Donkeys don’t like bad weather, study claims |

Donkeys don’t like bad weather, study claims

Chris Pastrick

Most people don’t like when it’s cold … or it rains … or it’s too windy.

Well, it turns out donkeys are just like most people. That’s according to a new study.

By now, you’ve likely said to yourself, “They needed a study for that?” Well, with that out of the way, let’s get on with it.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth discovered while horses are good with being outside in just about any weather situation, donkeys would rather get themselves indoors — unless the sun is shining.

“We found that donkeys were much more likely than horses to seek shelter when it’s windy, rainy or cold,” equine behaviour expert Dr. Leanne Proops told The Telegraph.

“This makes a lot of sense when you consider the evolutionary history of each species – horses are thought to have been domesticated in the temperate regions of Eurasia, while domestic donkeys originated from the African wild ass in semi-arid regions of Northeast Africa.”

Proops said she hopes the findings help those who care for horses and donkeys to better care for the animals.

The study looked at 135 donkeys and 73 horses — healthy and somewhat free ranging — over a period of 16 months when temperatures ranged from 33 degrees to 91 degrees.

Researchers took note of the locations of the animals — whether inside a constructed shelter, outside unprotected or using natural shelter — and the weather conditions.

They found that donkeys sought shelter significantly more often at lower temperatures, while horses tended to move inside when the temperature rose above 68 degrees. Donkeys were also more affected by rain, with most of them going indoors when it rained.

Horses were most affected — moreso than donkeys — by insects. So, when there were more insects to bug them, horses tended to seek shelter.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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