5 Best Donkey Feed [Straw, Hay, Silage]

Part of the responsibility of being a donkey guardian or owner is getting the best donkey feeds.

Providing your donkey with feed (with the right nutrition according to their age and health requirements) is key to having a healthy herd.

Best Donkey Feed

  • Straw
  • Hay
  • Silage
  • Dried sugar beet pulp
  • Succulents
  • Minerals and vitamins
  • High fibre pellets
  • Short chop chaff products
Best Donkey Feed

READ ALSO: Best Donkey Wormers


We recommend feeding donkeys quality barley straw as it is low in sugar and high in fiber, and is identical to what your pet feed will feed on in their natural environment.

Easy access to straw encourages your donkey to eat to its filing without eating too much.

Excess feeding will add extra unwanted weight to your donkey’s body.

This creates unwanted health disasters like hyperlipaemia and laminitis.

Oat straw can be useful for underweight or old donkeys as this is often a bit of higher nutritional value than barley straw.

Wheat straw contains lower energy values but is extremely fibrous, but may be fed to younger donkeys that are healthy with a great set of teeth.

Fresh or dried Linseed straw should be avoided since it is poisonous to donkeys. Only boiled ones are safe.


We recommend feeding Meadow hay as it is a natural blend of grasses mixed from grass grown on old pasture is great for feeding donkeys.

Seed Hay is awesome for donkeys too, It is a planted crop of certain grasses, such as timothy or rye, that the farmer makes from the stems remaining after the grain has been taken.

Hay made from cow pasture most times have higher energy levels and maybe less suitable if fed on its own. But, it could be mixed with a higher ratio of straw.

NEVER FEED RAGWORT in hay as this is harmful and can make equines lose their life.

It can be quite hard to identify it if it has dried; this is why it is crucial to know and trust your hay supplier.

ALSO SEE: Best Donkey Clippers


Silage is not recommended for feeding donkeys since the moisture content is on the high side, with a low Ph, as well as a low fiber and high protein level.

High fibre Pellets

There is more than one brand already selling high fiber pellets. Products marketed for equines have a tendency to be a good choice because they are typically low in sugar and fiber.

Be cautious when feeding so donkeys do not eat the pellets super quickly. As it may lead to colic, so add water and mix with a small quantity of low sugar chaff when feeding for the first time.

Dried sugar beet pulp

Sugar beet is a wonderful by-product of the sugar industry that is useful when given in small amounts to encourage an unhealthy donkey to eat or to help an elderly donkey or underweight donkey to gain more weight.

Note: It should never be fed as a replacement for hay. We advise feeding molasses sugar beet to help prevent laminitis and unneeded weight gain.

Dried sugar beet pulp is available both in cubed or shredded form and must be soaked before feeding and used within 24 hours once wet.

We recommend checking the product if it is completely soaked before giving them to your donkeys.

ALSO READ: Best Donkey Bedding

Minerals and vitamins

Your donkeys might not be getting all the important minerals and vitamins from the grass, straw, and hay in their diets.

So, we recommend that in addition to the standard food you supply, you should add mineral and vitamin supplements in form of a unmolassed equine mineralized block or balancer, created to supplement their diet all year round to avoid deficiencies.

Note: Some blocks made for other livestock may be harmful to donkeys as some may have unsafe mineral levels for your donkey.

We have successfully used TopSpec Donkey Forage Balancer for donkeys on weight loss or maintenance diets and TopSpec Comprehensive Balancer for those with extra nutritional needs such as growing, breeding, underweight, ill or elderly donkeys.

Over to you. What do you think the best donkey feed is? Let us know in the comment section below!