Home   |   About NMDA   |   NMDA Organization   |   Donkey Abuse   |   Membership Application  |   Shows   |   Breeders Listing    |   Contact NMDA   
Breed Standard | Ethical Principles | NMDA Gelding Program | DNA Typing | Photo Gallery | Publications

Home of The National Miniature Donkey Association

The National Miniature Donkey Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989. The Association's goals are to protect and promote the Miniature Mediterranean breed and to provide an educational forum for owners and breeders on donkey care and management.

To learn more about the National Miniature Donkey Association, go to About NMDA and NMDA Organization.

The perfect gentle pet for children.

Imagine the perfect pet — imagine the Miniature Donkey

From the moment this appealing, long-eared foal is born, its mission is to give love and thrive on attention. Miniature Donkeys are without a doubt the most adorable, affectionate, soft & cuddly creatures in the animal kingdom.

Completely trustworthy around children, the elderly, and the handicapped, Miniature Donkeys (when mature) are easily trained to pull carts and to be ridden by small children. They are companionable with other livestock and become quite attached to their herdmates, as well as their owners. Miniature Donkeys are very popular because so many people realize and value their unique qualities.

Miniature Donkeys Origins

Miniature Donkey jennets are devoted mothers

Miniature Mediterranean 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.



Miniature Donkeys Do Not Make Suitable Livestock Guardians

The article Livestock Guardians is educational as well as a "warning" ... download Miniature Donkeys As Livestock Guardians? (pdf).

2024 Membership renewal reminder

Please help support NMDA to continue its mission: To Promote & Protect Miniature Donkeys, and to Educate the public on their care & management. NMDA also offers DNA Testing and Typing, a Gelding Incentive Program, Miniature Donkey shows & judges approved by NMDA.

Annual membership dues are $25 and approved judge renewals are $45; to be included in the NMDA web site Breeders Listing, the fee is $50 (Canada & Foreign - US Funds).

Publications (ASSET back issues) and promotional literature are available as well.

To pay (by check or credit card), download the NMDA Order Form (pdf) and send to:
NMDA Central Office, 6450 Dewey Road, Rome, NY 13440.


Next 2024 NMDA Sanctioned Show

SDMS Classic 2024, Legends Horse Ranch, Kaufman, TX
May 11 - 12, 2024
Contact: Kim Hawthorne; (214) 686-0323

2024 NMDA National Show — Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, MO
July 28 - 30, 2024
Contact: Susan Fox. Ozark, MO (417) 581-0020.
Email: cutelilassacres@gmail.com

For complete list of shows, check out NMDA Sanctioned Shows page.


NMDA Breeders Listing

Visit the Breeders Listing by state...for those just starting out and looking for your first donkeys or for breeders looking for new bloodlines, the listing will help locate Miniature Donkeys in your state.

NMDA invites Miniature Donkeys breeders to participate and promote their farm/ranch. Help buyers find you!

The annual fee for NMDA's Breeders Listing, published on-line at miniaturedonkeyassociation.com/breeders.php, is $50.00 per and includes 10 additional words after contact info.

To pay (by check or credit card), download the NMDA Order Form (pdf).

Care & Management of Miniature Donkeys

Miniature Donkeys require a small amount of grain, good quality hay, a mineral salt block, and fresh, clean water.


Access to pasture for grazing and exercise is preferable and should be a consideration. Miniature Donkeys should always have shelter from rain, snow, wind, hot sun, and flies! It should be dry and draft-free. Fencing need only be four feet high, woven wire is considered a safe and popular choice. Miniature Donkeys can withstand cold temperatures as long as they have shelter and are fed properly.

Miniature donkeys are "herd" animals. To avoid undue stress and loneliness, it is strongly recommended they not be kept singly but with another Miniature Donkey or other animal as a life-long friend.


Facts & Figures

Life Span for Miniature Donkey: 25 - 35+ years

Weight: 200 - 350 pounds at maturity

Height: Average 32" - 34" at the withers, maximum 36"

Gestation: 11-1/2 - 13 months

Birth: Single baby, averages 20-30 pounds at birth. Foals are up and nursing within 30 minutes and are weaned between 5-6 months of age.

Reproduction: Male donkeys are referred to as "jacks," female donkeys are "jennets," and baby donkeys are called "foals".
Jennets should not be bred until they are physically mature at approximately 3 years of age. They have heat cycles every 18-21 days throughout most of the year.

Miniature Donkeys are remarkably hardy and healthy. They do require preventative vaccinations, should be wormed regularly, and have their hooves trimmed every 2-3 months.

Miniature Donkeys are predominantly grey-dun with the characteristic "cross." They also come in darker shades of grey, brown, black, sorrel, white and spotted. Usually they have light tan markings around their muzzle and eyes, known as "points". However, some have dark points.