Celery is a very healthy vegetable for many different species of animals and donkeys are no exception. Donkeys can eat celery and in fact, it’s actually good for them!

Celery is high in water and fiber, making it a perfect treat for donkeys. Its low-calorie count, paired with the fact that it’s filled to the brim with potassium, makes it very healthy.

Raw celery is a good go-to for a treat for donkeys, but you can also give it to them steamed or boiled, and they’ll likely enjoy it that way. Feed your donkey by hand if you can, or place cuttings into their feeding tray. They don’t care how you give it to them, but they enjoy the nice addition to their hay or straw.

If a donkey eats more than 2% of its body weight in food, it can become overweight, so make sure to keep an eye on how much they consume.

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What Vegetables Can Donkeys Eat?

Donkeys can eat a variety of fruits and veggies. Their primary feed should be either straw or hay, as these are high in fiber and low in sugar. However, there are many supplementary vegetables treats you can give your donkey to give them some stimulation.

Fruits and vegetables should be fed in small amounts to provide a variety of flavors and to encourage a healthy diet. They’re especially helpful in the winter when their main food source, grass, isn’t available. You should avoid anything that is old, moldy, or fermented, as they are toxic to donkeys. You should also avoid potatoes, brassica family veggies, onions, stone fruit, and garlic.

There are many things to avoid, but there are even more that you can give to donkeys, such as carrots, bananas, pears, swedes, apples, and turnips. These are all safe and fairly popular with most donkeys. You have to make sure everything hard that you’re feeding them is chopped in a way that will prevent a choking hazard.

The most dangerous thing you could feed to your donkey is something poisonous or something high in sugar. Sugar in high amounts can dampen your donkey’s health, causing more visits to farm animal clinics.

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Why Can’t Donkeys Eat Carrots?

While carrots aren’t necessarily dangerous for donkeys, they have high sugar content. Apples also have high sugar content. These two foods can be fed to donkeys in strict moderation, but if fed too much, it could lead to them becoming obese and more prone to developing metabolic diseases and laminitis.

The best thing you could feed your donkeys is straw. This has high fiber, as said above, and is extremely low in sugar, perfect for donkeys. If you have a perfect yard with nice, lush grass, this might be hurting your donkey. Donkeys are used to patches of grass, not perfect grass.

Overeating grass can become a problem for donkeys. So, feeding them straws is your best bet to getting them as healthy as they can be.

What is Toxic to Donkeys?

Many common shrubs and trees are dangerous to equines, including donkeys. The red maple can cause the destruction of red blood cells when consumed by donkeys, causing secondary kidney damage. Dark-colored or red urine is the first sign of this problem with your donkey.

Black walnut trees are also dangerous, causing laminitis when they eat this plant. Only 20% of black walnut in plant shavings can cause laminitis, which is extremely dangerous to donkeys. Oak trees are also a problem, containing tannins that can cause an upset stomach and possibly colic. Oak trees are mostly a problem when it’s spring, and their buds and small leaves are being ingested, or later in the year when forage is limited.

Oleander, a toxic shrub for donkeys, is found in warm climates in the United States. It can cause irregular heartbeats and changes in electrolytes, eventually possibly causing death. Japanese yew is also dangerous, causing, like the oleander, heart problems, and possible death.

The best way to keep your donkey safe is to monitor what they eat and what’s available in their pasture. If you find any of these trees or shrubs, immediately remove the donkey from the area or remove the tree/shrub. This way, you could possibly save your donkey’s life.

Can Donkeys Eat Banana Peels or Orange Peels?

Donkeys can eat bananas when they are in moderation. Every part of the banana can be eaten by the donkey and won’t cause any issues unless it overeats. Usually, you need to be careful with sugary treats due to the health problems that come with them. However, banana peels are a great source of fiber and minerals to make them even healthier.

Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium, promoting healthy bones and muscles. They’re perfect for after exercising. Bananas are also a great source of vitamins B and C, supporting the immune system and providing antioxidants.  Bananas are low in sugar, allowing them to be fed to donkeys every once in a while. Again, don’t feed them bananas constantly, just as an occasional treat.

Oranges are also very healthy for a treat for donkeys. The skins and the seeds are safe, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you should feed them oranges as a treat.

Some other good snacks/treats for donkeys include the entirety of a pumpkin (in moderation) bread, molasses, watermelon, and a selection of other low-sugar fruits and gourds. Ensure that you don’t feed anything from the Brassicaceae/cruciferous family, such as cabbage, onions, cauliflower, or broccoli.

Certain animal feeds not made specifically for donkeys can be unsafe for donkeys. Many animal feeds not made for equines include urea, which is very toxic for horses and donkeys. If you’re looking for feed to give to your donkey, try a registered donkey feed or a feed that’s low-protein horse feed, making it safe for donkeys.

woman feeding donkeys
Image Credit: Yurii Vasyliev, Shutterstock



There are lots of foods that donkeys can eat, including celery, but also lots of foods that are either unhealthy or dangerous for donkeys to consume. Some healthy treats in moderation include apples, bananas, watermelon, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, lettuce, cucumber, and pears.

You can also feed them oats if you’d like. Donkeys need a varied diet to remain interested in their feed. Treats can also help build a bond between a donkey and its owner or help get needed vitamins and minerals.

Featured Image Credit: inewsfoto, Shutterstock