I have always been reluctant to bathe the donkeys, although I had to do it a few years ago for a ringworm
problem. But generally, donkeys prefer dust to water - this is their normal way to stay "clean" despite the contradiction in terms!
But my vet suggested that I bathe Deenah and get all the crusty stuff off her skin and as it was a rare sunny day, I did just that. I happened to have Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal:
For itchy, irritated skin, this soothing bath treatment is made of 100% pure Natural Colloidal Oatmeal - an ingredient long recognized for its ability to relieve itching - that AVEENO® mills into an ultra-fine powder. When dispersed in water, this powder forms a soothing milky bath that works as a natural cleanser, provides temporary skin protection and relieves irritation and itching due to poison ivy/oak/sumac, rashes, insect bites, and eczema. It also soothes prickly heat, chicken pox, hives or sunburn. And, it's even gentle enough for sensitive skin, being a skin protectant, fragrance free and soap free.
so I mixed up a big bowl with warm water, parked Deenah in the sun and sponged her down. I was careful not to get anything in her eyes and let her eat some hay while I was working. She seemed to enjoy the process! After I was finished, I put two large bath towels over her and attempted to pat her dry - it was really hard to thoroughly dry her though so I would never do this on a day that wasn't warm and sunny, especially with a thin donkey who feels the cold.
I think Dee's coat feels much better since her bath so I would like to do it again when the weather improves.
That one sunny day was an anomaly - it's pouring again!