Donkey Quiz Answers:

- Africa and Asia. They came to Europe carrying the silk bales from these countries, through the ‘Silk Trail’ of Pakistan. First they went to Greece then spread across Europe as far as Spain and Italy then back to France, over the Channel to UK and eventually to Ireland. Most of them came to Ireland when the British military offered the Irish farmers two donkeys in return for one horse when they needed horses for the cavalry and for warfare.

- Because they eat only vegetable matter

- They have no natural waterproofing in their coats so become very wet and cold when left out in bad weather. Many die of pneumonia in this country.

- Sometimes donkeys reach their 50’s and it is quite common for them to make 35 - 40 years old

- Blood, nerves, tissues and bones. That is why it is so important their hooves are properly cared for and not just hacked off by someone who has no idea of what they are doing. The hoof we see on the outside is like our finger and toe nails, except it is wrapped all the way around.

- Everything that can now be done with a tractor – ploughing, harrowing, harvesting, bringing in the hay and straw, bringing in the turf, carrying the milk churns to the creamery, carrying the shopping, transport………

- From the shape, size and markings on his teeth

- Every 8 – 10 weeks because if they grow overlong they stretch the tendons at the back of the legs which causes the donkey great discomfort. They can also crack, split and take up tiny stones and pieces of grit which form abscesses inside the hoof. We need to clean the donkeys’ hooves regularly but should NEVER attempt to cut them ourselves. This is an expert job which requires a 4-year training.

- A parasite is a creature, plant or bacteria which lives off another creature, plant or bacteria


- Internal worms like red worm and lungworm, and external parasites like ticks, lice and mange. Internal worms may eat their way through the animal’s tissues and cause internal bleeding , pain and eventual death. External parasites usually feed off the animal’s blood and will causes severe anaemia and eventual death


- ,Grass, straw, hay, haylage, cereals generally, many trees and bushes, many flowers and herbs, carrots, apples. Donkeys should not be offered meat products under any circumstances.


- A farrier


- Ragwort, laurel, rhododendron, privet, yew and box


- Black, brown, fawn, grey and white or a combination of white and another colour


- White donkeys are too easily seen by their prey and tend to be killed more quickly than their less conspicuous fellows. This in turn alters the genetic inheritance so the white gene is not often carried through. Because white donkeys were so rare in olden times they were considered special and were the mounts of kings and wealthy, powerful people.


- The cross. There are many legends about how the donkey got his cross, the most common being that Jesus Christ gave the donkey his cross for carrying Him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Historically the donkey was around before Jesus but it is a good story.


- A mule is a cross between a donkey stallion (male – daddy) and a pony or horse mare (female – mummy). By some genetic accident the mule is infertile but they were commonly bred for their tremendous strength, surefootedness and intelligence and were used primarily for carrying heavy loads over treacherous terrain. A mule is a sensitive animal and should always be treated with great respect as once you get on the wrong side of him he can be very unforgiving!


- A jennet or a hinny is a cross between a pony or horse stallion (male – daddy) and a donkey mare (female – mummy). They are often strange looking animals and rarely as ‘biddable’ as the mule though if handled gently and with understanding can become very affectionate. A jennet looks more like a donkey whilst a mule looks more like a pony with long ears.


- Donkeys should not carry more than eight and a half stone (54 kilos) but are, unfortunately, often asked to carry more with resulting damage to their backs.


- A donkey can pull an amazing two and a half times its own weight provided his hooves are in good condition, the harness fits properly and is comfortable and the conditions he is working in are not impossibly wet and muddy.