The Donkey Sanctuary has produced this guide with daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and seasonal advice to help you plan how to care for your donkeys properly throughout the year.
- Observe your donkeys for normal behaviour
- Muck out stables and poo pick fields and yards
- Clean water buckets or drinkers
- Provide fresh barley straw for feeding
- Groom donkeys and pick out their feet
- Provide mental stimulation in the form of non-poisonous bark covered logs, toys, exercise such as walking
- Move strip grazing if appropriate
- Apply insect protection as recommended by manufacturers
- Skip out stable in evening and check for normal behaviour.
- Clean field water troughs
- Check all perimeter fences for damage and ensure fencing is well maintained and secure
- Keep a constant look out for poisonous plants and remove whenever found
- Dust stables remove any cobwebs and disinfect stable floors.
- Farrier visits every 6-8 weeks
- Take your donkeys' heart girth measurements and monitor your donkeys' weight
- Condition score the donkeys to check for weight gain or loss in conjunction with hearth girth measurement.
- Organise the equine dental technician or vet as part of your donkeys' dental care programme
- Organise for a yearly vet check and annual Equine Flu vaccination and Tetanus vaccination if due
- Organise for faecal egg counts from donkey dung samples at least twice yearly for each donkey and have your vet advise you on the need for worming
- Paint stable walls or use animal-friendly wood preservative.
- Protect donkeys from insects - begin fly protection programme
- Very careful slow introduction to spring grazing - see our feeding donkeys guide
- Have muck heap removed to minimise flies for spring and summer.
- Continue with daily fly and insect prevention measures as per manufacturer’s instructions
- Order barley straw and any hay or haylage that you might need for winter use
- If you have older donkeys that wear rugs in winter ensure they are cleaned and repaired if necessary
- Extra grooming of donkeys to help remove winter coat
- Monitor weight and control grazing throughout summer.
- If donkeys have access to grazing during winter, get bark chip or suitable sand to keep gateways clean and dry
- Monitor any flush of autumn grass and restrict grazing as required
- Put up fence around oak trees to prevent any donkeys getting access to fallen acorns
- Treat wooden fencing and field shelter with animal-friendly wood preservative.
- Monitor your donkeys' water intake and offer warm water if required to ensure adequate intake
- Ensure access to hardstanding to help minimise foot problems and mud fever
- If fitted, remove donkey rugs daily to check for signs of rubbing.
Want to know more?
Information for donkey owners