Donkey Poop: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: September 26, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/tepic
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Donkeys are intelligent and loveable mammals that are very useful on the farm for transporting products. But besides their weight-bearing uses, they can also serve as guards and protectors for other farm animals. What’s more? You can also find donkey poop very useful.  

Perhaps you plan to get a donkey for your farm; there are some noteworthy points about the animal’s poop. This post gives a comprehensive explanation about donkey scat.

What Does Donkey Poop Look Like?

Donkey poop is usually hard and dry.

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A donkey’s digestive waste is usually brown or a very close shade. The color is generally consistent irrespective of what the donkey eats. However, it changes over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. 

One significant difference between donkey dung and that of other animals is the texture. For donkeys, their digestive waste is almost like a stone in terms of texture. That is because it’s hard and dry. But that is not all to know about the texture of their digestive waste. Sometimes, the outer surface of the waste is smooth and shiny. However, the level of smoothness depends on the diet of the animal. 

Obviously, donkeys are herbivores, but they are not ruminant animals like cows. Because of this, they cannot completely break down food such as hay. Hence, their waste often contains fiber and seeds which affects how smooth their scats are.

Interestingly, the shape of donkey scat is like that of a small rock. And when they poop, they always form a heap with it because the droplets are often numerous. 

Is Donkey Poop Used as Fertilizer?

Donkey poop is a good source of manure for fertilizing the soil.

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Donkeys, like horses, are called “beasts of burden” because of the value they have on the farm. For example, they are a good means of transporting products from one place to another on the farm. In the same way, donkey poop also serves valuable purposes on the farm, one of which is its usefulness as fertilizer.

The digestive waste of donkeys is a good source of manure useful for fertilizing the soil. However, to get the best result, after adding the manure directly to the soil, it’s advisable to wait for some months before planting on it. Waiting a while is more beneficial because it allows the soil to break down the manure and extract the nutrients properly.

Is Donkey Poop Used For Medical Purposes?

hinny vs mule
Donkey poop has antibacterial and antibiotic properties which can cure diseases such as oral ulcers and bronchitis.

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This fact might come as a surprise to you, but it is common knowledge in many cultures. Donkey poop is helpful in the medical field for humans. In ancient cultures, like in Iran, donkey dung was used for far more than just field manure. 

Healers used the female donkey poop particularly for its antibacterial properties. Anbar Nasara (sometimes called “anbarnesa”) is the common name. This dung has antibacterial and antibiotic properties. It can cure diseases such as oral ulcers, bronchitis, vaginal infections, and many more with minimal side effects. 

You might be wondering how donkey poop is used exactly as medicine. Usually, it is collected in considerable quantities and burnt. The smoke from this dung contains chemicals with healing properties. The smoke is then inhaled to absorb the healing properties. 

The use of anbarnesa smoke for healing properties is not only common in Iran. Research also shows that this practice is seen in over 50 countries worldwide. Some even buy donkey poop for medical purposes, a source of income for farmers. 

Although donkey digestive waste is similar to that of horses, horse dung does not serve medical purposes. However, horse poop has many other exciting uses, such as its usage as fuel for humans. 

Is Donkey Poop Harmful To Humans?

It’s a fact that donkey waste is valuable. Unfortunately, it also contains bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. Coli) which are harmful when ingested. The bacteria can make us sick and present symptoms such as bloody diarrhea and vomiting when they find their way to the human intestine.

The good news is that the bacteria die off quickly when exposed to heat or sunlight. Hence, making manure or burning it for anbarnesa will kill off the bacteria, making it safe for use. However, it is best to avoid skin contact when handling newly excreted dung. If you have to handle the manure, use gloves, shovels, and other proper farm tools to remove it from the animal’s beddings

Do Donkeys Eat Their Poop?

Yes, donkeys do eat their poop. However, the practice is quite different from other animals that practice coprophagy. In donkeys, it is usually the young ones eating the scat of their parents. 

Eating feces usually happens during the first few months of birth when the animals need cellulose digesting bacteria. The poop is the only way for the young donkeys to get this bacteria because their digestive tracts are still developing.

However, this behavior is rare in adult donkeys. Most times, it is a result of behavioral disorders such as boredom. Adult donkeys do not eat their feces as long as adequate feed is available. 

Does Donkey Poop Smell?

Donkey poop is not foul-smelling, especially when compared to that of other animals. This is most likely a result of the dryness and arid texture of the poop. 

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baby donkey and mother

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