Inherited 12 minis and 5 donkeys.

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I am a new mini pony and donkey mom.

Never owned a horse or a donkey.

Just cats.

Lots of work. I'm in love with all of them.

Building them a bigger barn. Plenty of trees, water pond and 12 lush acres of grass for them to eat.

Not sure if I'm over feeding them. Their fur is coming off and they look skinny to me. They used to look fatter. Not sure. Donkeys look bony. Just got them 4 weeks ago. Give them plenty of carrots and horse pellets (scoop daily for each, 1/2 sweet feed- 1/2 regular horse pellets), 12 acres of grazing + slow feed 5" round bale of hey per month.

Built them an automatic watering system. Fresh water always.

I'm looking into vaccinations, vet and farrier. Just now getting them settled.

I heard one of them sneeze the other day. Worried.

I have never been outside so much in my life. Tons of work. Loving it.

Worried about what vaccines to get them.

Worried they dont go into barn when raining or windy. They stand beside it.

Very loving and gentle, all of them. Super sweet.

Need advice.

Basics please.

Thanks!
M
 

Angie

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Welcome to the forum. While waiting for others to answer your questions, may I suggest reading the various areas of the site and get a lot of that information. I know it's not quite the same, but it does help while waiting for more knowledgeable people to answer.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Welcome to the forum !!

First thing I would do and Im assuming your not sure of anyones history would be to have the vet out.

Your vet will probably suggest to worm everyone , look at starting vaccinations , dentist etc. You can start brushing them anytime you like, the more bonding you do the better the relationship will be. Are there any stallions/colts in your herd ? Might be a good idea to separate them from the mares as your mares will be coming into season. Id also ask your vet fr an indication on how old each one is. As horses get older they require a little extra to maintain weight. When its time for the farrier , make sue he/she goes over each horse with you. Ask if any have foundered ( horses that have foundered require a low sugar diet)

Ask away any questions you have , everyones really friendly here and will be happy to help you.

Hope this helps :)
 

Ryan Johnson

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The only other thing I wanted to add, was the "feel test" . You said as everyone is starting to drop their winter coats , your noticing they are not as fat. Throughout winter when everyone is sporting a really thick winter coat, Its really important to rub your hands along their body. Its the only way you will be able to tell if anyones dropping weight.
 

TMF

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Monica,
I'm a newbie getting 2 mini donkeys soon from the breeder, so I need to learn as well. But I do know that lush green grass is a recipe for disaster, and the animals can founder and gain weight rapidly. It's from an overload of sugars and starches, and the sweet grass has lots of sugar. A major problem! Most people will restrict them to a dry pasture (I think it's called) or very short grass. I have 10 acres of nice grass, but I plan to set up something called a "paddock paradise" and create fencing to allow them to roam down wide paths that we will clear. This will let us control the grass in those areas and give them plenty of space to wander. If you google paddock paradise you'll see what I mean. In the meantime, I sure the experienced people here can tell you more about founder and laminitis.

Good luck and keep us posted on your new life!
 

TMF

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What kind of floor base do I get for their new barn?
I'd like to see what other's suggest.

From what I can tell there seems to be an even split between people who do concrete and floor mats and those that don't. While concrete and mats can be easy to clean and hose down, it can also be hard to clean more thoroughly (lifting the mats to get underneath) and some say it's smelly because of that. Plus it may be hard for them to stand on it, even with the mats. For that reason I plan to try a well-packed dirt floor in our barn. Easy enough to add concrete later if needed (not so easy to tear it up if we change our mind). Either way I'll put straw on top or wood shavings (although certain wood shavings such as walnut must be avoided). Then the straw or shavings will collect the mess and can be swept up.
 

sfmini

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All good advice so far. I also suggest a book called “Getting Your First Horse” by Judith Dutson. It’s full of great information.
 

LuvMyBabies

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Wow! 17 new babies! Congratulations. I agree the vet would be a great idea. Not only a good idea but also a wealth of information to answer many questions you have. Worming is a must. I had one of mine that got some worms last spring and lost weight. As soon as I got him wormed according to my vets instructions he gained weight and has done just fine. Watch out for too much of the spring grass. The high sugars in that delicious looking grass could cause colic or founder issues. We limit turnout until their little bodies gradually get accustomed to the grass adding just a bit more time each day. Plenty of fresh water always. They are such sweet pets to have! Any changes you make to their diets do gradually. Your farrier is your friend along with your vet. Keeping their feet in great shape is very important also. Enjoy this wonderful gift of all those little sweethearts! This forum has so many great people far more knowledgeable than I. Ask questions just as you are and everything will be great! Have a great day!
 

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