Donkeys are a variation of horses you can tame, breed, and ride in Minecraft but should also feed to keep alive. These friendly mobs, whether found in the wilderness or tamed and bred, play a crucial part, as they can traverse great distances and carry chests. In other words, you can use them to explore the in-game world (and rapidly, might we add) and utilize their chests as storage for items past equipped, hotbar, and inventory items. Therefore, it’s important to know the answer to the question, “what do donkeys eat in Minecraft?” We will gladly provide the necessary knowledge. Let’s get into it.
Foods donkeys eat in Minecraft
If you read our guide on what Minecraft horses eat, you already know what you can feed donkeys. To clarify, donkeys can consume these foods in Minecraft:
- Hay Bale
- Golden Apple
- Enchanted Golden Apple
- Golden Carrot
You can feed both donkeys and their foals, tamed and untamed. Like horses, food provides a way of breeding donkeys. However, not all untamed animals can be fed all foods, and not all food items can be utilized for taming. We explain that shortly. First, here are the keys or buttons to press to feed passive mobs in Minecraft:
- Use the right-click of your computer mouse on Mac or PC, whether Bedrock, Education, or Java Edition.
- Press the LT button of your controller on Xbox consoles.
- Press the ZL button on the gamepad for your Wii U and Nintendo Switch devices.
- Use the L2 button on the controller for your PlayStation console.
- Tap the donkey on-screen on Pocket Edition for Android or iOS.
Food-related information about food a Minecraft donkey eats
While you may know the names of foods you can give, you still lack knowledge of minute details and consequences. Therefore, we put together a list of things to remember about food donkeys can eat in Minecraft:
1. Donkeys will slowly heal even if you don’t feed them
The fact donkeys passively regenerate health is perhaps the most surprising but beneficial bit of information about them. This is unusual since other passive mobs remain at the same health level or lose health when damaged by the player or something else. Even more interesting, donkeys don’t react to being damaged by the player but do take fall damage.
2. Food items have different healing, growth, and love effects on donkeys
We already went over this in our horse feeding guide. With that said, the healing effects of foods given to donkeys are identical to horses, and look like this:
|Food item||Growth acceleration||Healing effect|
|Sugar||30 seconds||0.5 ♥ or 1 health point|
|Hay Bale||3 minutes||10 ♥ or 20 health points|
|Golden Apple||4 minutes||5 ♥ or 10 health points|
|Enchanted Golden Apple||4 minutes||5 ♥ or 10 health points|
|Apple||1 minute||1.5 ♥ or 3 health points|
|Wheat||20 seconds||1 ♥ or 2 health points|
|Golden Carrot||1 minute||2 ♥ or 4 health points|
The second column refers to the speed-up of the process of growing a foal to an adult which takes 20 minutes without your influence, i.e., not feeding. In contrast, health points refer to the healing of donkeys. Now, there are six things to remember:
- You can only heal a “hungry” donkey, i.e., one whose health is missing. Healing past its maximum health provides no perks.
- Donkeys spawn with a health pool of 15 to 30 points, but most animals appear with health points close to 22 to 23.
- You can’t see a half heart if the donkey has an odd number of health points, but it counts for healing/taking damage.
- Breeding two donkeys requires feeding Golden Apple, Enchanted Golden Apple, or Golden Carrot several times but only to tame adults. Successful feeding makes hearts appear above their heads.
- You can only feed Hay Bale to a tamed donkey.
- Pressing the key or button without a food item selected (in your “hands”) makes you mount the donkey if applicable.
3. Donkeys do not consume grass despite trying
When we analyzed the food sheep and cows eat, we noticed they graze on the grass blocks nearby and consume the grass layer. Though it offers no benefits to those animals, the animation is realistic. Unfortunately, while donkeys also have a grazing animation, they never consume grass from grass blocks.
4. Feeding affects donkey’s temper
We will explain this in a taming guide, but know that a donkey starts with a 0/100 temper when you try to tame it. Once you jump, you gain a random number between 0 and 99. If you fail, its temper goes up by 5 points, making taming easier. To clarify, the process finishes when you get a number lower than the temper one. Here’s the breakdown:
|Food item||Temper increase|
|Enchanted Golden Apple||+10|
|Hay Bale||not applicable|