips

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Welcoming a donkey into your home is not a decision to be taken lightly, like any adoption of an animal. The donkey can live up to 40 years. You must therefore be aware that this is a long-term commitment.

On the other hand, the donkey is very attached to its masters and does not support separations very well. It is necessary to be available for him and above all to provide him with suitable living conditions. The donkey requires a minimum of attention and care.

The donkey, a pet

Want to raise a donkey at home? You are right. The donkey is a loyal, endearing pet that has fewer needs than a horse or a pony, for example. However, it is also synonymous with stupidity and bad character in the popular image, when it is not so. The donkey is on the contrary an intelligent animal, loving freedom. If he can seem stubborn in certain situations, it is precise because he has understood that they do not respect his living conditions or that they present a danger for him. Anyway, if you adopt a colt, you will have to educate it and teach it a minimum of limits so that it respects you as an adult.

Originally from North Africa and the Middle East, the donkey particularly likes to eat hard and thorny plants that remind it of its drylands of origin. For this reason, the donkey is the king of clearers! It will easily rid your land of weeds such as brambles or nettles.

Several species of donkeys are present in France: the donkey of Poitou, the big black of Berry, the donkey of Provence, the donkey of Cotentin, the Norman donkey, the donkey of the Pyrenees, and the Bourbonnais donkey.

Donkey habitat

The donkey lives outdoors all year round. A minimum of 3,000 m² of pasture is essential. Rather than beautiful flat terrain, the donkey prefers hilly meadows with vegetation and bushes. The ideal is to divide your pasture into several plots separated by a fence. This division makes it possible to rotate the donkey from one plot to another, every 2 to 3 weeks, the time that the grass regenerates and so that it is not in contact with its own excrement which can carry diseases.

A donkey also needs a dry shelter where it can protect itself from the sun in summer or from the cold and humidity in winter. This shelter should be cleaned once a week. Ideally, its opening should be protected from prevailing winds and directed towards the sun.

Be careful, the donkey is a runaway, it quickly leaves its pasture. It is therefore advisable to close your land well with a fence made of barbed wire or with an electric fence.

The living conditions of the donkey

The second rule to follow if you want to raise a donkey at home: never leave a donkey alone because it can't stand loneliness and it will let you know by doing stupid things. In the absence of another donkey, you can offer him a hen, a sheep, or even a goat as a companion. If you choose to raise two donkeys together, prefer two females so as not to be confronted with reproduction problems. The risk of a fight is greater if you take two males. If your donkey's pasture is located far from your home, don't forget to visit your animal regularly. Adopting a donkey means being able to give it at least 30 minutes a day to clean its shelter and take care of it.

Donkey feeding

The donkey spends between 12 and 16 hours of the day grazing. His diet is mainly composed, in the summer, of grasses from his pasture: he feasts on thistles, brambles, hawthorns, and branches of the ash, elm, or hornbeam. In winter, its diet is mainly hay. He eats an average of 5 kilos a day. Be careful not to give him too rich food because the donkey is prone to obesity. To quench his thirst, he must always have clean water at his disposal. The donkey also needs minerals. A salt stone suspended in its shelter provides this contribution.

Donkey health

To avoid any health problems, it is recommended to show your donkey to a veterinarian at least once a year. It is essential to vaccinate him against tetanus, equine flu, and rabies. The hooves of donkeys must also be maintained regularly under penalty of irreversible lesions. You will need to call a farrier to have his hooves trimmed three times a year or according to their growth. A donkey must also be dewormed 2 to 3 times a year. Special monitoring of his teeth and ears is useful.

Daily grooming (kind of brushing) is important for the animal. This treatment cleans him of his dust and dead hair, but also superficially massages his muscles and ultimately offers him a moment of well-being that he will greatly appreciate. It is also a way to check that your donkey is not affected by skin diseases or parasites.

How to raise a donkey? Breeding tips

How to choose a donkey?

If you adopt a donkey to have it reproduced, choose a purebred male. If you intend your donkey to be used for driving or hiking, for example, and you want animals with a gentle character, choose a castrated donkey, called a gelding, or have a male castrated as soon as it reaches its third birthday.

In any case, before acquiring a donkey, some elements can tell you that it is in good health: its ears must be mobile; his dry, shiny hair; his cold hooves and lively eyes.

Legal obligations

When adopting a donkey, it is obligatory to have it identified in the national equine file. This identification is carried out by a veterinarian or the national stud farms, which assign the animal a descriptive sheet and a national number, the Equine Information System (SIRE). In concrete terms, this involves implanting an electronic chip containing this information in the neck of the donkey and tattooing the SIRE on its lips. In fact, when you buy a donkey, its former owner must be able to provide his papers, his health record, and his origins.

On the other hand, all donkey owners must keep an up-to-date breeding register that mentions all entries and exits of animals, as well as information on the health and diet of the donkeys.

achraf ben ammar

About the blogger: An expert in breeding and training dogs. He obtained his certificate in this specialty in 2012 from the Military School. He developed his field from the specialty of dogs to an expert in raising pets in general.

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