Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Feed & supplements

Over the years I have tried a variety of feed supplements for the donkeys, depending on what I felt they needed.  Deenah needed help with ulcers and was very low in selenium, Siog had frequent diarrhea and I gave her Biosponge and psyllium.  Everyone has had vitamin supplements during the winter months.

Most supplements are in a powdered form and need to be mixed into ... something!  The question is "what?"   My understanding about feeding donkeys is to avoid cereal grains, as they are too rich and contain too much protein.  For that reason, I don't feed oats.  Most of the horse feeds contain molasses and/or oil and numerous "other" unwanted ingredients.  Many of them contain alfalfa - also to be avoided for donkeys.

Today I started everybody on a bit of morning mash.  Into that I mixed a vitamin/ mineral powder and a biotin formula hoof supplement for Rose.  Siog and Dorica each got a teaspoon of psyllium as it's possible they ingested a fair amount of sand during the very dry months we had this summer.

I have also found a mash very useful after dental work.  It's often the case that mouths are tender and sore and the donkeys find hay difficult to chew and grind for a day or so.  As I'm very anxious that they don't go off their feed, I like to have something other than hay to offer.

So I have opted for a mixture of soy bean hulls and beet pulp, but - there are issues with these feeds too!
The soy bean hulls are most certainly genetically modified, likewise the beet pulp and it contains some molasses. But I feel it's the best of the choices available here.

In  a 1 cup measure, I fill 3/4 with soy bean hulls and the rest with beet pulp - add water and soak overnight.  This morning I divided just a portion of that between the four donkeys and added the supplements.  They all loved it.

I would LOVE to hear other ideas about this though from anyone reading this post!  It's far from a perfect solution!


  1. You might want to check out Min-a-Vite Lite made by Blue Seal. It is a pelleted vitamin supplement specifically designed for equines who should not get cereal or alfalfa. It does not need to be mixed with anything. It is also easy to add hoof supplement to directly if needed. Congratulations on your new donkeys.

  2. Just looked at the site and they don't have any suppliers here in Canada. That seems to be the case with so many things I have been interested in! Funny that we seem to have such a limited market, e.g. I love to use Timothy hay pellets as a clicker training treat but they are ONLY available in the US!
    Go figure ...!