Many donkeys are used to keep the grass eaten down in rocky or hilly areas, as well as graze weeds and rough plants which horses and other animals leave. They are popular as a ‘steadying’ influence or as companion animals for young horses. They are gentle, lovable companion animals which don’t need high energy prepared feeds or grain based diets. They may not be able to supplement their diet by their natural habit of browsing on trees and shrubs.
Often their natural grazing rations are low in bone minerals, trace-minerals and vitamins necessary to meet their needs for growth, pregnancy and general good health and longevity. Aged donkeys often suffer bone and arthritic problems as they commonly live to 40 years of age or longer.