|Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 6:50 AM|
Now that fall is here and winter just around the corner there are important things to remember about Donkey care. Donkeys were originally desert animals and their coats are not ideally suited for wet, windy fall and winter weather. Donkey coats are not waterproof and the hair is often longer then other equines and can therefore stay wet longer making for discomfort. The broad backs of some donkeys also hold water and can cause back rot. If you suspect back rot get veterinarian advice. The whorls described previously that mules, horses and hinnies have also help with water run off. Most donkeys do not have these. One way to help donkeys deal with inclement weather is to provide shelter. Although donkeys prefer to be outside then locked in a barn they must have access to shelter with three walls and a slanted roof allowing little draft. Facing south and the open side away from prevailing winds helps. Most donkeys will naturally seek shelter from the rain and cold winds.
At the sanctuary a few of the donkeys don coats in the winter. Most prefer not to as they can get itchy and it is more comfortable to leave the skin open to the air, but some elderly frail animals do wear coats.You don’t want to see a donkey shivering from cold which can cause illness. If an older animal does get a coat for the winter they should have a few hours of relief each week to allow their own coats to breathe. If your donkey needs a coat there are certain sizes best suited to donkeys, horse coats are not the right dimensions for donkeys. Coats also have different fasteners and straps so make sure these are attached properly or the donkey can trip. Many of the older donkeys at the sanctuary have their own stall or wander the barn at night while the stronger younger donkeys have access to one big stall and several shelters around the property. Here are 2 damp donkeys seeking shelter from the rain.
Marble staying dry
Jessie mini donkey staying dry