Donkeys are those long-eared equines that are too curious about everything around them. And this curiosity comes around human food too. They love to try and see the edibles they find around them, mostly in search of high fiber. So, can donkeys eat apples? The answer is yes. These animals are big-time eaters and love to keep on munching something or the other all the time. An apple is one popular treat given to donkeys that they enjoy.

Are Apples Good for Your Donkeys?

Apples are excellent sources of water that can keep your donkeys hydrated, especially during the summer. In addition, the nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins present in the apples are also good for the health of your donkeys. And apples being easily available all over the world makes it one of the fruits that donkey owners prefer to feed their donkeys. Apples being rich in all the nutrients does not mean that they could become the staple diet for the donkey. It should only be served in moderation since excess sugar can harm your donkey’s health.

Many donkeys are sensitive to insulin. Hence, feeding them too many apples could make them fall ill or have a stomach ache. Further, you must be cautious when feeding them apple juice since it is the concentrated version and will have a sugar content that adds up to a few apples. Similarly, consider carefully before feeding apple sauce also. Homemade apple sauce will have concentrated sugar content, while store-bought ones will have preservatives and additives that can potentially affect the well-being of your donkeys. So, check the ingredients before you serve them to the donkeys.

Can Donkeys Eat the Whole Apple?

Donkeys love apples and will not let one pass by without eating them. But it is recommended that you do not give the core of the apple, where the seeds of the apple are stored, for your donkey to consume. Donkeys might not always chew the cores thoroughly. And in a frenzy, try to swallow the big chunks. This can lead to them choking on it, especially if the apple core is big. So, it is better that you not feed the apple as a whole but after removing the tricky part.

apple core is bad for donkeys

Also, the chemical amygdalin found inside the seeds could convert into cyanide. Though the chemical is in minute concentration, it is better to avoid such a situation. It does not cause any harm if your donkey consumes a few apple seeds, as small numbers will not make your donkey sick.

Can Donkeys Eat Apples of All Kinds?

Donkeys do not show bias when it comes to apples and are happy to consume any kind of apples. Be it green or red, cooked or raw they will love it all the ways. They can even consume apple seeds and stem, though having them a lot could make them sick. The exception will be the artificial apple sauce found in stores. Check whether it is organic before buying and feeding your donkey.

And you must also be careful to prevent your donkeys from eating apple tree leaves. These leaves are said to be toxic to donkeys as well as the equines in general. Similarly, it is good to prevent your donkey from having rotten apples. Donkeys will have it happily either way, but rotten apples sometimes might have worms and other organisms feeding on them. This, when consumed by donkeys, could put their health at risk.

How to Start Feeding Apples to Your Donkey

Though donkeys are known to love apples, you must perform a trial run if you are introducing apples to them for the first time. Begin by serving them one apple, seeing the reaction in them, and monitoring the same for a few days to be sure that the apples do not cause them any harm. If donkeys are showing symptoms of diarrhea or any other physical illness, it will be better not to continue giving them apples.

donkey eating apple

You can feed apples as big pieces or by chopping them into small pieces. If you are not afraid and good around your donkeys, you could even consider feeding them with your own hands. Donkeys, when over-excited, could take the apple from you quickly, leaving you with a bite or nibble on your fingers. You can avoid the same by chopping it down and serving it in a bowl or by mixing the apples in their feed. Apples grounded and frozen could be provided for donkeys during the hot summers to give them relief from the heat.

Alternatives to Feeding Apples

Donkeys have a sweet tooth and will be very happy if they are given any fruits. As an alternative to apples, you can also feed them bananas, watermelon, oranges, carrots, berries, and many others that you find in the market. You can even get your donkeys seasonal fruits and homegrown ones only after making sure that they are taking it well. But the point that you must remember is not to overfeed your donkey with food containing more sugar. Excessive amounts of sugar can lead them to be prone to colic, which is bad for your donkeys. So, make sure that you are feeding the fruits in moderation.


Apples are a great treat for donkeys that they love and something you can find around easily. The longer shelf-life of apples also makes them a great choice of fruits. Donkey owners and trainers also use apples as rewards for donkeys to make them do certain tasks. Don’t you think that is a win-win situation? The donkey is happy, and you get your work done too.


  • Sameera R

    Sameera is particularly fond of farm animals and loves to write about them. Horses are her favorites and she wishes to own one someday.

Write A Comment

Pin It