Donkeys have always been a feature at Raystede, being one of the first animals Mrs Raymond Hawkins, our founder, rescued.
At Raystede we have a herd of donkeys - each a real character!
They come to us for various reasons, many having out lived their owners. A healthy donkey can live up to around 40 years!
Our donkeys have access to both inside and outside space as they require. Because donkey's coats aren't water proof they tend to spend most of the winter months in our barn.
Donkeys cannot digest grass and hay very well and tend to get quite fat, so barley straw is an adequate diet.
Aside from the day to day animal husbandry of feeding, cleaning and watering, we ensure our animals are seen regularly by the vet, dentist and farrier. We also provide our herd with enrichment, from treat balls to hanging willow branches and activities to do.
We aim to mimic their natural lifestyle as much as we can.
Donkeys are incredibly intelligent and playful creatures. They've even been known to play tug of war with a welly!
Each animal in the herd takes on a particular role - There is a leader, a trouble maker, a peace keeper, the sweet one, the generous one, the quiet sole and the grumpy old lady.
Raystede donkeys are truly entertaining to watch - Real characters and great friends. There is never a dull moment.
Although often labelled as stubborn, really donkeys are just big thinkers.