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Donkey Hoof Care
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Well Trimmed Feet
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long donkey hooves
Poor donkey hooves

These pages are intended to provide information about hoof care for donkeys and mules. 

On these pages I will provide photos of well trimmed donkey and mule hooves as well as examples of poor or neglected hooves.  Many people continue to believe that donkeys and mules have a different hoof than a horse and require vastly different trimming methods. This is incorrect as the ONLY difference between donkey and mule hooves compared to a horse is the shape.  Donkeys have a more oval shaped hoof and leave a track similar to a "U".  A horse has a more round hoof and leaves a track shaped closer to a "O".  A mule may have a hoof shapped like either a horse or a donkey depending on the individual animal.  The sole of the donkey or mule foot is also differently shaped.  The frog of the hoof generally sticks out further in the back of the hoof then the hoof wall. Overall the differences between a donkey and a horse are very minimal. When trimming remember that each animal is an individual and you should not get stuck trimming to a specific angle for all animals.  

The diagram at the following link provides a nice look at various hoof conditions.

Donkey Hoof Diagram

The best information I have found about donkey hoof care comes right from the American Donkey and Mule association website.

My farrier is a little unsure about trimming donkey hooves.  Aren't donkeys supposed to be "upright"? 

No not all donekys have upright hoof angles.  Thes best trim for a donkey hoof is to MATCH THE PASTERN angle, as they would on any horse.  For an animal that has under-run heels or is coon-footed, there may be some corrective trimming in need, but the general rule is to match angles. Trying to "Stand a donkey on it's toes" may do more harm than good.  The basic trim is the same, just the general shape and to a small extent the angles are different - but not that much.  Its not something to fear in trimming!  ADMS has a hoof trimming packet available for $2.00 ppd. 

Visit the American Donkey and Mule Association website.

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