Please look out for ragwort in hay as this is highly poisonous for donkeys. during the winter months). The donkeys’ efficient utilization of food makes them "easy keepers." Working with a knowledgeable vet and farrier is of utmost importance. Always feed according to the donkey’s age, weight and temperament. Access to an equine salt or mineral lick is advisable (avoid mineral licks designed for other types of livestock as they may contain inappropriate mineral levels). Please see the following site for more detailed information about diet including poisonous and toxic plants to avoid: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk. Obesity is a major concern in modern domesticated donkeys and mules. It was at that precise laminitis moment that I returned to Grass Valley. Practical feeding Strategies Donkeys and mules that are not doing any work should be able to meet all of their nutrient requirements from good grass hay fed at a rate of 1.5% of BW and a low intake ration balancer pellet such as LMF Super Supplement G. Ideally the daily ration should be divided into frequent small meals so that the time Lolly is without feed is kept as short as possible. Follow our essential advice to help your donkey maintain a healthy weight. Short-chop products (high in fibre and already chopped up) may assist in these cases. The anatomy of the forefoot was quantified from lateromedial radiographs of 83 normal and 74 … Various factors can cause laminitis, with overfeeding of nonstructural carbohydrates being one of the most common. If possible, position the feeder so that the donkey’s feet are not on the bedding while they are eating, so they have a chance to dry out. Do not attempt to manage a laminitic donkey alone. It is important to take care in determining when and how much to feed a donkey. What do you feed a horse with laminitis? They are able metabolize their feed very efficiently and can be overfed very easily. April 8, 2020 at 9:11 pm. Expert opinions and modern research … Obesity. Chaff products marketed for equines prone to laminitis are good for donkeys that have difficulty eating straw, hay or grass due to poor dentition, and can be used as feed supplements or fed ad lib as a total straw/hay replacer. Do not be tempted to let them gorge on less grass or start feeding them high sugar or high calorie hard feeds. Place enough straw in the feeder so that they can browse through it. Encourage feeding of safe treats such as high fibre nuts, fresh mint leaves and small quantities of fruit. Types of suitable hay include: Meadow hay or seed hay (from Rye or Timothy grass). Here’s what you should be feeding: Grass or pasture hay – preferably older hay (low sugar – no clover or rye) that is not mouldy Wheaten chaff (small amount of Lucerne chaff or oaten... Read more » Donkeys require a diet high in fibre and low in protein, sugars, starch/carbohydrates and calories. Norma became Sonja’s favorite (of course!). The donkey diet should consist of mainly good quality barley straw or oat straw (barley straw is best) and carefully restricted access to grass. I was in panic mode when I went to the feed store for help on May 31. Simple sugars increase the level of insulin, which in some horses triggers laminitis. Feed at least 1.5% of the horse's bodyweight unless under veterinary supervision. The inclusion of fibre in the form of alfalfa and chaff ensures increased chewing time, which is beneficial for horses or ponies on a restricted diet and can help to maintain a … Avoid feeding sugary treats. Laminitis due to starch-overload is very rare as most horses and ponies prone to laminitis are not fed large amounts of high starch concentrate feeds. Please note that elderly donkeys may require special dietary attention. Horses with equine metabolic syndrome or Cushing’s disease are at an increased risk for developing laminitis. Laminitis causes the sensitive lamellae to stretch, … You should NEVER feed a feed to a laminitic horse if it has any of the following ingredients: Oats, corn, wheat, rice or barley; Millrun, millmix, bran (rice or wheat), pollard; Any form of steam flaked, micronized or extruded grain; So read all labels and lists of ingredients carefully before buying a feed and remember.It is buyer beware. A high fibre, low sugar diet, limited access to grass and rigorous weight management will go a long way to preventing this disease. Yes, and no. Laminitis can affect any horse, pony, donkey or their hybrid at any time of the year and not just in spring – there is no ‘safe season’. Is it better to feed her grass hay higher in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) or alfalfa lower in NSCs but higher in calories? Donkeys frequently accumulate fat on their necks and are at high risk of insulin resistance and laminitis. