How Long Do Donkeys Live?

February 14, 2024

Donkeys are one of the most useful and beloved animals in the world. They have played many roles throughout history thanks to their strength, endurance, and sociable nature. They can live up to 40 years in captivity if they are adequately cared for and looked after. This is a much longer life than they would have in the wild where they face many different threats and pressures.

Baby donkeys, also known as foals, get all of their nourishment from their mother’s milk until they are around two years old. After this they start eating herbivorous plants that are found in arid or desert environments. Domestic donkeys are fed hay and straw to supplement their natural diet.

As they grow older, donkeys can develop various issues that may lead to a shorter lifespan. These include arthritis, laminitis, worms, dental disease, and a variety of other infections. The best way to keep your donkey healthy and happy is by regular farrier and vet visits as well as preventative health care.

The average donkey lives up to 20 years in the wild but they have a tendency to live much longer than this if they are taken care of properly. The oldest recorded donkey, Bubbles, lived up to 62 years old which is double what they are expected to live on average. When a donkey is feeling content, happy or relaxed they will have their ears positioned facing to the side. If they feel threatened or in danger, their ears will be positioned forward and their head will be lowered with their mouth closed. They will also stop moving and if they are still and quiet then they might dig their feet into the ground and stay rigidly standing until the threat has passed.


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