How Do I Do That?
They're So Cute
We believe Miniature Donkeys were bred to be, and should remain, athletic and capable animals. In our breeding program we select for donkeys with the big stride, grace, and balance that are desirable in a top performance animal. ...continue
The friendliest and most affectionate of its type...
The Miniature Donkey is by nature one of the friendliest and most affectionate animals of its type. They are very tame and gentle. They are also easier to manage in everyday life than some donkeys simply because they are smaller. They love their owners and seek attention. They do this with friendly nudges and brays and funny little sounds designed to get you to pay attention to them. The miniature donkey is extremely intelligent and docile and is easily trained. Geldings or jennets make the best pets. Jacks enjoy braying and may become excited in the presence of the females.
The size of these donkeys varies from 26 inches, which is considered extraordinarily small, to 36 inches at the withers. An average height would be about 33-34 inches. In general the smaller the donkey the more valuable it is accounted to be. Other things that make a donkey valuable are good body and leg conformation and one of the more unusual colors such as spotted, white, sorrel, "chocolate" (dark brown) or black. Gray-dun, the various shades of gray with the dorsal stripe and cross is the most common color of these donkeys.
Conformation of the animals is supposed to be that of a small, compact, well rounded animal standing on four straight strong legs with all parts in symmetry and balance. The average donkey will weigh from 250 to 450 pounds with most animals being in the lower weight ranges. The hair ranges from flat to curly to long and shaggy and in texture from smooth to wiry. The hair coat is shed out much later in the summer than that of the horse and serves to protect the donkey from the weather and the flies. Almost all of these donkeys will have a "cross". The cross is a dorsal stripe of darker hair down the length of the back crossed by a shoulder stripe across the top of the body at the withers and showing down the shoulders. Most of the donkeys will have darker markings on the ears, the tip of the tail and around the feet. Some have "Garters" or stripes ringing the legs as well. A few of the donkeys have "collar button" markings, which are dots of black hair on the neck just below the place where the head joins the neck. The registry calls a donkey the color of the body and assumes a lighter colored nose, belly and inside of the legs. If the animal has a dark nose and/or belly that is noted on the registration certificate. A dark nose is called "dark muzzle" and if no parts of the body show the light "points" the donkey is said to have "no light points". The dark points are found in all donkeys but are not too common, the light points being the norm.
Life expectancy for well cared for miniature donkeys is around 30-35 years so they are truly a lifetime pet.
Reference: The American Donkey and Mule Society Inc., PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067 (972) 219-0781
A Few Safety Tips to Remember:
- Make arrangements to have a veterinarian you can call on whenever needed — ask if they can provide emergency care. Invite them over soon after you bring your Miniature Donkeys home . . . this way the vet will see how your Donkeys look and act when they are feeling well and the visit will also allow the vet to learn how to get to your farm quickly if needed. There really is nothing like a good preliminary visit with your veterinarian — whether on your farm or in his office — to put your mind at ease about the healthy future of your Miniature Donkeys.
- Never leave a halter on your Donkeys due to the danger of hanging.
- Check your pasture for any toxic plants (your Cooperative Extension Service is a great source for identifying these troublemakers).
- Start working with your Donkeys on basic halter training.
- Learn how to take your Donkey's temperature.
- Be aware of any changes in your animal's behavior, eating, drinking or manure. There are many good references that can help you learn more about your Donkey.
The American Donkey and Mule Society (ADMS) have some wonderful resources in their Book Service at www.lovelongears.com. It's true there are responsibilities in caring for Miniature Donkeys, but you will find them to be wonderful companions and great family members. May you have many years in the delightful company of these magical critters.
Reference: The National Miniature Donkey Association, 6450 Dewey Rd., Rome, NY 13440 Ph. (315) 336-0154
Not Appropriate Guard Donkey
A Miniature Donkey will not make an appropriate "guard donkey". It is generally believed that since donkeys are not particularly fond of dogs, that they are naturally good guard animals for sheep & goat herds. The truth is that a Miniature Donkey is no match for more than one dog at a time and sadly there have been too many reports of Miniature Donkeys being mauled and killed by neighborhood dogs. Standard size donkeys may be able to fill the role as a guardian donkey, but not Miniature Donkeys. Therefore your fencings should be safe for the donkeys, which means keeping predators out — either woven wire (field fencing) or high tensile fencing with "hot" wires as a deterrent.
The mini’s lack of height, weight and bone mass puts them BELOW any
aggressive dog. It is the exception that a mini will take on a dog of 60
lbs. or more. Mini’s can be effective with controlling, deflecting and even
killing small prey. On that list armadillos, rabbits, raccoons, beagles,
poodles, spaniels and other non-aggressive dog.
When two or more of aggressive canines team up, they instinctively work together for the meal ticket. Once it begins, the canines continue to become more excited and fixed on the kill. Hence the violence, slow cruelty of picking apart, and totally mauling the victim.”
The Miniature Donkey is Just Too Small!