Can Donkeys Eat Fish? (Do Not Try This…)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Donkeys are herbivores who were originally plain and desert dwellers. Their anatomy including teeth and digestive system is adapted to eating plant matter.

Donkeys cannot eat fish or meat for that matter.

Donkeys can survive without fish or other animal products, their teeth are designed for grazing on short pasture and they have a digestive tract which is designed to extract the most nutrients from plants. Fish is on the list of donkeys prohibited foods.

We will be discussing why donkeys cannot eat fish, whether mini donkeys can eat fish, if donkeys can eat raw fish and other related questions.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Fish To Farm Animals?

Although, donkeys cannot eat fish, fish is still one of the most beneficial and nutritional foods in the world and can offer the following health benefits when it is eaten:

  1. Protein 

Among the many nutrients found in fish is high quality protein. Every organism requires protein as they are regarded as the basic building blocks of the body. 

Protein is essential for the maintenance of better and healthier muscles, body parts, and blood vessels.

Protein aids in functions such as cellular division and hair growth. It is used in some way by all systems and organs of the body.

  1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are important polyunsaturated fatty acids that are majorly found in fish and fish oil.

They are important for quite a number of functions including growth and development of the body. 

These fatty acids help to improve brain health and seriously lower the risk of diseases most especially heart disease. 

  1. Vitamins

Fish itself and its related products such as fish oil and eggs are an excellent source of vitamins for the body. 

Vitamins that can be found in fish include Vitamin B12 which is very important.

This vitamin is important for healthy red blood cells production and nerve function.

Other vitamins found in abundant quantities in fish include Vitamins D and A. 

  1. Iodine 

Fish is also high in iodine, a mineral that the body cannot produce on its own.

Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid hormones, which regulates things like appetite and also functions of the immune system.

These hormones are responsible for food metabolism as well as bone and brain development. 

  1. Iron 

Iron is an important nutrient which performs the essential function of ensuring the proper flow of oxygen throughout the body. 

This is done by promoting the growth and production of hemoglobin which is the substance responsible for supplying oxygen around the body.

Iron is also responsible for the production of certain hormones in the body as well as myoglobin, a protein responsible for moving oxygen to the muscles.

A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia. 

Here is an article I wrote on what do donkeys eat?

How Often Should I Feed Them Fish?

Fish is not a food source that should be fed to donkeys. Donkeys are predominantly herbivores and that means they feed mainly on plants.

A donkey’s main diet consists of pasture grasses, hay and straw. 

Donkeys evolved from the desert and learnt to extract food from the toughest places. They ate dry vegetation, berries and the bark of trees.

Donkeys cannot ingest fish or other animal products such as meat.

If donkeys are fed fish, they probably won’t be able to get it past their tongue and they could spit out.

It could also make them sick as their digestive tracts are not adapted to eat meat and as such, it would be an alien substance.

As such, avoid feeding fish or any animal source to your donkeys.

Can Mini Donkeys Eat Fish?

Mini donkeys are a species of donkeys originally from the Mediterranean part of the world.

Miniature or mini donkeys as they are called are much smaller than the regular donkeys. 

Most mini donkeys usually reach only about 36 inches in height at the most while regular donkeys can grow as high as 48 inches.

Mini donkeys are not different from standard donkeys in their diet. They are herbivores and feed on grains and forage grasses.

Mini donkeys should not be fed fish or fish products as they are not designed to eat and digest it.

Can Donkeys Eat Raw Fish?

Donkeys are primarily herbivores and should not be given fish to eat in any form.

There are animals such as eagles who are piscivorous and feed predominantly on fish caught by them amongst other food.

However, donkeys do not fall into this category as their digestive system is designed to eat plants and absorb the nutrients from those plants.

Simply put donkeys cannot eat fish because they would most likely get sick eating it.

Also check out this article I wrote on can donkeys eat alfalfa

Can Donkeys Eat Fish Eggs?

Fish eggs are eaten by a variety of animals including marine organisms such as jellyfish and krill.

Humans also typically eat fish eggs and the delicacies of caviar and roe can be found in many restaurants.

Fish and fish eggs are not a part of the donkey’s diet as they are primarily herbivores who consist of grasses, straw and healthy treats provided by their owners. 

Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Fish?

You shouldn’t feed your donkey fish for no reason whatsoever. They are not designed to eat fish or even meat products.

If you decide to go ahead and give them fish, there is the possibility that they can get sick.

The donkeys’ digestive system is excellent at turning the grass they eat into a veritable energy source.

Donkeys like ruminants are able to process their food through the fermentation process, digest it and then extract the nutrients which are then absorbed in the donkeys’ body.

Their teeth are also designed to only eat plants.

Without razor-sharp incisors like those found in many carnivores, it would be difficult for them to tear flesh apart in order to swallow it comfortably. 

The best feed for donkeys is plants either forage pasture, straw or hay as this is what they are adapted to eating. 


Fish is a healthy food that is eaten all over the world and which can be added to different dishes to make delicacies.

Fish is not only eaten by humans but also by some animals including eagles and cats.

Donkeys however do not fall into the category of animals who eat fish or even meat for that matter.

Donkeys are strictly herbivores whose digestive system and teeth are adapted to eat just plants. 

Fish is a prohibited food for donkeys and should not be fed to donkeys in any form. 

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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