How to Care for Miniature Donkeys

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Miniature donkeys are natives to the Mediterranean Islands and are sometimes referred to as mediterranean donkeys. The miniature donkey male is called a Jack while the female is called a Jennet. They weigh between 250 to 450 pounds and are at least 32-inches in height. Miniature donkeys must not be raised alone. They must have companions, making it necessary to have more than one miniature donkey. They could live up to 47 years old, but most live to their early 40's.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood shavings or straw
  • Hay
  • Stalls
  • Farrier
  • Hoof pick
  • Deworm Rx
  • Develop a shelter for the miniature donkeys. The shelter should have at least three sides to it making sure that the miniature donkey is in a clean, dry, and safe shelter.

  • Make stalls inside the shelter. The stall is where the miniature donkey sleeps and stays in during the night. Make a bedding of straw or wood shavings. This will keep the miniature donkey dry and warm.

  • Keep fresh food and water available for the miniature donkey at all times. Miniature donkeys eat grass and hay. One barrell of hay has several precut blocks. Feed one block to each miniature donkey per day. Check on the water every couple of hours to make sure that it is clean of insects and algae and make sure to have water in various places out of direct sunlight. The heat from the sun could cause algae to grow in the water and if the water is not clean the miniature donkey will not drink it causing them to dehydrate.

  • Allow the miniature donkey free access to the pasture. This will allow the miniature donkey to get enough exercise throughout the day. If the miniature donkey remains in the stall then they could gain weight which is hard for the animal to lose.

  • Worm the miniature donkey. This will need to be done every 8 weeks with a dewormer Rx bought at most feed stores. To help prevent the miniature donkey from getting worms and other parasites, remove manure from their stalls and throughout the pasture. For foals you can worm them once a month when they are 8 weeks old until they are 6 months old and then change to worming them every two months.

  • Give annual vaccines to the miniature donkey. Have the veterinarian come out to your pasture and give their shots once a year including tetanus, rhinopneumonities, and influenza.

  • Hire a farrier to take care of the miniature donkey's feet. A farrier specializes in hoof care which will require a check up every two months. The farrier will trim and file the miniature donkey's hoofs as needed and check for cracks. The hoofs should be cleaned daily of mud with a hoof pick and checked for bacteria such as thrush. If the hoof accumulates enough dirt then thrush (a bacterial infection in the foot) could develop causing black discharge and pain for the animal.

Tips & Warnings

  • The female miniature donkey carries a foal between 11 to 13 months. The foal should be weaned by 6 months.
  • Do not keep a miniature donkey by itself since they live best among other miniature donkeys. They are very social animals.

References

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