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September 10, 2006

How Much Hay Do I Need?

KristieJorgensen.jpgAs 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?

Here 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.

Also, if possible, please feed your donkeys plain grass hay. They are much healthier on that than being fed alfalfa or alfalfa mix. The alfalfa has too much protein in it for donkeys, and can potentially cause quite a number of serious health problems.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at September 10, 2006 03:36 PM


how much alfalfa hay can I safely give my donkey?

Posted by: rosa at June 9, 2009 08:12 PM