Donkeys do not have such striking signs, but the famous long ears and tail with a tassel on the end represent the donkey well enough.
Besides, whoever still has doubts about whether a donkey or a horse is in front of him, can look at the animal’s hind legs. If there are no chestnuts on the inside, it is a donkey. A horse has chestnuts on all four legs. The chestnuts are rudiments, obviously of some kind of skin glands: rounded, hairless plaques of wrinkled, as if caked, skin. As for the ears, they are really long only on the African wild donkey, the ancestor of domestic donkeys.
Its cry is also similar to the unvoiced roar of a domestic donkey. The Asian wild donkey has a different cry and shorter ears. African wild donkeys are larger than Asian donkeys (sometimes called gray donkeys and Asian donkeys are yellow donkeys).
What do donkeys eat in the wild and at home?
It is widely believed that keeping a donkey is comparable to taking care of a horse. But there are significant differences. A donkey is more unassuming about cleanliness and does not require any special or special food, eating very little.
Donkeys can eat hay and straw, and their stomachs can even digest thorns. They can be fed grains: barley, oats, and other grains. Keeping them is not too expensive for owners.
Donkeys in the wild eat plant foods. They eat grass, various plants, and shrub leaves. Because they live in an arid climate and sparse vegetation, they often have to wander for long periods on sandy and rocky terrain in search of something edible. Donkeys can do without water for a long time.
To maintain health and performance, donkeys need vegetable low-calorie food rich in fiber. Donkeys graze during the day, consuming food in small portions. Starchy grains with high sugar content (corn, wheat, oats) are not suitable. If these foods are consumed, the animals become overweight and their health deteriorates.
Donkeys spend most of the daylight hours on pastures. But herbaceous plants in summer and hay in winter do not form the basis of the diet. The main foodstuff of domestic donkeys is straw. In the natural environment, animals eat grass, the bark of bushes, berries.
Older animals with worn teeth, sick and lactating donkeys prefer chaff. An excess of protein food leads to the death of the animal. It should not be forgotten that the ancestors of domesticated donkeys come from African arid countries.
The owners diversify the diet with vegetables and fruits. The amount of food offered should not exceed one handful at a time. Carrots, bananas, apples are added to the menu.
- meat, fish;
- bread, dried bread;
- Confectionery, pastries;
- Cabbage of all varieties;
Wild donkeys are unpretentious about water – it is enough to come to the watering-place once in three days. A domestic donkey is given water daily and heated during the cold season.