Donkeys are herbivores with a delicate digestive system and their basic diet is straw, forage grass and silage.
They also enjoy healthy treats and snacks from time to time and as a donkey owner you should know what is safe for them to eat and what is not.
Donkeys love eating mango and they can be seen enjoying a piece of mango being fed from their owners hands. Mango itself is a tropical fruit which originated from India and South – East Asia.
Mango has quite a number of nutritional benefits to donkeys and we will be exploring them in this article, plus how often you should feed it to them amongst other questions you might have.
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What Are The Health Benefits Of Mango To Donkeys?
Mangoes are a healthy and nutrient dense fruit which contains quite a number of nutritional benefits when fed to donkeys and which can help to improve the general health of your donkeys.
Some of the nutrients found in mangoes include:
Mangoes contain quite a number of vitamins including vitamins A, B6 and C.
These vitamins all play important roles from boosting immunity, improved sleep with the increased production of serotonin, improving vision, fighting inflammatory diseases and smoother mane in your donkeys.
Antioxidants are substances in the body which help to protect the body from free radicals and oxidative damage.
Free radicals are substances that have been linked to a variety of disorders and aging.
Mangoes contain high levels of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
A cup of mango has about 3 grams of fiber, which is about 10% of what the donkey requires in a day.
Fiber in the diet has long been identified as essential for proper digestion.
Mangoes, in particular, have been proven to greatly improve digestive problems, including stool regularity and consistency.
Mangoes contain phytochemicals, which are plant-based substances with wellness properties.
Mango phytochemicals, such as mangiferin, carotenoids, phenolic acids and gallotannins, have also been connected to anti-inflammatory, and anti disease properties.
These phytochemicals will help protect your donkeys from chronic disease and conditions.
Calcium is essential for bone and teeth development in donkeys. Donkeys need calcium for strong bones and teeth especially in their formative years. ‘
A deficiency of calcium can lead to weak teeth and bones and cause metabolic bone disease and rickets.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on what do donkeys eat
How Often Should I Feed Them Mango?
Mangoes are great fruits to feed donkeys and it is okay to feed them mangoes from time to time however this should be done in moderation and in small pieces.
Even if your donkey overly likes the taste of mangoes you shouldn’t always feed it to them as it is rich in sugar and donkeys are prone to easy weight gain.
The basic diet of a donkey remains forage grass and hay, as their digestive systems are adapted to extract the most nutrients from their diet.
Sugar rich foods make them gain weight easily and for that reason you should watch how you feed them mango.
You can feed them mango once every few days, limiting the feeding to one mango per donkey.
Can Mini Donkeys Eat Mangos?
Miniature donkeys can eat mangoes and many mini donk owners are usually seen hand feeding their pets mangoes.
Minis are a smaller species of donkeys that originated from the Mediterranean and are now popular as guard animals and pets on farms.
Mini donkeys have the same diet with standard donkeys.
They subsist mainly on forage and hay.
Before feeding mango to your mini donkeys, remember they might not be as active as the standard and as such their diet should be watched to avoid obesity.
Mango should be fed to them in moderation keeping in mind their dietary requirements.
Also check out this article I wrote on can donkeys eat figs
Can Donkeys Eat Mango Leaves?
Although the leaves of mango have been reported to contain substances similar to that found in poison ivy which causes reactions in some people, this has not been reported in donkeysor other equids.
Mango leaves are known to contain metabolites which have antioxidant and antibacterial properties which can also help to improve your donkeys’ health.
If you are feeding mango leaves which are not from your farm, you should wash them thoroughly to ensure there are no chemicals adhering to them which can make your donkey sick.
Can Donkeys Eat Mango Skin?
Donkeys can eat mango skin most especially when it is ripe. The skin of the mango fruit has many nutrients within it such as carotenoids, fiber and vitamins.
To make it easy for them, feed them the mango with the skin, it would make a great treat for them.
Before feeding mango with the skin to donkeys, wash the mango thoroughly to remove traces of agrochemicals such as pesticides and insecticides which might have been used to grow the mango.
These chemicals can make your donkey violently sick and it is best to avoid that.
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Mango?
Before feeding the mango to your donkey, wash it thoroughly especially when you plan to feed them the mango skin alongside.
Also, ensure you remove the large pits or seeds in the mango before feeding them. This is to avoid the donkeys choking on the seeds while trying to swallow.
Mango seeds also contain the toxic compound amygdalin which when ingested in large amounts can result in cyanide poison.
Always remember to feed your donkeys mango in moderate amounts to avoid getting them overweight from the sugar in the fruit.
Mango also contains fiber which though beneficial for gut health can cause constipation when taken in excessive amounts.
Here is an article I wrote on can donkeys eat okra
How Can I Feed Mango To My Donkeys?
When feeding mangoes to donkeys, start off by washing the mango thoroughly. Remove the pit of the fruit to avoid them choking on it.
Then slice it into smaller pieces to make it easy for the donkeys to chew and swallow.
During hot months, you can refrigerate the mangoes to make them cold before feeding them to the donkeys.
They will especially love this as it will cool them down.
You can also mix mango with other treats such as carrots, watermelon and apples. Your donkeys would love the fruit salad and it would make a great treat for them.
If you have been stumped about what new treats to add to your donkey’s diet, then mango is a healthy option to introduce.
Mango is rich in fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals which help to protect your donkeys from diseases.
Mango is a sugar rich fruit however, and it should be fed in moderation to your donkeys, especially mini donkeys and other donkeys who are not involved in heavy duty work.
These are more prone to weight gain and obesity.
Never forget to remove the mango pits before feeding it to avoid your donkeys choking on it and eliminate the buildup of cyanide in their body systems.