did Miniature Donkeys come from?
donkeys are native to the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
However, there are not many left in that area, and import restrictions
have been applied. Here in North America, there are over 20,000 registered
miniature donkeys and an unknown number of unregistered ones. The original
miniature donkey is a true breed of it's native land. The heritage of
many of todays miniature donkeys can be traced back to the original
Mediterranean stock, which measured 38" and under.
of colors should Miniature Donkeys be?
common color for the miniature donkey is a grey dun with a black "cross"
running over their shoulder and down their back. Their underbelly and
noses are usually white, although dark noses and points do occur. Donkeys
do come in other colours such as spotted, brown, black, sorrel. The
brown, black and red, however, are very uncommon colours and highly
prized in breeding programs.
do Miniature Donkeys get?
to register your miniature donkey with the Canadian Donkey and Mule
Association, the donkey must be under 36" or less at the shoulder
at four years of age. The average height for them is 34", and the
smaller they are the more valuable they become. It is important to check
the specifications for registration with the different registration
organizations, as there are some variations on height restrictions.
do Miniature Donkeys get?
donkeys have very long life-spans living to 25-30 years of age with
proper care and feeding.
I feed a Miniature Donkey?
are very hardy animals and require very little special feeding. During
the summer months a donkeys nutritional requirements can be met on a
pasture. Donkeys can graze on coarser pastures than horses, and lush
pasture is not recommended as donkeys have low energy requirements and
can be prone to obesity and foundering. Allow 1/2 to 1 acre of pasture
per donkey and if space permits vary the pasture from time to time to
allow the eaten down pasture a chance to regenerate. If the summer is
particularly dry, and pasture grass is scarce, you will have to supplement
with good quality hay. One to two extra flakes per day should be enough,
but it will depend on how much grass is left to graze on. In the winter
months high quality hay should be fed. One to two flakes per animal
twice daily should be enough, but you should be flexible. If your donkey
seems to be eating all that up and still looking for more you may want
to increase the rations that you give. Hay rich in alfalfa or clover
is not recommended for donkeys having regular nutritional requirements.
Timothy, meadow grass, brome grass, or mixed legume-grass hays are recommended.
Hay composed of 50% timothy and 50% alfalfa is best for weanlings, pregnant
or nursing donkeys. As with other equines you must make sure that your
hay is free from mildew & dust as it is toxic to the donkeys digestive
are not often needed by donkeys, although weanlings, pregnant, or nursing
jennets, and working donkeys (driving, packing or predator control)
benefit from the extra energy grain provides. Weanlings especially benefit
from the energy grain supplies to supplant the energy they received
from their mothers milk.
supplements for protein, vitamins and minerals are recommended to keep
up good nutritional health. Do not use supplements designed for cattle,
pigs or poultry as they can be potentially toxic. You may also check
your area for your specific mineral requirements, for example, a selenium
deficient area that may lead to reproduction problems, and white muscle
disease in foals.
of their long, shaggy winter coats, it is tough to tell if your donkey
is getting enough to eat. Make sure to feel through the hair often to
check your donkey's body condition.
most other animals, donkeys love treats. Breads, carrots, and fresh
fruit are all favourites. Just be sure to feed them only as treats and
not a substitute for hay or grain.
land does a Miniature Donkey need?
purposes a single miniature donkey needs 1/2 to 1 acre of pasture. Donkeys
are very adaptable to their environment, however and will adjust to
either more or less space. The only consideration that needs to be taken
is in regards to feed. if there isn't enough pasture for grazing you
will have to supplement their feed.
animals do Miniature Donkeys get along with?
donkeys get along with goats, sheep, horses, cats, dogs, llamas...all
it takes is common sense. For example the miniature donkey makes a superior
guard animal for sheep goats, and llamas, herding them and protecting
them from predators. While they can go in the same pasture or pen with
those animals, it is not wise to put them in with larger animals such
as horses and cattle, as they may injure your donkey. It is best to
let them be in adjacent pastures. As well, although miniature donkeys
do not like canine predators, they will adapt to a dog that is yours,
but if another dog were to come onto the property your donkey would
defend it's territory.
a Miniature Donkey's personality like?
donkeys are one of the most affectionate and friendly animals of their
kind. They are tame, gentle, loyal, playful, and affectionate. They
are very social animals who like to give and receive a great deal of
attention. They are very easy to train, learning quickly and wanting
to please their owner. If you want a friend for life, a miniature donkey
is a wonderful choice.
Donkeys be house pets?
donkeys cannot be house pets. They are livestock and as such require
a barn or three sided shelter to give them protection from the elements.
While they might like to come and visit you on your front steps, they
cannot (to our knowledge) be housetrained so you would set yourself
up for some very large messes!
Circle C Jennets are
rounded up in the corral to be wormed.
of health care do Miniature Donkeys require?
four aspects to your donkeys health: grooming, hoof care, deworming
can be groomed like their equine counterparts. Brush them with a stiff
brush, going with the direction that the hair grows. Be gentle around
their face and ears. To get rid of the shaggy winter coats, you can
purchase a shedding blade, or a kitchen block, much like pumice, that
is used to clean out wooden stoves. By rubbing it gently on your donkey,
it sheds out the old, shaggy hair, leaving a shiny coat in its place.
