There is a saying in the miniature donkey community, “If you have to ask why you have one, then you haven’t met one!”
As I was sitting here drinking my Jacked Up Joe “Kick Ass Blend” this morning, I was thinking about whether or not miniature donkeys would make good pets and honestly what is not to love about the ‘idea’ of owning miniature donks to keep me company?
What's not to love about them: they’re shorter than me, fatter than me (eh, maybe not), and they make a beautiful bray to let you know when they need something (lol). Honestly, they all look like they need a good petting session, so it should be a no-brainer, right?
So let’s find out.
Yes, miniature donkeys make good pets and, in fact, most people that own miniature donkeys prefer them to other pets. Mini donks are affectionate, they can bond with all the members of the fam, and don’t require more upkeep than most other pets.
Many mini donk owners like to boast of their therapeutic natures, much like the Howards of Brayberry Farm,
“Stress relief!…It’s what comes to mind when people ask why we chose to accumulate a small herd of miniature donkeys. Nothing like walking out to a pasture full of love after a long day’s work we tell them.”
They are known for being a laid-back, calm animal and make great comforters to people and other nervous animals.
They are also a playful herd animal. It is good to note that they shouldn’t be without another mini donk, as that could lead to a stressful life full of braying and pacing about. Two mini donks?? Most owners and experts agree that you should buy them as a pair, for your benefit and theirs. Owning two mini donks really isn’t any more difficult or expensive than owning one.
Now that we have talked about just a few of the reasons why they make good pets, you might be wondering things like:
How much space do miniature donkeys need?
What do I feed miniature donkeys?
or if you wanna be like a certain bodybuilder turned actor, turned governor of California, do they make good house pets?
According to the NMDA (National Miniature Donkey Association), they need a fairly open space to be turned out for play, exercise, and grazing. Most owners and experts agree that 0.5 acres per mini donk is probably the bare minimum that you could get by with. It would be optimal for them to have an acre or more per mini donk. It is important to remember that they need room to play and exercise, also room to develop foals if they breed.
Hey, you’ve given them an acre of land to graze, what more could they possibly need? Well the good news is, not that much more. According to minidonkeyuniversity.com, mini donks are healthiest overall when they are on a diet of high-fiber but low-protein grass. They will more than likely need clean, dust-free, high-quality straw/hay especially if your fields don't have high quality grazing grass or it is barren due to overgrazing or winter months. Don’t forget they will also need plenty of clean water! So far, it sounds pretty easy to me, low-risk, high-reward.
If you have taken the time to click on the hyperlink above, you saw that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a pet mini donk and mini horse, Lulu and Whiskey, that live in his house with him some of the time. While this ‘sounds’ awesome, that is probably not an optimal arrangement for most owners. Remember that mini donks are going to poop and pee where you keep them, so best to save yourself the headache and keep them where they are meant to be, outside! In addition to having plenty of room to run and play in a field, your new pet mini donk will also need a shelter for those cold or stormy nights. The shelter should be kept clean and should be draft-free. Easy peasy.
After doing a bit of research, I think it is fairly obvious that miniature donkeys make great pets. They are loving, loyal, calm (while also playful), and easy to care for to boot. If you are on the fence about owning them, just do it!
Another thing I have noticed from doing the research on miniature donkeys is that the mini donkey community is very open to helping/teaching new mini donk owners how to care for your new pets.
For more info on miniature donkeys or if you are in the market for fun miniature donkey merch click here and happy browsing!
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