How do donkeys manage the cold?

The fact that donkeys are different from horse obviously is no news. But did you know that donkeys do not produce a winter fur? Their fur does not significantly change between seasons for as far as hair length, weight, and number go. As a consequence, their coat in winter is thinner than that of horses. Donkeys originate from warmer regions and have not adapted their coat to our temperature climate. Mules are in between donkeys and horses in coat length and thickness. Of course the thickness of the coat is not the only measure of staying warm in winter. No measures have been done on heat loss in donkeys. It could be that donkeys keep themselves warm in a slightly different way from horses. After all, not all horses have an equally thick fur and horses with a thinner coat not necessarily are colder. But on average there definitely is a relation between thickness of the winter fur and its insulation value. Donkeys could do with some extra attention in our winter.

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Would you like to read more about how horses deal with the lower temperatures? Continue reading

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