Surplus carrots give donkeys a treat

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 January 2020

Carrots and parsnips were shredded for the older donkeys. Picture:  Simon Horn

Carrots and parsnips were shredded for the older donkeys. Picture: Simon Horn

Simon Horn

It was not just carrots … it was M&S carrots for the residents of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Carrots were hidden in hay to encourage the donkeys to forage for them. Picture:  Simon HornCarrots were hidden in hay to encourage the donkeys to forage for them. Picture: Simon Horn

The Exe Bridges branch of the shop, in Exeter, found it had sackloads of surplus vegetables at Christmas, and donated them to the donkeys.

The idea came from Linda Noble, an administrator at M&S Exebridges, who is passionate about helping out local charities during the festive period.

She said: "I couldn't bear the thought of throwing all the veg away and I suddenly thought, 'what do donkeys eat? Carrots, of course.'

"So I called The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth and asked if they could use the veg, which were nearing its sell by date."

Farm manager Paul Carter taking delivery of a carload of carrots. Picture: Simon HornFarm manager Paul Carter taking delivery of a carload of carrots. Picture: Simon Horn

The Donkey Sanctuary's farms in Sidmouth and Town Barton in Tedburn St Mary were delighted to take the donated carrots and parsnips.

Grooms were able to use the carrots for enrichment activities, such as hiding them within regular haylage, to encourage the donkeys' instinctive foraging behaviour.

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