In their natural habitat donkeys will browse, eating highly fibrous plant material in small quantities throughout the day. During the spring and summer the donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary have access to restricted grazing. In addition to the restricted grazing they always have access to barley straw to ensure they are getting plenty of fibre.
Generally healthy fit donkeys do very well on a basic diet of good quality feeding straw, limited access to grass and hay/haylage if required. Donkeys have evolved as browsers and in their natural environment would eat highly fibrous plant materials in small quantities throughout the day. Donkeys require a diet high in fibre and low in calories.
Providing that your donkeys have constant access to adequate shelter, most will prefer the freedom of being out even in the colder weather as opposed to being shut in a stable for days on end. Winter care is more about helping your donkeys to withstand the lower temperatures and stay healthy in the cold or wet weather, rather than shutting them in completely.
The Donkey Sanctuary has published a number of books and fact sheets. The list below is aimed at owners of donkeys or those considering getting a donkey.
If you would like advice on feeding your donkey, please fill out the feeding and nutritional advice form and a member of our research and nutrition team will get back to you shortly.
If you require further information and guidance, please get in touch with our welfare team.