MINIATURE DONKEY INFORMATION
Miniature Donkeys Origins
Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys originated in the Mediterranean area of Northern Africa in ancient times and more recently from the islands of Sicily and Sardinia off the west coast of Italy. Over time the distinctions between the two island populations blurred and they are now considered one breed properly called Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys. They are simply referred to as Miniature Donkeys in North America.
Care & Management
Miniature Donkeys require good quality hay, a mineral salt block, and fresh, clean water at all times.
Access to pasture for grazing and exercise is preferable and should be a consideration when thinking about purchasing a miniature donkey.. They should always have shelter from rain, snow, wind, hot sun, and flies! It should be dry and draft-free. Fencing need only be four feet high, woven wire is considered a safe and popular choice. Donkeys can withstand cold temperatures as long as they have shelter and are fed properly.
Miniature donkeys are “herd” animals. To avoid undue stress and loneliness, it is strongly recommended they not be kept singly but with another Miniature Donkey or other animal as a life-long friend.
Life Span: 25 – 35+ years
Weight: 200 – 350 pounds at maturity
Height: Average 32″ – 34″ at the withers, maximum 36″
Gestation: 11-1/2 – 13 months
Birth: Usually a single foal, averaging 20-30 pounds at birth. Foals are up and nursing within 30 minutes and are weaned between 5-6 months of age. Twins are rare in miniature donkeys.
Reproduction: Male donkeys are referred to as “jacks,” female donkeys are “jennets,” and baby donkeys are called “foals”.
Jennets should not be bred until they are physically mature at approximately 3 years of age. They have heat cycles every 18-21 days throughout most of the year.
Health: Miniature Donkeys are remarkably hardy and healthy. They do require preventative vaccinations, should be wormed regularly, and have their hooves trimmed every 2-3 months.
Color: Miniature Donkeys come in many colors. The most common color is grey-dun with the characteristic “cross.” They can also be brown, black, sorrel, white and spotted. Usually they have light tan markings around their muzzle and eyes, known as “points”.
This information courtesy of NMDA website.