May 10, 2022

Things no one tells you about buying/owning a miniature donkey.

Spring fever is defined by Wikipedia (a great source of accurate info… lol) as: “any of a number of mood, physical, or behavioral changes, which may be experienced coinciding with the arrival of spring, particularly restlessness, laziness, and even amorousness.”

Sure sure, you are finally able to get out of the house more and you are able to do more things around the farm because the weather is finally letting you. 

Is it just me or have the past few Winters made you really yearn for Spring? Spring fever is hitting me hard this year.

I am stoked for Spring weather, longer days, and just being in the pasture more. Yesss! (Of course as I am writing this, it happens to be one of those chilly “Spring” days, you know, the ones that slip in every now and again until Summer gets here.)

And kinda like how those days just kind of surprisingly slip in there, it got me thinking about how when you add miniature donkeys to the family, some unknowns about owning/buying them might slip in there as well.



It is tough to learn everything there is to know about owning miniature donkeys online (or without actually owning them), so it is good to have reliable resources around to help navigate through some things that might come up from time to time that have you perplexed.

In past blogs we have written about a lot of things that are super useful to know about and great information to have at the ready. This go around we will talk about some off the radar topics that you might not know that you don’t know… ya know (lol)?

First off...

Some basic terms and terminology that will be useful to read up on.

and then...

Some handy tips to know about before buying and bringing home your new miniature donkey.

Good terminology reduces ambiguity and increases clarity, which makes it an important factor in quality. Having a clear understanding of relevant equine language will help tremendously in your quest to become familiar with your miniature donkey's world.

For an all-encompassing list check out The Brayer (May/June 2020), but for the purpose of easing you into it, we will only ‘tack’le some essentials for our list:

  • Action - The way your miniature donkey raises its legs, knees, and feet. Saddlebred horses usually have high action, but donkeys rarely do. Could you imagine it though? Your miniature donkey floating around the pasture with high action… awesome lol. I would buy a ticket to that show.
  • Aging - Estimating an equine’s age by examining the teeth. 
  • Bit - A metal or sometimes hard rubber bar placed in the mouth on a bridal, attached to reins that help guide and direct your equine. Especially relevant for driving/showing your more svelte miniature donkeys. 
  • Bray - The oh-so-familiar song of their people. Hee-Haw… lol.
  • Conformation - Refers to the shape and proportion of your miniature donkeys body.
  • Dam - Cuss word often said when dealing with your miniature donkey… jk. The mother of your miniature donkey.
  • Farrier - The person who knows way more than you about hoof care for your miniature donkey… get one!
  • Foal - Your less than one year old miniature donkey.
  • Founder - A severe hoof-related illness caused by inflammation of the laminae (the most severe form of laminitis). Ultra painful and could kill your miniature donkey.
  • Gelding - Your castrated male miniature donkey. 
  • Halter - A device placed on your miniature donkey’s head for the primary purpose of leading/tying them. A must-have. *ahem* makes the highest quality and most comfortable halters on the market. These are a life-saving necessity. You will need several *ahem*.
  • Jack - Your uncastrated male miniature donkey.
  • Jennet - Your female miniature donkey, aka Jenny.
  • Laminitis - Inflammation of the laminae (the part of the miniature donkey that holds the hoof to the foot). Treatable if caught early. Can turn into founder. 
  • Lead - A rope attached to the halter so you can guide your miniature donkey. *ahem* *ahem*.
  • Near Side - Left side of your miniature donkey.
  • Off Side - Right side of your moisture donkey.
  • Pedigree - the lineage of your miniature donkey. Important if you breed/show.
  • Sire - The father of your miniature donkey.
  • Tack - All the equipment your miniature donkey will wear.
  • Unshod - No shoes on the hoof. Should be most miniature donkeys.

Often we hear stories and quips about issues that new owners might experience when they go to purchase their first, or first several, miniature donkeys.

Let's face it, if you don’t know what you are looking for, then you can get scammed and even hurt (financially and physically).

We want you to get a pasture pal that makes your soul light up when you are around them, so if we can help guide you in any way, we will.

Firstly, be aware when you are buying your miniature donkeys, however that you choose to go about it. It could be through private sale, auction, or from a breeder.

When buying, whatever the way, best advice... bring a knowledgeable friend.

If you can’t, try and observe the miniature donkey for as long as possible. Request to see any and ALL medical records, to include lineage. Check for visual cues, conformation (see above) and see if it is skittish/shy/halter and lead trained. Always get a written sales receipt too.

Another must after you get your new best friend, QUARANTINE. You need to keep your new miniature donkey separate from your herd for 10-14 days to ensure you do not expose others in your herd to something that could wipe them out. 

Our goal really is to help anyone searching for good, accurate miniature donkey information. This information provided is in no way complete or all-encompassing, but just some things that we feel every miniature donkey owner should know about.

For more info on miniature donkeys or if you are in the market for fun miniature donkey merch and the best miniature donkey tack, click here and happy browsing!


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