We have gathered together a list of costs to keep a pair of donkeys and the equipment donkey owners will need towards their donkeys' care.

The total initial expense in preparing for donkeys will depend on facilities already available such as shelter, fencing, hardstanding area and electricity supply. In order to ascertain any additional requirements for your environment, we recommend that donkey owners attend our Introduction to Donkey Care training course before you make any initial outlay.

Essential equipment

The following equipment costs are approximate and may vary from supplier to supplier.

  • Electric fencer: £90 to £200
  • Plastic 3 ft fencing stakes (based on one square acre that has solid fencing around the perimeter), 15 posts if field is square: £35
  • Electric fencing tape (200 metre roll): £24
  • Internal batteries: £12 each
  • Stable wheelbarrow: £60 to £200
  • Fork: £20
  • Shovel: £20
  • Yard broom: £10
  • Poop scoop and rake: £15
  • Head collar and rope: £12
  • Grooming kit (dandy brush, body brush, plastic curry comb, hoof pick, tray/basket, cotton swabs, sponges, scissors): £19
  • Buckets (minimum two): £10

Costs of ongoing care per donkey per year

The costs for ongoing care are approximate and are based on a healthy donkey that has a correct body condition, has access to sufficient nutritional grazing during summer and in the winter has access to ad-lib barley straw and adequate hay. Veterinary costs shown are only for annual checks and vaccinations. Please be aware that any veterinary treatment for health problems can sometimes cost between hundreds and thousands of pounds. Therefore, appropriate veterinary insurance is something that donkey owners should consider.

  • Vet call out and exam fee per visit: £20 to £80
  • Flu/Tetanus (Flu vaccination annually / Tetanus vaccination bi-annually): £30 to £45
  • Dental check (annually): £40 to £60
  • Annual faecal count (free for Donkey Guardians) 2-4 times per year: £16 to £40
  • Worming (assuming three per year based on 200 kg donkey): £12 to £30
  • Farrier (average eight-weekly trim): £160 to £260
  • Insurance (third party liability only): £40 to £100
  • Hay if donkey off grazing in winter (one bale per week for 26 weeks): £104 to £182
  • Straw for feed and bedding (100 bales per donkey per year): £300 to £500

The average cost of keeping a pair of donkeys could be in the region of £2,000 per year.

General information

The number of times per year that your donkey needs to be wormed and which drug should be used will depend on the donkey owner’s land management system, other animals kept and results of a faecal count. Consultation with your vet is strongly recommended.

Elderly donkeys, those with dental problems, donkeys that may need extra feed or those with respiratory problems, may require different bedding and/or feed which can often be more costly.

Want to know more?

Information for donkey owners