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Five reasons to be more donkey

Donkeys are often painted as stubborn, slow and dull - something that we at The Donkey Sanctuary know for a fact is untrue. These five donkey facts show that we could all do with being a little more like our four-legged friends.

As the forefront global experts in donkey behaviour, we know that donkeys are not only complex and intelligent: they are inspiring animals. If you're tired of scrolling past the same news on your screen, we encourage you to learn something new about these incredible equines.

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Lice in donkeys

What are lice?

• Lice are small, parasitic insects. There are lots of different types of lice, the most common to affect the donkey is a type of ‘chewing louse’. 
• Lice live beneath the hair, where they feed on the donkey’s skin and lay eggs. They are passed on to other donkeys when 
they come in to close contact and can be extremely itchy.  Different types of lice look different. Adult chewing lice and 
eggs can be seen with the naked eye. 

monica con manolo y zeus

Donations in kind

We have 252 donkeys and mules in our sanctuaries and certain products are of great help to improve their quality of life. Here we want to share with you a list of needs, for individuals or companies that prefer to collaborate through donations in kind. All items are much needed and useful for easy their daily lives. By clicking on the links, you can see examples of the products we need:

Fly fringes

Please watch our video to see how you can make fly fringes at home. While the video is in Spanish, the instructions are easy to follow.

magdalena y minie con mosqueros

Colic in donkeys

Colic can be extremely serious and early treatment is vital. Make sure you know the causes and signs so you can act quickly if your donkey becomes ill.

What is colic?

Colic is a symptom of abdominal pain, commonly in the gastrointestinal tract (such as the stomach or intestine). It can also be due to pain in other organs, such as the kidneys, ovaries or bladder.

There are many different kinds of colic, including:

mojino lying down

Care of donkeys in extreme heat

Donkeys may struggle with extremely hot environments, especially as they often have thick hairy coats. Read our guidance on how to keep your donkey healthy and comfortable in extreme heat.

What are the dangers of extreme heat for donkeys?

During very hot conditions, especially if the air is humid, your donkey may have trouble controlling their body temperature. An extreme build-up of heat in their body can disrupt normal bodily functions. Left untreated, this may lead to organ failure and death.

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Protecting donkeys from insects

Insects can cause great distress and irritation to donkeys. We offer advice to help you keep your donkeys safe from flies and midges.

To do this you need to know which insects your donkeys are susceptible to and which insects are likely to be living in their environment.

Insects tend to be a seasonal problem in Spain, where they are not usually seen during the winter months. However, in some countries they can be a year-round problem.

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Physical and mental enrichment for donkeys

Physical and mental enrichment is essential to the wellbeing of donkeys and mules. Enrichment helps to maintain normal behaviour, prevent problems associated with boredom, ensures their instinctual needs are met, increases exercise and maintains a healthy weight, to name but a few. The goals for enrichment are to increase behavioural diversity and increase positive utilisation of the environment they are in, subsequently increasing their ability to cope with daily challenges and be able to make their own choices. Just think of one thing each day that you could do differently.

donkey enrichment


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