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Home of The National Miniature Donkey Association

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The perfect gentle pet for children.

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.

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Miniature Donkey jennets are devoted mothers

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. They 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 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).

2021 NMDA Sanctioned Shows

The next show is just around the corner:

Ozark Empire Fair
August 2 - 3, 2021 - Springfield, Missouri
Contact: Brandan Chapman  – 417 833-2660

Music City
August 21 - 22, 2021 - Shelbyville, TN
Contact: Sally Lightner  – 931 691-4134

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

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. They 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. 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.

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Facts & Figures

Life Span: 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.

Health:
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.

Color:
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.