Can Donkeys Eat Peanut? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Did you know that there are about 41 million donkeys in the world and only about 90 percent of them eat peanuts?

The experience for them after eating peanuts is like a donkey ride.

Can donkeys eat peanuts? Donkeys will enjoy eating peanuts because it can be fed to them as treats. But you want to make sure that you are not feeding it to them in large quantities.

Donkeys or Burros as they are fondly called in some parts of the world belong to the family of herbivore animals.

They are non-ruminant animals and their stomachs are designed in a way that makes it easy for them to carry out metabolism easily so that they can absorb the maximum nutrition from what they eat. 

Therefore, it is important to feed them the appropriate type of foods, otherwise, your donkey could become overweight, and in most cases, stand a risk of laminitis.

Naturally, donkeys feed on straws, grasses, and hay. They love to graze all day. Peanuts and peanut oil is not one of their favorites.

What are the pros and cons of giving donkeys peanuts?

Can Donkeys Eat Peanut

A study carried out by the Department of Animal Science and Production, Botswana College of Agriculture, suggests that Donkeys can be fed dried groundnut tops or cowpea hay for protein.

Two major Pros of giving donkeys peanuts are:

  1. peanuts are highly rich in protein.
  2. they make your donkey add weight quickly

On the other hand, the Cons include:

  1. Possibility of having a lazy donkey. In ancient times, donkeys were used as a means of transportation, and they are naturally built to carry luggage. Therefore, an overweight donkey will not be smart enough to carry out these activities.
  2. Peanuts are toxic to donkeys.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can donkeys eat bananas?

Are peanuts toxic to donkeys?

To a large extent, It is usually not advisable to feed your donkeys with peanuts since they contain a certain amount of harmful fungi or promote colic. 

Nevertheless, some donkey holders oppose the idea and go on to feed their donkeys with peanuts as treats from time to time.

How much peanuts can I feed them daily?

Owing to the high amount of proteins that are contained in a peanut, you should feed your donkeys with a very minute quantity, like a handful (one or two pieces) a day is a reasonable amount.

Too much of it can cause colic.

In situations where your donkeys are made to labor for hours or have no access to pasture, it is required you feed them with hay or a similar dried forage, with at least a 1:4 ratio of legumes to grass.

Reason being that donkeys are naturally prone to obesity and are overweight.

Can donkeys eat roasted peanuts?

We have seen that peanuts can be a good source of protein for animals and humans also, but I wouldn’t advise you to feed them raw peanuts because peanuts contain aflatoxin, (a fungal toxin) which is capable of affecting the liver of these animals — even humans.

Although roasting peanuts can go a long way to lessen the toxin but does not eliminate it.

Can donkeys eat peanut butter?

Peanuts and peanut butter can be seen in “protein”.

Dogs are the favorites for peanut butter and not donkeys.

This is because Peanut butter is full of natural fats and protein, and too much of it can result in obesity and pancreatitis.

Can donkeys eat peanuts in the shell?

Although a wide variety of animals consume peanuts, including birds, pigs, squirrels, and rats, barely a few of these animals demonstrate some level of carefulness when eating peanuts.

For instance, rats are always very sensitive to the fungi that grow on peanuts, while some large birds such as ravens prefer peanuts that are left in the shell or just the hearts of the peanuts.

Also, raw peanuts are harmful because they contain substances that prevent the pancreas from producing trypsin, an enzyme responsible for the collection of protein by the intestine. 

Can donkeys eat peanut oil?

Peanut oil which is also an antioxidant and is rich in protein, offers numerous protective advantages in terms of combating chronic infections.

Peanut oil can be a great addition to your diet — as long as it is consumed moderately.

What is poisonous to donkeys?

The common food for donkeys is made up of low protein and more fiber.

Any food that is high in protein can result in skin rashes. Below is a list of food that you should not give to your donkey which is also poisonous to them.

  1. Plants outside of the normal grasses and hay are also Toxic to Donkeys.
  2. Contaminated foods and beddings can cause mycotoxins in a donkey.
  3. Whenever your donkey eats something it shouldn’t, particularly pieces of human-made hardware like nails, and screws, it can result in Hardware Diseases which are also poisonous to your donkey.
  4. meat or dairy substances are poisonous for your donkey
  5. Cereal grains like barley, corns, and oats
  6. Cakes are also poisonous. No matter how much you love your donkey you want to give them good treats, please do not give them cakes and chocolate
  1. All kinds biscuits including Bread
  2. Broccoli
  3. Onions and garlic
  4. Tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

Straw is a favorable and acceptable feed for your donkey. This is because donkeys need diets that are rich in fibre diets, little amount of protein, and carbohydrates.

Grass hay is another considerable feed because it contains low protein and is adequate for your donkey’s dentition.

However, in recent times, there have been arguments and divergent opinions as to whether donkeys should be fed peanuts or not, reasons why peanuts are not a good diet choice for donkeys.

I understand how easy it is to fall in love with your donkey, but that shouldn’t be a justification for spoiling them with nice treats such as peanuts. You could end up having a very fat donkey, as they are very prone to obesity.

If you have to give a treat to your donkey, the best donkey recommendations are fruits (except stoned fruit) and some specific vegetables.

Although, feeding your donkeys with peanuts has some advantages, but these advantages are minute as compared to the negative consequence

In conclusion

The main word of caution is that peanuts are sweet and desirable.

Most farmers and donkey owners give peanuts to their donkeys as a show of love or a good treat, but it shouldn’t be adopted as permanent or steady nutrition for your donkeys.

Donkeys can’t tolerate diets high in protein.

Photo of author

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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