top of page

Hard Facts and Reality Check for New Donkey Owners

You saw a cute video featuring donkeys online and now the kids are begging for a pet donkey?

If that’s the case, please carefully read this blog because bringing a donkey into your life is not like going to the pound and picking up a dog.

Why do people adopt donkeys?

For a lot of reasons, but primarily for security reasons. Donkeys are awesome at scaring off coyotes, wolves, raccoons and other animals that you don’t want on your property. They’re also fairly adept at crushing rattlesnakes in a pinch!

While they’re a lot like horses, you should be aware of a donkey’s unique requirements before

you even think about adopting one from all of us at Oscar’s Place in Hopland CA. It’s important to do your research before adding any new animals to your farm or ranch, so here goes:

Tips for New Potential Donkey Owners

Companionship: Whether with another donkey or a horse, most donkeys thrive on

companionship. They’re social creatures and many have their own Facebook/Instagram

pages to prove it. They enjoy playing, eating and sleeping near others as well as binge

watching Game of Thrones. At Oscar’s Place, we insist of donkeys being adopted only in

pairs. Hey may pace, destroy fencing, act pushy or constantly holler.

 Shelter: Your donkey is likely to be sturdier than your horse. They usually do perfectly

well with 24/7 turnout and no blankets. You should offer a covered shelter though! This

can be an open stall or three-sided run-in. Make sure your fencing is safe, as well. You

should never fence in your pasture with barbed wire, rather use wood, electric or mesh.

 Diet: Unfortunately, they’re prone to overeating. An overweight donkey will have fat

deposits on their neck and rump. They do best on a high fiber, low protein hay. Most of

them don’t need grain. A slow feeder net can be helpful in slimming an overweight

donkey down. Furthermore, clean drinking water should be offered at all times.

Health Concerns: Routine procedures will include getting their hooves trimmed, having

their teeth checked, de-worming them and getting routine vaccines. You should pay

particular attention to your donkey’s normal behavior, so you can identify when they’re

acting off.

 Behavior Modification: These clever animals think slightly different than your average

horse. They can’t be bullied into listening, rather patience and kindness are key! Your

donkey should know basic commands. This will make handling them easier. It also

simulates their mind and keeps them active. Owning a donkey is a rewarding


To adopt donkeys from Oscar’s Place, we require the following:

At least one acre of safely fenced pasture or turnout per donkey (e.g., two donkeys would

require at least two acres)

A sturdy, clean, safely fenced corral (a smaller, separate enclosure from the turnout)

Continuous access to a permanent clean structure, weather-protected permanent shelter of no less than 8x16 feet per pair of donkeys (suitable shelters are permanently fully enclosed

structures on at least three sides with a solid roof; four-sided shelters are highly recommended)

Year-round access to a clean, unfrozen water source by way of a heated water tank or similar


An adequate supply of non-moldy grass hay stored in a weather-protected shelter

Donkey companionship consisting of another donkey (limited exceptions solely at the discretion of Oscar's Place)

Are you a first-time donkey owner?

That’s okay, most of our adopters are! We are happy to

answer any questions you may have about getting set up for your new family members. Feel

free to call or email us anytime.

Sources: Cowgirl, Animal Planet, and Wikipedia

278 views0 comments


bottom of page