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The 5 Best Bedding Options For Donkeys

Donkeys are resilient creatures that can flourish in several conditions. They are also clever, social beings that need much room to wander and mental stimulation to be healthy and happy.

As a result, their housing and bedding needs vary significantly from those of other farm animals, such as chickens and goats.

In addition, donkeys will not spend the whole day in their cage; they must have access to grass whenever it is available.

However, they prefer sleeping inside at night and during wet days. Their living quarters should be tidy, comfy, and stocked with lots of clean bedding!

However, because there are several varieties of bedding on the market, it might be difficult to pick one. As a result, we've compiled this list to assist you in selecting the correct one for your pet.

Here are the best bedding options for donkeys that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will offer this year.


Thunder Acres Wheat Straw Bale — Best Overall

The Wheat Straw Bale from Thunder Acres is the greatest overall bedding for donkeys. This wheat straw is biodegradable, devoid of dust, and does not retain scents. In addition, it dries rapidly, making it simpler to clean the shelter.

This option comes with a reusable bag with handles, allowing you to transport the straw to your donkey shelter without leaving a trail of straw behind you.

Wheat straw may be consumed, but it is highly fibrous, making it unsuitable for donkeys with weak teeth. Therefore, if your donkey prefers to eat breakfast in bed but has dental concerns, barley straw is the ideal choice.


  • Dustless
  • Drys quickly and is simple to clean
  • Compatible with both horses and donkeys
  • Includes a convenient reusable bag
  • Affordable


  • Wheat straw might be difficult for donkeys with inadequate teeth to chew.

Best Value: America’s Choice Wood Fiber Bedding Pellets

American Wood Fiber Pellets are the most cost-effective bedding for donkeys since they are offered in big quantities, are simple to use, are very absorbent, and are dust-free. They are also unappealing, making them excellent for obese donkeys.

However, they may not be as pleasant to lie on as straw. In addition, they tend to become black when exposed to urine, making cleaning more difficult.

To make your donkey as comfortable as possible while remaining within your budget, you may blend wood pellets with another bedding material, such as wheat straw.


  • Less appetizing than straw
  • Budget friendly
  • Excellent alternative for donkeys on a restricted diet or with respiratory difficulties.


  • Not very accommodating
  • Wood pellets tend to darken when exposed to urine.

Summit Clear-Water Barley Straw – Exceptional Selection

Although barley straw is the best straw for bedding and donkey feed (as advised by The Donkey Sanctuary), it is more often used in the United States for pond treatment. This makes it prohibitively costly when bought in bulk.

Summit Clear-Water Pond Treatment is a micro-bale of barley straw that may be used as bedding for your donkey; however, you must purchase enough to cover their shelter’s floor!

It is natural, pesticide-free, eco-friendly, and fully safe for your donkey, among other benefits. Depending on your area, you may have access to more affordable alternatives.


  • Best bedding choice for donkeys
  • 100 percent natural and ecologically responsible
  • Relaxing to lay on


  • Extremely expensive

Straw Bale from Standlee Hay

The Straw Bale from Standlee Hay Company is an excellent alternative for your donkey’s bedding.

The firm does not specify the sort of straw used in this bale, but it is likely wheat straw, which is suitable for healthy donkeys to consume.

It is certified to be free of noxious weeds, which will prevent you from having weeds in your barn. Numerous purchasers have also remarked that this straw lacks mold and dampness.

Additionally, it is well-packaged, making it simple to keep. However, it is often dusty and costly.


  • Pure straw
  • Simple to manage and store
  • Verified absence of hazardous weeds


  • Dusty
  • Quite costly

The Standlee Hay Firm Gregory Bale

As timothy hay has a low protein content and a high proportion of indigestible fiber, it is a wonderful alternative to barley straw for your pet’s bedding, as donkeys have a tendency to gnaw on their bedding.

Additionally, it is more accessible in the United States. The 50-pound Timothy Bale from Standlee Hay Company is an excellent deal and will not cause your donkey any problems if it is consumed.

Keep in mind that while this hay is offered in bulk, its quality may vary. In addition, purchasers have claimed that the hay is powdery, making it inappropriate for donkeys with respiratory issues.


  • Affordable
  • Acceptable as donkey feed


  • Dusty
  • Unreliable hay quality

Buyer's Guide

Why Is Donkey Bedding Necessary?

Even while donkeys spend less time in their shelter than horses do, they still need clean, comfortable, and dry bedding, particularly during the chilly winter months. Even though these creatures are very robust and stoic, the cold, hard, and slick barn floor is not an appropriate location for them to relax.

What is the most suitable bedding for a donkey?

Wheat Straw

The preferred bedding material for healthy donkeys is barley straw. Since these animals have a tendency to gnaw their bedding, barley straw is desirable due to its high fiber content and low caloric content. It is also soft and absorbent, which facilitates cleaning.

However, it is difficult to get barley straw in the United States. The primary use of micro bales supplied online or in pet shops is as a pond treatment. Given that you must buy enough straw to cover the ground with at least 8 inches, the overall price may be excessive. Therefore, you may need to consider alternate options.

Rice Straw

Wheat straw is an appropriate substitute for barley straw since it is edible, marketed in big quantities, readily available, and less costly. Nevertheless, straw is less comfortable and may be rather dusty, depending on its quality.

Additional Issues With Straw

Dust and straw particles may exacerbate the symptoms of donkeys with respiratory conditions if they are allowed to lay on straw. Additionally, these animals have a tendency to acquire weight quickly, therefore a donkey on a diet should not lie in edible litter.

Additional Forms of Donkey Bedding

Other materials, such as wood pellets or wood shavings, may serve as donkey bedding. These are dust-free, inexpensive, insulating, and inedible. However, they are less comfy than straw and tend to discolor when exposed to urine, necessitating more regular cleaning.

In essence, the ideal donkey bedding does not exist. Due to the fact that what is acceptable for one donkey may not be suitable for another, it is essential to experiment to determine the ideal bedding for your animal.

However, a mix of several kinds of donkey bedding may be used. Putting a layer of wood pellets followed by a layer of straw on the floor, for instance, can increase water drainage and make the bed more comfortable.


Simply said, the ideal bedding material for donkeys is clean, dry straw.

Different varieties of straw are suitable for donkeys, but barley straw is the best premium option, particularly if you choose Summit Clear-Water Straw.

American Wood Fiber Pellets Bedding serves well as a more inexpensive alternative.

If you are uncertain about the sort of donkey bedding to purchase, we suggest Thunder Acres Wheat Straw Bale or a mix of these bales and wood pellets.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope these reviews will help you locate the best bedding options for donkeys. However, continue to watch your donkey’s behavior once you’ve selected acceptable bedding to ensure that it is always comfy, warm, and dry.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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