Call them donkeys, burros, or jackasses – they all mean the same thing: Love-able equines who have lots of emotion, energy and appetite.

At Lucky Glider Rescue & Sanctuary, we care for donkeys in addition to horses.

Here are a few fun facts about these wonderful beasts:

* Donkeys are affectionate and care for one another. Throughout the day, you can see them grooming one another by running their teeth through the manes of each other and pulling away any debris or dirt. They do this side-by-side.

* When donkeys take a “dirt bath” by rolling on the ground to scratch themselves or dust themselves, another will often stand guard nearby. Then they switch places.

* Donkeys will gang up on coyotes, mountain lions, and wolves to chase them away from smaller animals. This is why they are often used as “Guard Animals.”

* Donkeys will cry or “bray” when feeding time comes around and will often kick up a fuss to get your attention and a little affection.

All of the donkeys that come in to the ranch are first given a Coggins Test by our veterinarian. We don’t want to introduce new donkeys to the population until they pass a health check. Males (Jacks) are castrated first and segregated for 30 days from the females (Jennys). It is also important to trim their hooves often so they don’t hurt themselves or put too much weight on one foot. We do the trimming here sometimes with the help of a farrier. It is not recommended that donkeys are “roped” whilst trimming. Instead, they are given a sedative to keep them calm so we can do the work without being kicked.

You must pay attention to their teeth because if they have a cavity or infection, it could be very serious. For that reason, we check their teeth often. The carrots help to clean their teeth… Donkeys’ diets also need to be supplemented with a mineral block with salt in it. It is not good for them to go without salt. They just lick the block when they need it.

Here at Lucky Glider Rescue & Sanctuary, our donkeys are fed twice a day: once in the morning and once at dusk. Donkeys can’t have as much protein as horses, so you have to be diligent so they don’t founder. In the morning we feed them a mixture of non-sweet all stock and whole oats. As a treat they each get a few carrots and boy do they kick up a fuss for those carrots! In the evening they get the same less the carrots. Donkeys will forage for tall grasses and other foliage during the day and even at night.

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