The best food for donkeys is gained through grazing and browsing on natural grasses and coarse herbage. The quality
of available pasture determines whether a supplement of straw and or hay is necessary all year round or in times of drought, flood or during winter.Some donkeys require hay and chaff every day due to dental abnormalities and chaff is essential daily food for old donkeys. Dietary additives are fed according to age, size, individual circumstances and condition of the particular donkey in need. The young, the aged, pregnant jennies, or ailing donkeys
require special attention to their diets. Hay and straw is purchased in bulk, usually in summer when the cost is not as great as it is in winter. Carrots, apples, pears and sometimes treats of pumpkin, zucchini are fed as a treat along with good quality eating straw is available in feeders at all times as an important source of roughage.
Veterinary costs are impossible to estimate. Veterinary
attention is provided for every donkey requiring it. It's impossible to estimate when or how many donkeys are likely to require a
vet, and therefore veterinary costs are impossible to estimate. Tetanus vaccinations are essential for every donkey.
Donkeys in distress or old donkeys always have access to
shelter sheds or stables. Old or sick donkeys are rugged at
night in winter or during prolonged wet periods or when necessary. Healthy donkeys live in paddocks with thick tree stands and gullies to provide natural shelter, they also have access to sheds to seek relief at will from adverse weather conditions or flies and insects.
Every donkey is de-wormed every 10 to 12 weeks depending on the weather and pasture conditions to ensure acceptable worm control. New donkeys are always de-wormed on their arrival and each week thereafter for 2 to 3 weeks.The pastes administered are expensive and are purchased in bulk at a discount price wherever possible. Worm egg counts are taken at random when we feel it is necessary. Excessive worm burdens cause illness and excessive numbers may cause death.
Donkeys are also de-loused on arrival and as necessary during their time in Quarantine. All donkeys are de-loused as necessary during winter months. (Lice are seasonal and usually infect donkeys during the cooler winter months.)Hoof care
Most donkeys need their hoofs trimmed at 8-12 weekly intervals determined by seasonal conditions and the environment in which the donkeys live. Donkeys coming in to GSDS Inc care with horrific hoof problems are attended to weekly, or even more
often if needed until the hooves are at least level enough for
them to stand upright in comfort.The old saying "no foot – no horse" equally applies to donkeys and it is of the utmost importance that feet/hooves are kept in good condition and are trimmed at the correct shape and
angle for donkeys.We only employ qualified farriers for this specialised work. New or experienced horse farriers who are unfamiliar with donkeys' feet are first briefed about the differences between horse and donkey hooves and are shown the correct donkey hoof conformation and angles prior to commencing work with the donkeys. It's most necessary that they understand these very important differences.Hoof ointments/oils/dressings as well as antibacterial and antifungal sprays and powders are essential hoof care products which must be kept on hand at all times.Equine dentist
A qualified equine dentist is employed on a regular basis and all donkeys are seen to approximately annually.Special attention is given to the very young and elderly donkeys and various teeth operations are undertaken in the worst cases.Regular dental attention is necessary to keep donkeys' teeth
in good order, which keeps them healthy and in good condition.Equine chiropractor
Some donkeys coming into GSDS Inc care have suffered minor
to serious jolts or injuries. They may walk with obvious signs of discomfort or pain, they may show signs of stiffness or they maybe sore in certain areas. This is when we seek the services
of a qualified equine chiropractor. This is usually of great benefit and can sometimes bring instant relief to donkeys suffering from back, shoulder or neck problems.Insect repellents
Every donkey is dusted with insecticidal powder every three weeks during winter months to prevent irritating lice. Donkeys grow thick coats and often become ideal hosts for parasitic equine lice. Insecticidal spray, cream or roll-on liquid protects donkeys against flies, bot flies, mosquitos, sandflies and ticks in summer. Donkeys irritated by flies and those with skin problems wear fly/protector veils.General routine
As well as morning and evening feeds, cleaning and filling water troughs, cleaning stables and feed dishes, grooming and foot attention etc. Fair skinned donkeys require sunscreen, others need their legs protected from flies and all manure must be collected from in and around all these areas. Much care and
TLC is given to the sick, nervous and unhandled donkeys, making sure they feel secure and that everything we do to
them is a good experience for them. This goes a long way
in gaining their confidence, caring for them and making
handling them easier. The work never ends.Education, handling and discipline
Lots of love and praise are essential for a donkey's security and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most welfare donkeys have had little or no training at all or have been badly treated or mishandled and can be anything from very nervous or timid, through to dangerous usually due to fear of people. They require re-education, which is a difficult and time consuming task.After much specialised handling each donkey is assessed and his future home is decided upon. Selected donkeys go into Foster Care to approved private farms with capable people to love and take care of them. Others may be put into the Special Care group, and the others go into the main herd to live like donkeys should and live happily ever after in GSDS Inc care.Miscellaneous
Medications, swabs, feed, bandages, sprays, creams, powders, grooming gear, headstalls, lead ropes, fly veils and much more are all purchased in bulk and/or on special to obtain discounts or the best price.CLOSE WINDOW