You can buy these stones at any store specializing in wooden stoves.
For show they can be clipped to give a nice clean look. Just remember
to have a blanket for them if the weather turns inclement. Most tack
shops will be happy to custom make blankets to fit your miniature donkey.
summer, however, there is not much need for brushing and grooming as
the donkeys prefer to take dust baths. This is their natural method
hooves are very elastic and do not wear down like those of other equines.
If they are left to grow out, they grow quite long and can lead to permanent
damage. Ideally hooves should be trimmed every six to eight weeks depending,
of course, on how rapidly your donkeys hooves grow.
is another important aspect of your donkeys health. You may use any
one of the equine wormers on the market. When in doubt, check with your
veterinarian. Worming should be done 3 to six times a year. If internal
parasites are not removed by regular deworming, your donkey may suffer
internal tissue damage which may considerably shorten their life span.
A good idea when worming is to vary your type of worming medicine each
time you worm. For example use Eqvalan brand the first worming of the
year and Panacure brand the next time and so on.
are the last, important step. Your donkey should be given an annual
injection of a three-way equine vaccine and a rhino/influenza vaccine
each spring. Do remember, when you are doing an inital vaccination on
a foal, the first set of shots must be followed by a second set of shots
three to four weeks following. This important, one time only step, should
not be overlooked. The three way provides immunity against eastern and
western equine encephalitis, and tetanus. The rhino/influenza vaccine
provides immunity against equine rhinopneumonitis and equine influenza.
All these are potentially fatal diseases. Also, pregnant jennets should
be immunized with Pneumabort-K, K, a vaccine that protects the pregnant
jennet from Equine Rhinopneumonitis which can cause spontaneous abortions.
starting any vaccination program, contact your local veterinarian to
see if there are any special immunization needs in your area.
Jennets getting 4x
and Rhino shots
the difference between a good Miniature donkey and a bad one...?
many factors that contribute to being able to tell a good donkey from
a bad donkey. Overall conformation, which is how well the donkey's body
is put together, is one of the most important factors. (Check out the
Donkey Conformation Form
to see what factors are included in grading a donkey.
Newsletter section of this website, we will be featuring all the aspects
of conformation for the next several months. It will be an intensive
guide, based on the Canadian Donkey & Mule Handbook guide-lines
for grading donkeys.) As well as conformation, important factors are
attitude, color, pheno type (ie. whether the donkey is attractive or
not), and genotype. Again all of these terms will be discussed in greater
detail in the newsletter. In any breeding program, culling is an important
step to making sure the breed has good quality animals. Culling means
getting rid of breeding stock that is not up to standard. This means
castrating jacks that do not have superior conformation and that special
spark of "presence". Breeding quality jennets should also
have excellent conformation and the ability to pass it on to their foals.
the difference between the following Miniature Donkey terms: Jack, Jennet,
Foal, Weanling & Gelding?
is a male donkey that has not been castrated. When he is mature enough
he may be used for breeding.
or jenny as some people say, is a female donkey. When she is three years
of age, she can be bred to a breeding quality jack.
is a young donkey from birth to the time that they are weaned from their
is a young donkey who has been separated, or weaned, from its mother
usually at a year old.
is a male donkey that has been castrated so that it cannot reproduce.
due to their origins on the steep, rough mountains of their native land,
are keen on self preservation and are very cautious. They do not get
themselves into the trouble that a horse would. A horses instinct is
flight, whereas the donkeys is to look the situation over and determine
the best approach. Their ability to stop and assess a situation is what
has earned them their reputation for being stubborn. You could call
it being "on donkey time".
a central "Miniature Donkey Organization" per se'?
America there are three different registries. In Canada, the miniature
donkeys are regulated and registered by the Canadian Donkey and Mule
Association. It is the governing body over the miniature donkeys which
sets the registration requirements and keeps permanent records on all
miniature donkeys that are registered (as well as the standard, and
mammoth donkeys and the mules). This organization is regulated by the
Canadian Animal Pedigree Act.
United States there are two Registries. The first is the American Donkey
and Mule Society. They operate on the same basis as the Canadian Donkey
and Mule Association . The second is the International Miniature Donkey
Registry. It varies from the other two registries as it only registers
miniature donkeys, and they are allowed to be 38" in height and
also registries and various organizations around the world that register,
and promote the miniature donkey industry.
a Miniature Donkey do?
donkeys make excellent predator control for sheep, goats and llamas.
They are sold as investment livestock. They are easily trained to carry
a pack saddle, or pull a cart. You can show them or take them to fairs.
They are an excellent animal to use for therapy in nursing homes or
with handicapped people because of their gentle temperament. They make
an excellent reason for a school class trip to your farm. They are also
good therapy for your soul. Many times when we may be feeling blue or
discouraged, we go out with the donkeys and those long ears, big, soulful
eyes and gentle personalities melt your heart and make all right with
the world again.
Check out some pictures of Donkeys
Circle C geldings have
been very successful at guarding sheep.
They take this job seriously and will tackle any intruder.
who meets a miniature donkey wants one of their own! Donkey owners come
from all walks of life and include doctors, lawyers, executives, housewives,
children, farmers, retired people, and investors to name just a few. Because
donkeys are easy to care for, they make an ideal animal for anyone to