I have 3 miniature donkeys, two six-year old gelded jacks and a four-year-old jenny. I asked my vet if they are overweight, and he said they could stand to lose some weight. They free-roam on about an acre of grass and mainly because they expect it, I give them a little hay (less than a flake) each morning and evening. I asked if they should get supplements, to get proper vitamins and minerals, and he suggested Kentucky Equine Research (KER) but didn't say what product. He said even if the product tends to be high in protein, if I just give a little snack of it to them daily, they can get beneficial nutrients. He wants me to reduce their time out in the pasture eating grass, and said that's likely why they are too fat. He didn't think I needed to give them feed or grain, but I would like to know what KER product you think I could give them, perhaps 1/8 cup daily, so they get vitamins and other nutrients? Can you offer me any suggestions?
I agree with your vet that the donkeys do not need any grain, although historically that is what horse owners have used to balance their horse's diet. Fortunately, there are other options these days for stock owners who wish to balance the diets of their horses and donkeys.
Two options from KER are All-Phase and I.R. Pellet.
Perhaps the KER supplement the vet was referring to was All-Phase, a pelleted ration balancer that will supply protein, vitamins, and minerals to the diet. All-Phase has a feeding rate for your miniature donkeys of 2.5 oz (75 g or a little more than 1/8 lb) per donkey per day. For your situation, there may be one issue with this product: even with three donkeys you may not go through a 50 lb bag fast enough and the product may become stale.
Your other option would be I.R. Pellet, which is a complete vitamin and trace mineral supplement formulated to complement an all-forage diet, like the one you’re feeding. This product does not add a significant amount of protein to the diet. For miniature donkeys, all you would need to feed is 10 g (1/3 oz) per day. The buckets are much smaller and have a longer shelf life, so there would be no concern about the product going stale.
If you would like to speak to someone at the KER office about either product, please call 859-873-1988.