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Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys

The Miniature Mediterranean Donkey Association explain that they “are a separate breed of donkey originating from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Now almost extinct in their native land, these diminutive little animals are a popular pet in the USA, especially in the southern states. Approximately 700 have been imported into the UK from North America and are fast becoming very popular here in Great Britain. The most common colour is grey dun with chocolate highlights. Other colours include brown, black, slate grey, sorrel, spotted, piebald, skewbald and cream.”

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Why do we have Miniature Donkeys at Woolly Mammals?

Always on the lookout to support a breed that is low in numbers and too precious to be that way, Miniature Donkeys captured our attention.

Joining the Dynasty herd (or pace actually is the correct term for a group of donkeys) is Swanthorpe Eliza Doolittle bred by the fabulous Elizabeth Miller of Millers Ark. She took some convincing to part with her beloved Lizzy and we are so grateful she did. Lizzy produced a lovely female foal Tutti Frutti two years ago and has just produced a stunning new one.

We were immediately hooked so we flew over from Nashville Tennessee the amazing Queenie (Queen Bee), Jiggy and Sunny (The Sundance Kid). Two years ago Jiggy and Sunny produced the wonderful Jolene and we are now hoping Jiggy might just be in foal again for a 2022 arrival. They all came from the amazing Half Ass Acres and Carla is very excited to be hopefully visiting them in May 2022.

Quite often we get asked what the purpose of these amazing animals is and do I work them on the farm. To which we reply “our donkeys do not work”. Keeping them fit and stimulated however is important and there are many things that can be done with them to achieve this, whilst giving you pleasure and challenges at the same time.

Uses For Miniature Donkeys

Miniature donkeys actually have MANY uses. Perhaps best known for making LOVELY PETS because of their small size and kind and gentle personality. Most are safe around children, the elderly, and those who have a learning difficulty or disability or anyone with mental health challenges, often provided a therapeutic energy that helps those who are a vulnerable in some way.

Miniature donkeys are the perfect solution for anyone who loves equines but are intimidated by larger sized animals …. or for those that might not have the space, health or means to have a larger animal. They are very economical and easy to take care of. Their soft fuzzy noses, long ears, and loveable personalities along with being entertaining little characters, make them great pets for people of all ages. As pets, they should always be either jennies or gelded jacks, not intact males.

COMPANION ANIMALS – Since miniature donkeys have such mellow personalities … jennies or gelded jacks often make good companion animals for horses or other livestock. They can often help keep a more nervous animal calmed down. Donkeys usually become very attached to their herd mates… so it’s important they always have donkeys or other animals to be with.

DRIVING – Easily trained to pull a cart, miniature donkeys are great for driving. Even though mini donkeys are very strong for their size, and have excellent endurance, it’s best to use larger sized minis for driving purposes.

RIDING – Miniature donkeys are able to be ridden by small children… depending on the donkey’s individual size (32+ inches tall is best for riding). Many larger miniature donkeys can carry up to 25kg (including the saddle’s weight) – less weight for longer rides, more weight may be okay for short amounts of time. Micro-mini donkeys should not be used for riding but are okay to have babies sit on adult donkeys for a quick photo.

TRICKS & TRAIL OBSTACLES – Miniature and micro mini donkeys are very smart and can be trained to do fun things like tricks and trail agility type obstacles … limited only by your ideas and the capabilities of the individual donkey. Of course, some donkeys are more adept at doing certain things, like sitting or laying down on command, while others naturally enjoy doing things like jumping, picking up objects with their mouth, or holding things in their teeth. Some like playing with a ball (which can lead to ‘playing soccer’).

SHOWING – For those that enjoy the show ring atmosphere, or the thrill of competition and want to achieve rosettes for their donkeys, there are plenty of shows in the UK. Click here to find out more about these shows.

THERAPEUTIC – Miniature and micro mini donkeys are also very therapeutic… not only for those with a physical limitation and those in nursing homes, but for everyone. Their sweet, loving, gentle dispositions are a joy to be around. If you’re having a rough day, just walk out to a pen or pasture with miniature donkeys, and you’re immediately surrounded by friendly faces all looking for a little love and attention.

GUARD ANIMALS – Most donkeys have a natural dislike of canines, and many are used as guard animals for sheep and other livestock. However, it is NOT recommended that MINIATURE donkeys be used as guard animals. They simply are not big enough to be able to defend themselves or others against foxes and other predator animals, especially those that tend to hunt in packs. As a rule, the bigger the size of the donkey, the more intimidating to the predator, so the better chance they have to scare off predators versus being attacked by them.

Whatever reason you may be wanting or needing a miniature or micro mini donkey for, there are donkeys out there just waiting to fulfil that purpose. Donkeys can quickly become an important part of your family.