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October 09, 2004

How Much Hay Do I Need?

As winter approaches, many of us are looking ahead and planning how much feed we'll need for the coming months. But how do you know how much hay you will need for your donkeys?

andy01.jpgHere are a few formulas that you might find helpful in answering the question “How much feed do each of my donkeys need?”

The standard formula that I use for calculating my donkeys’ hay consumption is:
Donkey’s weight X 1.5% = The weight of hay per day.

Then I multiply that by the number of days I plan to feed hay, and that gives me the amount (weight) of hay that I will need to buy.

So if my donkey weighs 600 lbs., my formula looks like this:
600 lbs. X 1.5% = 9 lbs. of hay per day.

Then if I plan to feed hay for 90 days:
9 lbs. X 90 days = 810 lbs. total of hay.

I can then divide that by the number of pounds the bales each weigh. That will tell me how many bales I need to have.
810 lbs. / 75 lbs. per bale = 10.8 bales

But how do I figure out the amount of hay my donkey should eat, if I don’t know how much my donkey weighs? I started searching, and found a really good article written by Marsha Jo Hannah on the Florida Wild Horse and Burro Association website. It explains several ways to estimate your donkey’s weight.

The amount of hay your donkey actually consumes will vary somewhat from animal to animal depending on several factors, such as how much work your donkey is doing, whether it is a pregnant or nursing mother or not, and what kind of hay you are feeding.

But with these formulas, you should be able to pretty accurately estimate how much hay you should have on hand for the coming winter months, and you also know how to estimate your donkey's weight!

Note: These are the formulas I use for donkeys. Mules may need more that 1.5% of their body weight in hay everyday. And I believe I read somewhere that horses usually need about 2% of their body weight in hay each day.

Do you have any helpful tips or tricks that you think other longears owners might find useful? We'd love to post them in our Guest Contributor's column! Just email them to me at orders@longearsmall.com and I will post them for you.

Kristie Jorgensen

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at October 9, 2004 08:55 PM


Hi Kristie! I was just trotting through looking for equine transporters and stumbled upon this very good question of yours and thought I would add my 5 cents worth in regards to the feeding of my Mammoth Jack, DIAMOND REO and his Thoroughbred son, DIAMOND ADVOCATOR. Firstly, I feed only grass hay and KY Blue Grass pellets (9% protein) no matter what the weather. No sweet feed, no oats, and ABSOLUTELY no alfalfa or alfalfa mix hay. My stock are fed daily the Horse Guard (tm) supplement, in addition to their mineral blocks, salt blocks, and a sprinkle of flax seed. We live in northern Idaho and DIAMOND REO is 16 years old now. Once in a rare while I will buy a ton of Timothy hay and feed a flake a day with the grass hay in the winter. DIAMOND ADVOCATOR (aka Skeeter) does eat like a Thoroughbred and I'll increase his amount of grass hay depending upon how well he cleaned-up the night before. They both are in bedded stalls at night and are blanketed at night in the winter. That's it! Thanks!

Posted by: Madeleine Dewan at October 17, 2004 04:20 AM