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
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