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Rodeo Center Ranch - About Miniature DonkeysRodeo Center Ranch
About Miniature Donkeys

History:

Miniature Donkeys are members of the equine family. They are native to the Mediterranean Islands of Sicily and Sardinia, but have been in this country approximately fifty years. One of the largest original breeders of Miniature Donkeys was August Busch of the Busch beer family. Danby Farms was another large breeder who established the original registry in 1958. Today there are only an estimated 15,000 of these unique, diminutive donkeys in North America. Importation of Miniature Donkeys into the United States, except through Canada, is no longer allowed due to several diseases in Europe that are not in the United States. Therefore, exportation of Miniature Donkeys to countries outside the U.S. is at a premium.

Personality & Discription:

Miniature Donkeys are most known for their loving personalities. They form strong bonds to their owners and other donkeys. They are herd animals and do not like to be alone. Miniature donkeys will surround you in the pasture and beg for attention. It is very rare for a donkey to kick their handler. What most people think of as stubborn is actually a sign of intelligence in donkeys. They stop and analyze a situation rather than reacting in fear. Because of their quiet, laid-back nature, Miniature Donkeys are fantastic pets for the elderly, handicapped, and small children. Donkeys communicate by braying, more commonly known as a hee-haw. However, on the whole, donkeys are very quiet animals. Braying might occur once a day compared to a dog who might bark for long periods of time or sporadically throughout the day.

Uses:

Besides loving pets, donkeys can be used for cart driving, showing at county fairs, national and world shows, packing, and can be rode by small children under 100 pounds. Donkeys can be taken on visits to nursing homes, elementary schools, petting zoos, and farm shows. They make a nice addition to parades and community activities.

Official Registry:

The Miniature Donkey Registry was created in 1958 by Mrs. Bea Langfeld of Omaha, Nebraska and contains the most complete record of Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys in the world and is now run by the American Donkey and Mule Society (ADMS). Miniature Donkey show rules have been strictly established for Miniature Donkeys by the National Miniature Donkey Association (NMDA) which was established in 1989. NMDA sanctions shows, including an annual National show. NMDA started a High Point program in 1999 and also keeps an approved list of Miniature Donkey judges.

Pedigrees

Pedigrees are maintained by all registered donkeys according to color, size, and the farm or ranch where the donkey was born. The name of the farm or ranch where the donkey was born is carried with the donkey and precedes the name of the donkey.

Facts:

Life Span: average 25-35+ years
Weight: 200 - 350 pounds
Height: average 32"-34" at the withers (base of neck), max. 36"
Gestation: 11½-13 months

Color:

Most miniature donkeys are grey-dun with the characteristic "cross". They also come in darker shades of grey, brown, black, sorrel, and spotted. Usually they have light tan markings around their muzzle and eyes, known as "points", however, some have dark points.

Birth:

Single baby, averages 20-30 pounds at birth. Foals are up and nursing within 30 minutes and are weaned at 5-6 months of age.

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, regular worming, and hoof trimming every 2-3 months.

Feeding

Because Miniature Donkeys are native desert grazing animals, they only require a small amount of grain, good quality hay, a mineral salt block, and fresh, clean water. Considering the size of a Miniature Donkey is about ¼ or less of the average size horse, waste is also reduced considerably.

Housing:

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.

 

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Rodeo Center Ranch
Miniature Donkeys & Horse Boarding
1007 Rodeo Center Blvd.
Mesquite, TX 75149
Lonnie & Pamela Craine
972-880-3358
info@rodeocenterranch.com

 

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