Mini Donkey / Mule Keeping

I know threads don’t live very long around here, but it seems like we have a lot of mini donkeys out there. And I’ve got a mini molly mule. I thought we could share donkey keeping tips and answer questions… ?

At some point in her past my mule, Mo, was obese. I got her from another COTH member who had gotten her weight under control, somewhere in the fat range, but not dangerously so.

I pretty much maintained her at fat for the first year I had her. I put a grazing muzzle on her all summer. Then we had a round of ouchy feet on some late fall grass (no muzzle, bad owner!). And another when she figured out how to steal JD’s alfalfa in December.

So I got religion and I’ve been working on her weight ever since. I have the luxury of keeping her mostly in her own paddock/stall so that I can feed her diet hay.

My question is this. She’s got a fallen crest and the standard donkey style fat pads. And she’s built weird compared to a horse. How do I tell when she’s at the right weight? She’s certainly gone from fat to something less than that. But how do I know when we’re there? She’s not terribly friendly (I jokingly call her semi feral) so the vet and I called it good last week once we’d checked her teeth and given her shots and never got to a weight evaluation other than “she’s healthy looking”.

This is Mo:

It’s not a super current pic, but it’s only from a month ago. She’s lost a bit of winter coat since then and maybe a few more pounds.


eta: slightly older pic from the side. She’s slightly heavier in this one.

Cute face!

You should be able to feel ribs, but not see them. The neck fat is very stubborn to get rid of.