Donkeys are very intelligent.
Many people think that donkeys and mules are not very smart. This can't be farther from the truth! They have a very unique ability and memory to take things that they learn and apply them to everyday life. Their memory is incredible; when people say "memory of an elephant," they should be saying "memory of a donkey!" Also, they are VERY fast learners. Their good memory helps give them a quick adaptability and they pick tricks and new skills up very efficiently!
Miniature donkeys are not bred-down; God made them this size!
Miniature donkeys were originally from the Mediterranean area of Sicily and Sardinia. They lived in the desert areas. Miniature donkeys are truly miniature!
When donkeys are babies...
They are called foals. They are technically referred to as foals until they are weaned, and weanlings once they are being weaned.
Donkeys are stubborn, but not for the reason you'd think.
Most donkeys are "stubborn" in that they have to trust their handler very well to follow their instructions. Also, there has to be something in it for them! If you ask them to do something that doesn't make sense to them, or seems "stupid" in their eyes, they are likely not going to do it unless you give them a good reason.
Gender terms for donkeys:
Uncastrated male donkeys are referred to as "jacks" and female donkeys are referred to as "jennies." Castrated males are referred to as "geldings."
Donkeys live anywhere around 35-40 years, sometimes longer.
Donkeys weigh anywhere from 225 to over a thousand pounds. Our miniature donkeys are about 300 pounds.
Almost all donkeys have a cross on their back; they have a dorsal stripe running down from the poll (between the ears) to the tip of their tail. The "cross" is a perpendicular line through the dorsal stripe across the withers and down over the shoulders. Both Spirit and Carrie have a "cross." The "Jerusalem Donkey" term comes from a legend that the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem was cast a shadow of the cross that Jesus was crucified on over his back when he stood by Jesus as He died.
Colors of donkeys.
Donkeys can come in many different colors: black, brown, red, gray, or paint. They have either a white or black muzzle, belly, and shading around the eyes. The white here is called "Light Points" and the dark here is called "No Light Points," as it's an absence of color.
Difference between donkeys and burros.
There really is none! Burros are sometimes known as "wild
donkeys" but truly, they are the same thing.
Donkeys need a friend.
Especially miniature donkeys--they can get clinically depressed if they don't have a buddy. This can be anything from another miniature donkey to a miniature or regular-sized horse or even a goat.
Donkeys will eat anything.
Unfortunately, they are a lot like goats in that they will truly eat just about anything. We have to watch what our girls eat because they are very curious and put just about anything inside thier mouths!
Donkeys are resilient!
Donkeys are desert animals, so they are naturally very healthy. Also, they don't need much nutrition, and can "get fat on air." You have to be careful how much you feed them, as the main health problem we donkey handlers usually worry about is laminitis or foundering. (This happens when donkeys eat too much rich grass or grain. When equines eat, the food ferments in their stomachs. The richer the food, the more heat is produced. Some of this heat travels down to the hooves and causes immense pressure, which makes the main bone--the coffin bone--rotate and can penetrate the bottom of the hoof, making the donkey lame. The same goes for horses and mules.
Donkeys are sweet!
Donkeys are very sweet when you have their trust. They really open up and offer you their life and heart when they trust you. They are very affectionate and love attention!
Donkeys come in three different size varieties.
There are miniatures, which are 36 inches tall or shorter; there are Standards, which range from 37 inches to 48 inches; and Mammoth donkeys, which are 49 inches and taller.