How long does a donkey live? What life expectancy?


Donkeys are attracting more and more vocations and in recent years, asineries have multiplied. Families are also very attracted to these friendly-looking equines. Maybe you are considering adopting a donkey? How long would that commit you then? This article discusses the life expectancy of these endearing animals and lists the right reflexes to adopt to give them a long and beautiful life.

Life expectancy of a donkey

Donkeys exist in the wild. The best known and studied are the hemiones. They are hardy animals that live in the desert steppes of Asia. In the wild, their life expectancy is 14 years. They are indeed threatened by many predators: leopards, hyenas, gray wolves and even crocodiles, during their annual migration. In captivity, however, a hemione can live up to 26 years. There are also wild donkeys in Africa that have fewer predators and can expect to live for 30 years.

As part of a selection work, man created breeds of domestic donkeys. Today, there are a little more than 180 in the world, including 7 in France: the donkey from Poitou, the big black donkey from Berry, the donkey from Provence, the donkey from Cotentin, the Norman donkey, the donkey of the Pyrenees and the Bourbonnais donkey. If they live in good conditions, donkeys from these breeds can easily exceed 40 years, the average duration being 47 years. Obviously, the records recorded in the Guinness Book give hope more to any owner attached to his animal. The oldest donkey known to date is a female named Suzy. She lived in the United States and died in 2002 at the age of 54.

If there are genetic dispositions specific to each individual that explain the longevity records, it goes without saying that good living conditions promote long life.

Be present with your donkey

The success of the donkey is not usurped. It is an animal which proves capable of becoming a true companion, moreover very endearing. He is sensitive and intelligent: it is therefore possible to develop a lot of bonding, as long as you spend time with him and keep him occupied.

The project of adopting a donkey must be based on a project activity : it is out of the question to acquire a donkey simply because it “looks pretty” in the meadow. This animal seeks interaction and will feel all the better when it is taken care of and when it has things to do. Moreover, education is very important so that he accepts, for example, the halter, the lanyard, that he lets himself be tied, that he is able to move forward on demand and that he feels reassured in outside. There are ways of doing things which are not difficult to integrate but which are important to ensure the success of education.

This animal can also suffer greatly from loneliness. When an animal’s morale is not good, it becomes more susceptible to disease and may even allow itself to die. Also, if you do not have or no longer have the necessary time to take care of your donkey as it should, it is imperative to offer it a companion. If you cannot buy another donkey or a pony, which are ideal companions, then buy a goat.

Feed your donkey well

Apart from the psychological well-being of an animal, one must take into account the material well-being. From this point of view, food is fundamental.

In poorer countries, the donkey lives alongside humans in conditions that are ultimately quite close to what they can experience in the wild, that is to say, they feed on rich plants. in fiber, in small quantities. From a western point of view, it seems difficult living conditions. But the good intentions of inexperienced owners can create problems, the consequences of which are more serious than simple rudimentary living conditions. In fact, in the West, apart from the asineries, donkeys are rather supercharged, which causes laminitis and colic, painful pathologies. A donkey’s diet should be low in protein, sugars and starch but high in fiber. And even if he is able to endure a lack of water to a certain extent, he must be able to consume 10 to 15 liters of water per day for his health to be optimal.

Take good care of your donkey

Its reputation for rusticity works against it. Many owners neglect the maintenance of their donkey. However, a donkey has two major weaknesses: its skin and its lungs. His skin is under attack from parasites. The donkey is also a fragile animal of the bronchi and does not appreciate the rain, the wind and the cold. Finally, the maintenance of the hooves is often neglected and humidity, in particular, damages the horn.

The fundamentals to be ensured are therefore the following:

  • Vaccination,
  • Deworming,
  • Provision of a shelter capable of stopping drafts and sheltering from the rain,
  • Good hygiene of the box: disinfection, cleaning …
  • Regular visits by the blacksmith,
  • Check-up visits by an equine dentist.

If all of these fundamentals are met, then you can consider sharing moments of complicity for many years with your donkey.