Scientific name: Equus asinus
Other common names: Sicilian Donkey; Miniature Mediterranean Donkey; Sicilian Miniature Donkey; AMMD;American Miniature Mediterranean Donkey
According to the National Miniature Donkey Association (NMDA), "Miniature donkeys originated in the Mediterranean area of Northern Africa in ancient times and more recently from the Islands of Sicily and Sardinia off the west coast of Italy. Over time the distinctions between the two island populations blurred and they are now considered one breed properly called Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys. They are simply referred to as Miniature Donkeys in North America."
Please see the separate pages for the:
Appearance / health:
The miniature Sicilian donkey is about 35 inches tall. They vary in body coloration, from black to gray, brown, white, or spotted, but the common characteristics occur in most animals, such as dark markings on the ears and throat, and white markings around the eyes, on the muzzle, on the belly and inner legs. The ears are large and long. The back is straight.
According to the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University, "The hair ranges from flat to curly to long and shaggy and in texture from smooth to wiry. The hair coat is shed out much later in the summer than that of the horse and serves to protect the donkey from the weather and the flies. Almost all of these donkeys will have a "cross". The cross is a dorsal stripe of darker hair down the length of the back crossed by a shoulder stripe across the top of the body at the withers and showing down the shoulders. Most of the donkeys will have darker markings on the ears, the tip of the tail and around the feet. Some have "Garters" or stripes ringing the legs as well. A few of the donkeys have "collar button" markings, which are dots of black hair on the neck just below the place where the head joins the neck."
A donkey’s health is dependent on its habitat and nutrition. They are typically hardy and resilient but can suffer from health problems if overfed. Vaccinations, de-worming medications, and hoof care are essential in keeping the donkey clean and healthy. The care and monitoring of a veterinarian is recommended.
Behavior / temperament:
Donkeys have become popular as pets and companion animals, even as guard animals because of their high intelligence. They became notorious for being stubborn, although this stubbornness is said to be the result of their strong sense of self-preservation –- no one can force them to do something they perceive as a threat to their survival, especially going into water.
Sicilian Miniatures are known for their sweet, calm, and affectionate disposition. They are good-natured but will kick and bite when threatened. They emit a loud and persistent call referred to as a bray.
Housing / diet:
Donkeys are grazing animals and require pasture for food and fresh air. The recommended pasture area is an acre per donkey per month. Mammoth Jacks require slightly larger areas. A barn or similar enclosure must be available to shelter them from harsh climates. Donkeys do not like rain and snow because they easily chill and become susceptible to disease.
Donkeys are native to sparse deserts, therefore they require vegetation that is low in protein and high in fiber such as Timothy Hay or Bermuda Hay. A salt block should always be available for mineral supplements. Clean fresh water should also be available at all times. Treats like bite-size carrots can be offered sparingly. Donkeys enjoy eating and if allowed to self-feed will become obese and susceptible to various health risks.
affectionate, perfect rural pet, personalities, livestock guard animal, hardy animals, amusing
brays, intact males, hooves
short haired minis, longhaired coats, microchipped, low protein hay, parades, longer winter coat
A Small Pain in the A**
I think the word to best describe this donkey would be "feisty". He lives with a horse and a pony, both larger than him. You would think that their size would deter him from picking on them, but that's not exactly true. When he was younger, he used to go under the pony and stand up so that the pony was lifted off the ground. The pony was not amused. They used to play tug of war with big sticks laying around, too. While they don't always get along, they do tend to live together pretty well. When there's corn, the donkey will actually eat the corn OFF the cob. The horse and pony tend to take big bites of the cob and devour the whole thing, but he'll use his teeth to peel the kernels off. Donkeys are very noisy, or at least this one is. His bray is not exactly a hee-haw, and it's not exactly pretty. He is most definitely spoiled, and will sometimes bray when cars pull up just because he wants attention. He also tends to bray in the morning when he wants breakfast. Donkey has been bred with another miniature donkey, and it's interesting because both the molly and the babies have their own bray. He doesn't really have much of a purpose, per se, but he is an excellent pet. Very sweet (to humans at least!) and relatively easy to care for if you have the space and the tolerance for noise! .
From Lily Nussbaum Dec 30 2016 7:36PM
Miniature Jacks and Jennies
Miniature Donkey's are incredibly intelligent animals. They are easily trained and have a very friendly demeanor. They love to play and cuddle and will form a bond with you like no other farm animal.
Extreme temperatures don't bother them as long as they are provided with the proper care and shelter.
Miniatures are good eaters and are eager to please. They can be trained to pull a cart and that has entertained our family over the years. They are great for shows and have been used as therapeutic pets as well.
I have no complaint whatsoever about them. They are the perfect farm animal.
They should eat hay especially in the winter. They also need to be provided with clean water. We also feed them crimped oats and supplements when needed. See a quality vet to ensure you're feeding the donkeys properly. They require a good clean diet that includes hay, crimped oats, supplements, minerals, and water.
Miniatures also need vaccinations and should be wormed a several times a year.
The maintenance isn't much when it equates to the fact that you want healthy donkeys that can be a part of your family for years..
From AvaWrites Jun 9 2014 9:06AM
Not a great pet
We purchased them as a pair with the hopes of them being friendly pasture ornaments. They were very friendly for the first 3 months we had them but slowly became less social and a lot more skittish. They had their moments of approachability but would always try to run away when you got close to them. Other than that they are easy to maintain and feed provided you can get ahold of them when it's time for shots or the farrier. I can't really recommend this animal based on my experiences alone..
From DennisNJ May 20 2015 10:11PM