- Considered to be similar to the horse.
- But the donkey’s large ears have an added sound-gathering advantage.
- Like the horse, the donkey has the ability to move its ears to locate the source of the sound.
- Donkeys DO NOT like their ears pulled – their ears are very personal!
- The feral donkey is a very alert animal, aided by its acute hearing.
- The donkey’s sense of smell is considered to be similar to the horse.
- Donkeys greet each other by smelling and blowing in each other’s noses. The smell of breath imparts important information to the donkey.
- So greeting donkeys by blowing up their noses is an effective way to reassure them that you are friendly.
- Sight is not as good as the horse, and like the horse, they have a blind spot immediately in front of the nose and behind the head.
- They have good peripheral vision with their head down when grazing, but poor ability to see high objects.
- They have good binocular vision. Donkeys like the horse view any threats with their binocular vision.
- It is thought they have the same colour vision as the horse. They can clearly differentiate between the major colours.
- Donkeys don’t seem to bother with direct eye contact. It seems to be less important than in horses.
- Donkeys have a very sweet tooth and are very partial to fruit.
- They love walnuts and will crack them and spit out the shells.
- Like the horse, they will not eat musty feed, and will not eat out of dirty containers so their ability to smell must be acute.
- Donkeys are naturally slow movers and impatient humans find this frustrating.
- They do not show all the varied gaits of the horse.
- At speed, they move like a zebra or a sheep in a bouncy gait and appear to have all four feet off the ground at the same time.
- Written by: Dr Clive Dalton