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Nutritional Needs Of Mules And Donkeys

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The feed store I work for had a gentleman in this morning that bought several mules and 2 donkeys from the auction this past weekend. The mules are in bad condition from the pictures he showed me, and the donkeys arnt much better. He knows nothing what so ever about horses, mules or donkeys but he is trying to learn the proper way to care for them. We started him with some grass hay as they havent had much in the way of feed. He had been feeding them some straw he had for his chickens. My question is this: Are the nutritional needs of Mules and donkeys the same as horses? I know next to nothing about mules or donkeys so im asking for a helping hand in educating me to their needs and their stay away froms. I want to help educate him in their feeding but i would hate to give him the wrong info. I've been looking on the internet but some of the info is contraditctory. Thanks in advance for all your help!

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I took this paragraph from an article on the American Donkey and Mule Society website it should be helpful to you and the new long eared owner.

Donkeys characteristically get by on less food than a horse of similar size, and need a lower protein content in their feed. Good grass hay and pasture is usually all a donkey needs. If grained, the protein should preferably be lower than 12%. Donkeys can founder on rich food such as alfalfa and lush spring grass. A fat donkey will develop a "roll"; on the neck, pones of fat on the barrel and over the hips that are quite unsightly. Once there, these are usually with the donkey for life. If the neck roll of fat gets too heavy, it will fall or "break over" to one side and never come upright again! Beware overfeeding these hearty creatures!

Your donkey should receive the same hoof care, worming and vaccinations that horses receive. Although some basic research has been done in independent studies on the results of vaccinations in donkeys, there is not enough conclusive proof to show that regular horse medicines, wormers and vaccinations are not effective in donkeys.

Edited by luvallbreeds

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Their nutritional needs are pretty similar to horses they just need less typically. IMO, if you are trying to improve condition or put weight on one, just feed it like you would a horse of the same size that does not need extra weight.

Donks are usually very easy keepers so be careful not to overdo it with calories and protein. I think you did the right thing with the grass hay and once their other needs, teeth, worming, etc., are met, they should do well on good grass hay.

One of my little mules can't even have free access to grass or grass hay or she gets fat, fat, fat.

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