Here in Birmingham we are always looking for ways to enrich the lives of our donkeys and variety in their diet is a great way to encourage a healthy appetite. Donkeys are natural foragers, using smell and touch to seek out new taste experiences and they love to explore different tastes and textures.
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Birmingham Assisted Therapy's blog
At The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham we have been trying out new forms of enrichment to keep our donkeys stimulated, happy and healthy. Now the weather has got warmer and the donkeys have been grazing in the fields, our staff have tried out three new ways to give the donkeys novel and exciting tastes and smells in the fields.
Donkeys are primarily foragers, evolved from a long line of descendants who spent a long time searching and nibbling a variety of different foods. Here in Birmingham, our team has been coming up with different ways to mimic a donkey’s natural behaviour… and they have come up with the donkey forage box! A clever way of recycling an old toy box, the donkey forage box has a wide opening in the top covered by mesh so that herbs, plants and grasses can be grown through for the donkeys to nibble.
Here in Birmingham, our staff have been pleased with the results from trialling a new type of enrichment with the 21 donkeys who live at the Centre in Sutton Park. The donkeys were given paprika, scattered around the field, to smell and sniff – resulting in a host of positive behaviours. In order to find out what other new and interesting scents pique the donkeys’ interest, the staff having been trying the same technique with a variety of other herbs and spices… and the results were interesting indeed!