Donkeys are grazing animals, much like cows and horses. They eat mostly grass and hay, as well as things like flowers.
Donkeys are also known to take a chomp out of trees for a bit of bark. They’re always on the search for high-fiber foods.
Can a donkey eat apples, though?
Donkeys can certainly eat apples. They’ll love munching on apples as an occasional treat. Apples and other treats are a great way to get a stubborn donkey to move, and you can also use apples to incentivize pet donkeys during training sessions.
Worrying about what to feed your donkey is a good thing. Donkeys are notoriously picky eaters, and there is a long list of things you shouldn’t feed them because they cause stomach and digestive issues that will make them sick.
Here’s what you need to know about feeding your donkeys apples and how you can best guarantee your donkey stays healthy. Let’s take a look!
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Why Do Donkeys Love to Eat Apples?
Apples are the quintessential treat for donkeys and horses.
Along with other foods like carrots, your donkey will typically eat as many apples as you can give them.
Feeding apples to donkeys is a wonderful way to get up and close to your animal. It’s also a fantastic approach to introducing new people to your donkey!
Donkeys love apples because they’re sweet. Eating an apple is like candy to them because they’re used to eating food like grass and hay with much less flavor. When they eat an apple, they get a burst of sweet goodness in their mouth that tastes fantastic.
Apples are also high in things like vitamin C and fiber. They also carry a decent amount of calories, so, as long as you can afford them, apples are ideal for underweight donkeys or ones who need a little pep in their step.
A lot of owners, for example, will spread apples or applesauce over normal feed to get their donkeys to eat.
Types of Apples You Can Feed to Donkeys
When it comes to apples and other fruits, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something donkeys won’t want to eat. But, as a responsible owner, it’s more about stopping your donkey from eating too many apples or getting ahold of any rotten fruit.
So here are some types of apples your donkey will enjoy eating: They’ll eat green apples, ‘Fuji‘ apples, ‘Honeycrisps,’ or anything else they can get their mouths on. Your donkey will be happy to consume whatever kind of apple you’ve grown at home or found in a bargain at the market.
Donkeys will also eat crabapples all day if you let them.
You can feed donkeys cooked apples if you ever cook them, but donkeys will like them best raw.
Are you wondering whether you can feed your donkey applesauce? Well, you certainly can! We’ve already mentioned that some owners put applesauce into the feed to get sick donkeys or picky eaters to eat.
However, using applesauce is typically more effective than putting chunks of apples in with the feed. Otherwise, your smart donkey will likely pick out chopped apples and leave the grass untouched as they hope for more delicious apples.
How to Feed Your Donkeys Apples
If you’ve got apple trees on your pasture, then you don’t have to do too much. Your donkeys will cluster around your apple trees to find fresh apples on the ground or grab any apples they can get ahold of.
Can donkeys eat whole apples?
Yes, they definitely can, but it’s usually easier for them to eat apples once they’re cut into smaller pieces. Serving small pieces prevents conditions in which your donkey tries to swallow too much or too fast and starts choking on its apples.
By taking a few minutes to chop your apples, your donkey will enjoy them much more. You can also spend more quality time with your donkey without going through so many apples!
Are Apples Good for Donkeys?
Apples are good for donkeys, but, like most things, apples are best given in moderation. A lot of donkeys have higher insulin sensitivity, so feeding them too many sweets can make them sick or give them a stomachache.
You also have to be careful feeding them apple juice because it typically has a much higher concentration of sugar. One glass of apple juice is often equivalent to eating several apples or more.
So it’s probably a good idea not to give your donkey apple juice. Too much sugar will trigger higher blood sugar levels.
Applesauce is typically fine, but you need to check the ingredients because a lot of applesauce has added sugar, cinnamon, and other components. Go over the list before you feed anything to your donkey to make sure there isn’t anything in there that will make them sick.
Some Other Treats Your Donkey Will Love
In addition to apples, what are some other treats that you can feed to your donkey?
Donkeys love pretty much any type of fruit. So they’ll gobble down pears, bananas, watermelon, oranges, berries, and anything else.
Lots of donkey owners will hunt for bargains at the market and buy fruit that’s on sale that they can feed to their animals. Apples work well because they have a longer shelf-life than a lot of other fruits, and they’re easier to feed to donkeys.
Imagine trying to feed some blackberries to a hungry donkey. It may work for owners who are used to being around their animals, but new friends or children will have a hard time getting smaller berries or squishy fruit into their mouths. You’ll likely end up with more fruit on the ground.
Instead, get some apples, no matter what kind they are, to reinforce positive behavior in your donkey or to help train them to do certain tasks. Apples are a fantastic way to get them to listen!