Rosie is probably one of the oldest donkeys out on foster although to look at her you really wouldn't know it as she looks about 20 years younger than she is. I wish I did too and think I may not be alone there! Pam, her devoted foster owner, believes she is around 48 years young. Rosie belies her years not only by her appearance but also with her outlook on life - she can still be somewhat feisty if she doesn't want to do something!
Rosie now lives on her own having lost her companion friend a couple of years ago. Senior citizen donkeys often seem to cope really well with being on their own but it is not something we would recommend for younger ones as they very much need a friend and playmate. Pam, however, spends a lot of time with Rosie and her care is second to none.
Older donkeys do need more care and attention, often needing extra feeds and grooming as their coats don't shed properly.
Rosie gets three meals a day plus her hay and straw and has regular health and dental checks. A cosy deeply bedded stable and a snug warm rug ensure this little donkey doesn't feel the cold or wet during winter. Keeping elderly donkeys warm and dry is so important and ensures that energy reserves are not used up for this purpose. Weight loss can be an issue in the older donkey and often it is being unable to cope with cold, wet winters or dentition problems.
As you can see from the photos, Rosie has the most glorious long coat which Pam combs regularly. When asked the secret of looking good for her age, Rosie merely looked coy and went in search of another cuddle and titbit from her foster 'mum'.
When I visit people like Pam, I think it ain't half bad being a donkey!