Donkey Awareness Week!

A week of donkey maddness from 12th - 18th May 2021!

31st May 2021

Here's all the best bits from Donkey Awareness Week 2021...

Day 1: The Modern Donkey

Donkeys in the U.K today are often used in Animal Assisted Therapy. This is where animal interactions with patients are used to aid recovery from health problems, help people cope with certain medical conditions, support mental health and help those with additional needs.
Our donkeys, Pringle and Charlie, have retired as therapy animals but they still have an important role to play, assisting to educate people about donkey care and welfare.

Day 2: Donkeys are different to horses...

Donkeys are different to horses. They need different care to ensure they stay healthy and avoid potential illness and disease.

Here are a few of the differences between horses and donkeys:

  • Donkeys need 24/7 access to a shelter as they are not as waterproof as horses.
  • A donkey’s hooves are more efficient in absorbing water than a horse’s which means they are at a higher risk of developing diseases such as thrush, seedy toe and abscesses.
  • Unlike horses, donkeys are often fed straw. This is to mimic the rough, poor quality grazing they would have in the natural environment. Highly nutritious forage can cause obesity and laminitis in donkeys.

Although donkeys and horses are different, there's nothing stopping horses and donkeys being equine friends!

Day 3: The Donkey Den Sponsorship

As we referred to above, donkeys are not as waterproof as donkeys so they need 24/7 access to shelter. Charlie and Pringle live in the Donkey Den at our site in Wetheral. You can sponsor The Donkey Den for just £1 per week to ensure they will always have a cosy place to call home. Your contributions to our sponsorship scheme will go towards costs associated with the upkeep; such as repairs, heating and water. It will also go towards food, veterinary bills, enrichment and bedding, for the residents of The Donkey Den and some of their friends.

If you would like to find out more, please click here!

Day 4: The Orchard Yard Jumble Sale

Our donkeys, Charlie and Pringle, love investigating and exploring our site... They visited the Orchard Yard Sale on the Saturday, where £700 was raised to help animals in need the previous week! Charlie and Pringle wanted to thank all of our wonderful bargain hunters! If you are interested in our Orchard Yard Sale you can join us every Saturday for some fantastic bargains. 11.00am until 3.00pm at our site in Wetheral!

Day 5: Charlie in The Tearoom

Charlie, one of our adventurous donkeys, ventured into our Tearoom and shop. He wanted to celebrate the reopening of the inside of the Tearoom, following the government loosening restrictions. He certainly enjoyed all of the attention! If you would like to visit our Tearoom we are open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Day 6: Donkey Enrichment

Enrichment is important for all animals as it allows them to carry out natural behaviours. It is beneficial to their mental and physical well-being. There are different categories of enrichment, including:

  • Social
  • Physical
  • Sensory
  • Occupational
  • Nutritional

Mental stimulation is a key part in our donkeys’ care to prevent them from getting bored. We do this by providing different branches for them to chew, feeding them with treat balls or scattering feed around their environment to encourage them to move around and forage. We also lead them out to allow them to explore new environments. This is not only beneficial to Charlie and Pringle - we love watching them investigate too!

Day 7: Donkey Pair Bonding

Donkeys commonly form strong lifelong friendships with one another and many may struggle to cope when kept alone.
Some donkey pairs have such a strong bond that when separated, even by just a stable door, it can cause them stress and anxiety. Others might remain calm, but it is important to take note of how they are bonded and to avoid separating them where possible. If one of the donkeys in the pair bond passes away, the other donkey will grieve very deeply and, just like us, needs the opportunity to process the loss of its partner.

Like all relationships, it has its ups and downs, but Charlie and Pringle are the best of friends and have a strong pair bond

Charlie and Pringle enjoyed their Donkey Awareness Week adventures and we hope you did too! You can come and say hello them at our site in Wetheral, we're open 10.00am to 4.00pm 7 days a week! See you soon!

Donkey Awareness Week!

Donkey Awareness Week!

Donkey Awareness Week!