Breed Profiles - Donkey

By: Horse Deals

Breed Profiles - Donkey
Breed Profiles - Donkey

The ancestors of today’s Donkeys are the African wild ass. They were first domesticated around 3000BC and were used in much the same way as they still are today in many developing countries. A male donkey is called a Jack, a female is called a Jenny and offspring are called foals. There are estimated to be around 44 million donkeys worldwide, with most of these being used for agriculture or transport.

Conformation Donkeys vary considerably in size and there are many different registered types of donkey. Miniature donkeys are the smallest type and tend to be about 8hh. Mammoth donkeys are the largest and can grow up to 16.3 hands in height. They live for between 30-50 years on average. They are extremely hardy but unlike horses they have a double coat, which means that they do need a shelter from rain.


Donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn but this is mainly because they are not as easily frightened as horses. Donkeys are affectionate and intelligent animals and they are eager to learn.

Ideal Disciplines

Donkeys are ideal for the following disciplines:

• Driving

• Showing

• Hacking