In France, as in other countries, there many donkeys desperately in need of loving homes. It is a sad but true fact that many people buy donkeys for all the wrong reasons ie:
1. Christmas/birthday presant solution for a child, who's interest sadly will wane after a short time.
2. It will look very pretty in the garden, will cut the grass and therefore doesn't need feeding.
3. It will be something different from the neighbours.
4. We can breed from it and make money.
These are a few of the reasons why there are so many badly treated and neglected donkeys. Sadly, many donkey owners who no longer want their animals prefer to try and get their investment back by selling the poor creaures for their meat, in a way it's almost preferable to abandoning them to pine away and die from neglect and starvation.
A donkey is a very trusting creature for the most part and will follow you everywhere even all the way to the door of the abattoire Donkeys are sociable animals and need company, human and animal.
You cannot, I repeat cannot under any circumstance keep a donkey on its own, a lonely donkey is a very sad sight. They usually intergrate very well with other animals such as horses, cows, goats and such like, so please ensure it has company.
Although donkeys enjoy grass they are not lawnmowers and should not be regarded as such.
They require extra feed when the summer sun has burnt off their grass supply and in the winter months when the grass has stopped growing.
Donkeys eat more or less all day long so ensure that they have hay available to supplement their needs. They consume around 30 litres of water per day (less in the winter) so a clean and plentiful water supply is essential. Donkeys need shelter from the hot sun and protection from the cold, the wind and the rain, a donkeys coat is not waterproof. A sturdy shelter should be provided with a good clean bed of straw, more in the winter to insulate them from the cold. It should be cleaned out every day.
A donkeys hooves need attention so there are the costs of a farrier to be taken into consideration, the frequency depends greatly on the pasture but also the individual animal.
Like humans and all other living creatures they will fall ill occasionaly and require the vet, a not inconsiderable expense.
Be aware that if you install a donkey stallion with your mare, the chances are that you may well end up with more than you bargained for. In short you cannot just plonk a donkey in a field and expect it to fend for itself and be happy and healthy, because you can't.
It does not recognise weekends, Bank holidays, holidays as being different to any other day, or the fact that it is raining or snowing, it just needs you to be there, ALL OF THE TIME.