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-donkey/, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, Common health problems associated with an inappropriate diet. The donkey diet should consist of mainly good quality barley straw or oat straw (barley straw is best) and carefully. April 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm. I was told to use a chaff that doesn’t have anything it it so he has the correct amount of bits and mins and no extra of anything. Norma became a bit portly and then … suffered laminitis. My pony has top spec zero chaff and a good vits and mins (calm healthy horses) and salt. If your laminitic horse needs to gain weight, increase the amount of low sugar forage you feed them. Read this before you feed epsom salt to horses with laminitis.There are a range of feeding techniques to avoid/eliminate laminitis in horses. Feeding cereal-based concentrates is generally not recommended due to the risk of health problems (unless specifically recommended by a veterinarian). Donkeys with laminitis need specialist feeding, which often requires major changes to feeding and other aspects of daily care. Nothing, plus a bit of hay is a common diet. It helps to maintain a diet low in simple sugars. If additional weight gain is needed, start slowly adding oil to their diet. Limit cereal (grain) based diets. She’s on box rest and she’s struggling with the soaked hay. Feed forages with a low starch and sugar content, preferably under 10% sugar and starch, Have ‘farm produced’ forage tested to check the energy and sugar content, Commercially produced high fibre ‘laminitic safe’ haylage can be a good option, Very low energy short chop products may be useful, Check feed and bedding straw for retained grain, Feed little and often to ensure donkeys are trickle feeding as they would in the wild, Encourage ad-lib feeding - straw is particularly useful for those with good teeth and should be freely available, A non-pasture run out area such as a dirt paddock, sand school or bark chipped area will allow the donkey precious exercise time without access to grazing once veterinary advice allows periods of exercise, Use an appropriate feed balancer to supplement vitamins/minerals if feeding a straw only diet. Mouth and teeth checks should be done by an equine vet or dental technician at least twice yearly. Perhaps the nitrogen in the fertilizer triggers the laminitis. As with many diseases, prompt treatment can make all the difference. short-chop high fibre products to reduce the need to chew. Managing weight is also just as important as feeding a low non-structural carbohydrate diet. It is recommended to allow ‘paddock’ time to exercise and for environmental enrichment. My farm in May 2015 was covered in weeds despite me mowing constantly. Methods. It can occur occasionally, for example if a horse or pony breaks into the feed room. If you suspect your donkey has laminitis, ensure it has access to a deep bed of shavings, easy access to food and water, then call your vet immediately. Prevention is always better than treatment, so it is important to feed horses that have suffered or at risk of suffering from laminitis, a diet that is low in non-structural carbohydrate (NSCs are the starch plus the water-soluble carbohydrates or sugar). This is known as trickle feeding and helps to keep the donkey’s digestive system healthy and to keep the donkey occupied. You should always ensure feed is … Feed little and often as donkeys are ‘trickle feeders’. Laminitis is a complex cascade of events that causes the soft tissues (laminae) within the hoof to swell, weaken and die. Encourage feeding of safe treats such as high fibre nuts, fresh mint leaves and small quantities of fruit. Feed an underweight laminitic donkey very carefully, aiming for high fibre, low sugar products as donkeys will gain weight easily on fibre-based products. Please consult your vet should you have any questions or concerns. Hay – The base of a laminitis diet Base the diet on forage feeds that are low in sugars and fructans (collectively called Water Soluble Carbohydrates or WSC). In one study, donkeys that had been fed a diet including cereal-based concentrates were more likely to have gastric ulcers when compared to donkey’s fed on a fibre concentrate or forage-only diet. Currently I feed equal amounts of both and no grain. Donkeys should always have access to a clean water supply and they may be quite fussy about what they drink. But I was willing to apply weed killer. Feed only grass hay until advised by your veterinarian. To characterise objectively the radiological anatomy of normal donkey feet and define the nature and extent of anatomical change associated with laminitis. Foods that fit this description are mature grasses and hay made from mature flowering grasses. This damage is irreversible and difficult to manage, plus these horses are more inclined to suffer subsequent episodes of laminitis in the future. Laminitis is a complex health issue and successful management of such a painful, serious and long-term condition is dependent upon many factors. See our FAQs. Laminitis is quite unlike any other equine disease. Does it work? Dietary restrictions; stop feeding all grain-based feeds and pasture. Therefore, it’s important to feed them the right type of foods, otherwise your donkey could easily become overweight, as well as facing a higher risk of laminitis. ‘L’ Mix is a chaff based feed that is suitable for those prone to laminitis, with a combined starch and sugar level of only 5.25%. A laminitis diagnosis can be a life-changing event for both a horse and an owner. There will be no waste as the remainder can be used for bedding. And when it comes to dietary changes for laminitic horses, owners might not know where to start. Getting your horse or pony’s diet right with a case of laminitis is an essential part of their care and recovery. Your vet will probably prescribe painkillers such as phenylbutazone, commonly known as bute, a very common pain