average donkey weight
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Average donkey weight is hard to guesstimate for an individual because even if you have 2 donkeys the same height, they may have different bone structure and different abilities at gaining muscle. 

For those of you who follow my page on FB, you may have seen a snip of this post. I want everyone to understand that a lean donkey is a good thing. We tend to think of “plumb” animals as cute and healthy, but they are not!

The plumb donkey you may think looks cute is actually on the road to bad health, discomfort and pain. There is nothing cute about that. 

Please look through the pics below… what do you see? Yes, you see lean donkeys,, in our country (USA) most of our domestic donkeys are fat.. this causes a multitude of health problems that lessens the quality of life for the donkey. 😥
Donkeys are not meant to be fat and Donkeys are NOT horses… they don’t have big booty hindquarters. They don’t have big wide shoulders or broad backs… they are supposed to be strong, lean machines!
Like athletes… please stop comparing donkeys to horses.. oh.. most domestic horses are to fat too.. especially ponies.
There is also the consideration that some donkeys are more narrow.. more thick boned or more thin boned.. some are more angular..so please.. do not compare donkeys to horses or the typical overweight donkeys we see in this country.

Average Donkey Weight

Traveller in the picture here is a mammoth donkey that came to me very underweight, yet he has a crest on the top of his neck of fat. So at some point he was very much overfed. 
I had to get weight on him before I could have him gelded.
He’s now at a very healthy weight. He still needs to build some muscle on his shoulders and that will come as he is trained more for his future as a working and saddle donkey. 
average weight donkeys
J-Donk here to the right has a very angular build and he’s still growing. As a 4 year old mammoth donkey, he has a couple of more years to fill out.
He is lean and could use more muscle on his hindquarters… notice I said “muscle” not just weight or fat! 
Building his hindquarters will come as he fills out and he gets worked more. 
A mammoth donkeys average donkey weight will depend on build. J-Donk is large boned where Traveller isn’t, but Traveller is slightly taller. 
J-Donk is developing great muscle on his shoulders, has a “fleshy” feel over his ribs and spine.
We need to do more hiking on hills to help develop his HQ. Just feeding him more without work might result in fat. 
Remember, on a donkey, if you try to feed the hip bones you will end up feeding fat pads!
average donkey weight

Feeling for your best Average Donkey Weight

It’s hard to determine what exactly the average donkey weight should be. I think putting my hands directly on the donkey helps me more than anything, especially in the winter with they have their thick coats. You can check for the following:
  • Can you feel the ribs? Is there a fleshy feel over them or thin skin? You want to be able to feel ribs with very little flesh over them. Just feel a thin layer of skin? Add some food. Feel thick fatty tissue? That’s bad.
  • Do the shoulders feel small and boney? Or feel hard with muscle? We want plenty of hard muscle around the shoulder area. 
  • Can you feel the spine sticking up from the body? To thin. Or does it feel like muscle and flesh is built up on both sides of the spine? Thats good! Or do you feel squishy fat? Thats bad.
  • Feel the hip bones and hindquarters. Do you feel just bones or hard muscle and flesh? Or do you feel squishy fat over and around the hipbones?
Please keep in mind NO donkey, no matter how well muscled and conditioned is going to look like a horse. 

Overweight Donkey

Being overweight isn’t good for any creature. Our desert donkey friends have a multitude of health problems when they get overweight. If you see or feel fat pads and see or feel a cresty fat roll on the top of the neck this is very bad for your donkey.

Proper diet and exercise are critical for this donkeys health. Please see my article on feeding donkeys here: Feeding Donkeys {6 Things ALL my Donkeys Get}

A vet once told me, “If you keep your equine skinny and their toes trimmed short, you’ll eliminate almost all of their health problems.

Natural Donkey Care

I try to set my donkeys up as natural as possible, provide natural health support and treat the “whole donkey”. Because I rescue donkeys, I rarely get a healthy donkey and it’s up to me to try to get them healthy! This can take a long time for some of the most neglected ones. 

I’m writing a series of 3 books on caring for donkeys naturally. Physically, mentally, emotionally and provided natural support in form of herbs, bodywork and essential oils. 

This first book will address the donkeys physical needs and ailments. Things like diet, hoof care and wound care, etc.

Table of Contents 

  • Chapter 1: About Donkeys Physically
  • Chapter 2: Natural Donkey Diet
  • Chapter 3: Donkey Shelter, Space and Fencing Needs
  • Chapter 4: Donkey are Made to Move
  • Chapter 5: Ailments and Wounds
  • Chapter 6: Hoof Health for Donkeys
  • Chapter 7: Donkey Dental Care
  • Chapter 8: Parasites That Can Affect Donkeys
  • Chapter 9: Vaccinations for Donkeys
  • Conclusion
  • Recommended Resources
  • Donkey Weight Chart

Click the picture for more information and to get your copy!
Donkey Care handbook

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