Are you considering adopting a mini-donkey? Perhaps you know of a rescued one that needs a retirement home. Mini-donkeys are very fun and adorable pets. They’re of course similar to horses, but there are some marked differences between them and their larger equine buddies. A local Wichita, KS vet lists some fun facts about mini-donkeys in this article.

What’s In A Name?

The name donkey is quite fitting! The word is derived from ‘dun,’ which means grey-brown, and ‘ky’ which means small.

Mares Eat Oats …

You may know that female horses are mares and males are stallions. Donkeys have their own terms. Males are called jacks, and females are jennets.

An Old Friend

Donkeys are definitely not new. They seem to have first been domesticated about 6,000 years ago. They’ve traditionally been prized for their hardiness and endurance.

An Ear For Detail

Donkeys have extremely acute hearing. Their ears can actually move independently of each other’s, which can be helpful for them in pinpointing specific sounds. Those long ears also help cool them off.


Donkeys have a unique vocalization, which is formally called the bray. Informally, these noises are often referred to as hee-haws, sirens, or yodels. Every donkey has their own unique signature sound. These guys are definitely not the quietest animals around!


For the most part, miniature donkeys act like regular-sized ones. They’re very docile, and get extremely attached to both their human and equine pals. It’s worth pointing out that though they do get along with horses and ponies, they’re happiest with other donkeys.


Miniature donkeys can grow to be about 3 feet tall, and can weigh up to 450 pounds. Unlike what we see in many miniature dog breeds, they weren’t deliberately bred to be small: they’re just naturally pint-sized.

Desert Breed

One thing that’s very different between horses and donkeys? Their climate acclimations, or lack thereof. Donkeys originated in desert climates, and do not do well in wet, rainy climates. These guys need clean, dry shelters, which should be closed in on at least 3 sides.


Mini-donkeys don’t need much land: you can put two on one acre, as long as it provides suitable pasturage. However, we recommend sectioning off your fields and grazing in rotation, to avoid overgrazing.

Do you have questions about donkey care? Contact us, your Wichita, KS animal clinic, today!