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The Mutual Benefits of Environment

The Mutual Benefits of Environment

The Mutual Benefits of Environment

The Mutual Benefits of Environment





Donkeys and Mules have 24hrs a day to fill and only four

hours required for deep recumbent sleep leaving 20hrs a day

which they need to fill in the most productive way possible.

Just like animals we often suffer from boredom,

whether it's a young child bored by long summer

holidays, visiting relatives or tormented by a long

drive, as adults we often have to undertake long

boring tasks that are often called work, stuck at a

desk when we would rather be outside playing. In

retirement, we might find we have all the time in the

world and nothing to do.

One of the keys to improving the welfare of our

donkeys is to meet their natural needs. Needs such

as social interaction with other donkeys or other

species, the ability to move and travel over

distances, which in the wild would be between 16

and 20 kilometres a day. Interaction with novel

objects and situations is something that the donkey,

in its natural environment, encounters on a daily

basis. It is also natural for our donkeys to want to

graze for long periods of time. Obviously, in our

beautiful lush green pastures, long periods of

grazing would be detrimental, so we need to find

other ways to meet to these needs. Part of grazing

is also the search for variety and quality of different

plants and food sources.

These natural behaviours form the keys of ways in

which we can enrich our animals' environment. We

can create a track grazing system which controls

the amount of available grass but creates

greater distances for the animal to be able to walk

over. We can introduce non-poisonous bark

covered logs, or even branches with fresh leaves

for them to pick at. Toys can be one of a donkey's

favourite activities, from a wellington boot to rubber

feed bucket, an old football or simply a plastic traffic

cone.Consider simply piling straw and hay into one

spot, we can mix the two together thoroughly so the

donkey has to pick through their rations to find the

best bits. We can put those piles of straw and hay

in different places in the animal's environment so it

might have to move between piles of food. In

certain circumstances we can consider the use of

haynets with small hole which if used safely, might

increase the grazing time of animals on restricted


Extra handling, you could just be grooming or

picking out feet, training to go over and through

obstacles which in the end result in a safe calm

animal which can be taken for walks along country

lanes or to the local village shops. Interaction with

friends, relatives, neighbours all produce fantastic

environment enrichment.

Learn more about grazing

management and track systems

click here


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