There are estimated to be 50 million donkeys (Equus asinus) and as many mules worldwide. They can be used for such applications as riding, driving, flock protection, companion, breeding, and training calves. Donkeys and mules are not small horses. They have anatomical and physiological differences compared to horses and their care requires special consideration. Structural differences compared to horses mean that they require specialized tack and harness for riding and driving.
Donkeys, also called burros and asses, are found throughout the world. They are members of the Equidae family, which also includes horses and zebras. They look a lot like their cousins, but have long, floppy ears and tend to be stockier than horses or zebras.
A mule is the result of breeding between a male donkey and a female horse. It is said to have the body of the horse with extremities of a donkey. Mules can range in height from 36 inches up to 17 hands, depending on the size of the mare and stallion used.
We recommend feeding donkeys quality barley straw as it is high in fibre and low in sugar, and closely resembles the food that a donkey would eat in the wild.
The perfect gift for animal lovers, why not adopt a Donkey or Mule
Animal adoption is a great way to support Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary, lasts all year and makes for a lovely treat or gift. Treat yourself or buy as a gift for the animal lover in your life.
At Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary we have many donkeys and mules. All have been rescued within the UK.
In the wild, donkeys like to browse grazing on high fibre plants. At the Sanctuary they eat grass but them are also given soaked sugar beet, hay and barley straw. They love carrots, apples pears and also enjoy bananas.
Mules eat grass, sugar beet and chopped vegetables in the summer and on rainy days have to be indoors as they do not like to get wet.
In winter they have hay, barley straw, sugar beet, alfalfa and enjoy chopped vegetables and fruit.
The sanctuary rescues and provides a home for many types of unwanted animals, especially primates, such as chimpanzees, gibbons, baboons, spider monkeys, vervets, capuchins, tamarins, macaques and marmosets.
Although we specialise in the care and protection of primates we cannot stand by and see other animals in need of help. You will therefore find meerkats, wolf dogs, horses, donkeys, pigs and others at our sanctuary. All are equally important members of our extended family.