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How much pasture for 2 donkeys?

 
Joshua Msika
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Hello,

As the topic says, I'm wondering how much pasture is needed for two donkeys. We were planning to fence a large area containing both meadow and mixed deciduous-evergreen forest. The total area would be about 1.5 - 2 acres about half and half field and forest. I have read somewhere that 1 hectare (2.4 acres) per donkey is recommended but that seems a very large figure. In a mixed environment I hope it can be less. Are there any forage trees/bushes that I could plant into the field to keep them happier?
 
Emil Spoerri
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if you get 30 inches of rain a year, then you need a bit more than an acre a cow.
no idea for donkeys, but i would figure each one counts for a third or a half a cow?
 
Sherry Willis
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Location: Missouri
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Actually, equines will eat as much or more than a cow if they have the chance.  They don't NEED it, but will eat it.  You can make your pasture go a lot farther if you let them out in the morning and lock them up at night.  It's more work, but you have the benefit of working with them a little each day and it keeps them easy to handle.

Also, if you can separate your pasture into two sections, you'll get a lot more use out of it without having them kill out their favorite forage.  Cows can't do this like equines because they don't have top front teeth to clip plants to the ground.  They don't eat much in the way of trees or shrubs unless there isn't grass.

Sherry
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I've read equines enjoy the fruit of Osage orange trees.

Since equines are ultimately from the New World, one of the leading theories for the evolution of that fruit (which doesn't seem edible to much else, but may have been a favorite of giant sloths) is that equines in general co-evolved with the tree.
 
Fred Morgan
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We generally figure a horse will eat up to three times as a cow - but we don't give them any grain usually. Cows are much more efficient in food conversion.

And yes, a horse will eat 24 x 7 if they get the chance. And yes, a cow eats with its tongue, a horse with its teeth. Sheep also eat with their teeth, which is why after sheep graze, there is nothing left for a cow.

And if a horse gets to eat all day long, without exercise, they will get fat, which they have in common with people. Mules on the other hand seem to be more intelligent than either. 
 
Emil Spoerri
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Equines are not from the new world. Pretty positive on that one.
 
Fred Morgan
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Emile Spore wrote:
Equines are not from the new world. Pretty positive on that one.


http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/otherprehistoriclife/a/horses.htm

Well, generally accepted they are, but the horses here now I do believe came from the conquestadors, they had died out in the Americas after crossing the land bridge.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Yeah, I oversimplified: equines first evolved in the new world, a few species migrated to the old world, died out here around the time humans began to live here, and one species was later re-introduced.
 
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