The Story Behind It All

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The Miniature Mediterranean Donkey is it’s own breed, they are not bred down in size from standard donkeys.  Their ancestors come from the Islands of Sicily and Sardinia near the Mediterranean Sea. The miniature donkey is extremely intelligent, docile, and is easily trained. The first Miniature Donkeys were imported into the United States in 1929 by Mr. Robert Green.  In the early 1950’s, Daniel & Bea Langfeld established the Danby Farm in Omaha, Nebraska. They were the first professional breeders on miniature donkeys in the United States. Bea Langfeld established the original registry-The Miniature Donkey Registry of the United States in 1958. She turned the registry over to the stewardship of the American Donkey and Mule Society in Lewisville, Texas in 1987.


Important Terms

Jennet:  Female Donkey
Jack:  Male Donkey
Herd Sire: An exceptional jack used to sire foals in a breeding program
Gelding: Castrated male (can no longer reproduce)
Foal:  Baby Donkey


Basic “Mini” Facts

  • Miniature Donkeys are truly a life long companion. With proper care and nutrition, their life span is 25 to 35+ years.
  • Miniature Donkeys average between 29″ and 34″ at the withers, with a maximum of 36″.
  • The average adult Miniature Donkey weighs between 200-350 pounds.
  • The most common color for the Miniature Donkey is a slate gray color. Other colors are tans, browns, dark browns, black/brown, black (rare), sorrels, white, and spotted. The majority of donkeys have a cross at the withers that runs down the shoulders and back. Miniature Donkeys usually have a white muzzle and white markings around their eyes know as “points”.  A Miniature Donkey with a black nose and no white eye rings is called a Miniature Donkey with no light points (NLP).  While a variety of color adds interest to the Miniature Donkey breed, breeding for color should never be put before conformation.
  • A Miniature Donkey should have a well balanced look.  This means that no part of the donkey should attract immediate attention, for example, head too small or too large, or the rump of the donkey being much higher than the wither.  If you plan to breed your Miniature Donkeys, you must first verify that your donkeys are breeding quality and you must assure you have carefully selected your breeding pair.  The American Donkey and Mule Society can provide you with complete conformation guidelines.  We are always happy to assist new breeders! A great place to learn more about conformation is at http://www.lovelongears.com/.
  • Our donkeys are registered with The American Donkey and Mule Society (ADMS). Their website is an excellent resource for information, registration requirements, editorials and events relating to all longears. www.lovelongears.com.


“Mini” Use

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Today about 15,000 of these animals live in the USA and importation is no longer allowed. Many people consider Miniature Donkeys to be a good financial investment because the demand is great and these animals are always valuable.

Wild Miniature Donkeys are capable of carrying about 100 pounds of cargo over a long distance.  Miniature Donkeys are often used as pet companions. People who own a Miniature Donkey can say they are the perfect pets: affectionate, soft, cuddly, and trustworthy around children and the handicapped. Mature Donkeys can be easily trained to pull carts or wagons, are able to take part in parades or shows, and may be ridden even by small children. Miniature Donkeys are not aggressive and become attached to the herd mates and their masters. Females of Miniature Donkeys are devoted mothers and protective to other foals in the herd.