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Mucking out made easy

Poo picking of the donkey paddocks is one of the tasks that the farm staff least enjoy. Each donkey “poos” several times a day and several more times each night. Their digestive system is designed to work best if they trickle feed, this means that they browse and nibble on the various type of fibre that we offer them. Because their stomachs work continually to digest the fibre 24/7 a “poo” can be produced as often as every other hour, multiply that by the number of donkeys on each farm and you get lots of piles of “poo” every day!

Spending time with donkeys

What a delight to be in Derbyshire on a reasonably warm and occasionally sunny Sunday in September for their summer fair. Chris Pile and his team of staff and volunteers were hard at work at 6.30am, feeding and mucking out the donkeys and setting up stalls ready for the visitors to arrive from 10am. I got there at 7.30am and spent an hour or so filling rolls with egg mayonnaise, tuna, cheese and ham.

All in the preparation

Three fat ladies!

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.

Helping to protect blind donkeys

Some of our blind donkeys wear a padded shield on their heads. This head bumper was designed by a member of staff to help prevent our older blind donkeys from banging their heads on the sides of the buildings, gateways or on fencing.

The donkey’s ears fit through the holes and there is a Velcro fastening underneath designed for quick release should a donkey get caught.


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