killer. Laminitis is a severe, painful inflammation of the laminae, which are interlayered tissues that connect the soft and solid structures within the horse’s hoof. Any change in the feeding regime must always be carried out gradually over a couple of weeks. Important note: Some donkeys, even young donkeys may have difficulty eating straw, hay and grass due to poor dentition. This is a common problem in overweight broodmares and stallions. Many people ask “what is a safe feed for horses with laminitis?” As a starting point it is important to think about why we feed, and this varies according to the type of laminitis prone horse we are feeding. Avoid all cereal-based feeds as donkeys can be maintained and encouraged to gain weight on fibre-based products without the need for inappropriate cereal feeds, Do not allow the donkey access to grazing while suffering an acute laminitic episode, For chronic cases always restrict grazing by area rather than time at grass as donkeys can eat the same amount in 8 hours of turnout as they can in 24 hours, Do not starve the donkey as this may put it at risk of life threatening, Do not allow the donkey to graze a frosty pasture on a sunny morning as the level of fructans in the grass may be very high at this time, Do not feed senior or conditioning feeds even if the donkey is underweight as these feeds are too high in proteins, fats, starch and sugars, Remember there is no safe time to graze a laminitic donkey - fructan levels in grass can spike at any time of day or year with the right weather conditions. There are links between obesity, laminitis and other health problems. Managing donkeys with laminitis is a long-term issue focused around maintaining a healthy weight and feeding appropriately to prevent recurrence/exacerbation of the condition. Most recommendations involve buying expensive supplements for your horse, that have a million ingredients and heavily processed. What to feed a horse with laminitis – mash feed ok? Select a chaff product for animals susceptible to laminitis as a good product for your donkey that has trouble eating straw or hay. Hay nets are not recommended as it is better for donkeys to eat from the floor and empty hay nets can be a hazard. An overweight donkey is not a healthy donkey. Laminitis affects structures called sensitive lamellae that are located inside the horse’s hoof. Donkey’s may require supplemental hay if they are not maintaining good body condition with the straw and restricted grass diet (for e.g. My mare came down with laminitis on Friday. Remember there is no safe time to graze a laminitic donkey - fructan levels in grass can spike at any time of day or year with the right weather conditions. Continually assess your donkey’s body condition and make changes to the diet accordingly. Laminitis is an extremely painful condition affecting 1 in 10 horses/ponies every year and can cause permanent damage to the hooves. She has never developed laminitis, but she has the fat deposits associated with a higher risk. Dental disease and/or other health problems may mean that older donkeys have trouble chewing long strands of straw/hay and therefore they may require supplementary feeding to provide an alternative fibre source. This can be achieved by feeding mature Lucerne hay that is typically lower in fructans and higher in protein than other hays. The sensitive lamellae act like Velcro to form a strong bond to hold the pedal bone in place within the hoof. They may require supplementary feeding with high fibre products that are more easily eaten e.g. Diagnosing and treating the primary problem (laminitis is often due to a systemic or general problem elsewhere in the horse's body). When it comes to laminitis in horses, feeding needn’t be complicated. Excess weight carried by obese horses dramatically increases the risk of rotation of the pedal bone following a bout of laminitis. She isn't overweight or underweight. They have adapted to eat fibrous plant material in small quantities throughout the day. laminitis. Donkeys kept indoors require a floor-level feed bin or corner-floor feeder placed so that feed cannot get soiled. Too many horse owners have reported their horses foundering right after pastures were fertilized. What to feed horses with laminitis? You will always want to make sure that the chaff product you feed is ‘laminitic safe’ and has a sugar content of less than 8%. However, don’t let the term misguide you. These donkeys will require veterinary attention to address the dental issues and special dietary attention to ensure they receive adequate nutrition. What to feed donkeys They key thing to remember is that it’s much better for your donkey to eat throughout the day, rather than receive all their feed in … The best scenario is that correct diet and general management of your donkey means you never see laminitis. A securely supported bucket or a self-filling trough should be constantly available and should be cleaned out daily after the stable has been mucked out to avoid a build up of dust or dirt in the water. Signs of dental disease include drooling, dropping feed, slow or reluctant to feed and bad breath leading to weight loss. She was brought into a lovely stall at dusk and received the full 4-Star treatment with special love, affection and a bucket of apples/carrots/donkey treats nightly. 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