At Paccombe Farm three donkeys have been identified as being so overweight that it could be detrimental to their health. Our vet Alex has advised that they go on a weight control programme so that their fat levels are reduced. Excess fat can contribute to the risk of the donkeys getting diseases such as laminitis which affects their feet and hyperlipaemia which can be fatal.
The change in management is being carefully controlled by the veterinary department and involves restricted access to grass and limited calorie intake, their main diet now consists of a specially formulated chopped straw and alfalfa mixture with added vitamins and minerals. It is important that the weight loss is gradual and although they have all lost some weight in their larger group by keeping them separate we can control what they are eating more specifically.
Our dedicated Quality Time Volunteers have a rota to take Becki, Daisy and Mildred for walks as the exercise helps to tone them up and gives them a change of scenery. It is not quite the same as an aerobics class but it will help to get them a bit fitter.
Becki is 21 years old and at her heaviest was a massive 225 kg, we have managed to reduce her weight gradually to 205 kg but her body condition score is 5+; 5 is classed as “obese” by our vets.
Her target weight is 180 kg which should bring her down to a body condition score of 3; which is classed as “good”.
Daisy is 20 years old, her heaviest was in 2008 when she weighed an enormous 253 kg.
Her start weight in the slimming group is 239 kg with a body condition score of 5 we have given her a target weight is 214 kg which should bring her body condition score down to 3.
Mildred is 17 years old, she is Daisy’s friend and has already managed to loose 7kg and her current weight is 185kg, her body condition score is 4 which is classed as “fat”.
Her target weight is 170 kg and the optimum body condition score of 3.
Here are the “before” pictures, we will be monitoring their progress and if you are trying to loose weight perhaps you would like to diet along with our three fat ladies?
Let us know how much you are loosing each month and see if you can beat the donkeys to their targets.