These miniature donkeys are a breed of donkey originating in the Mediterranean, this breed existed especially in the Mediterranean islands such as Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Malta, Menorca, and it is not known exactly how far and to what parts this race extend to, today it is almost impossible to find them in their place of origin, except in some reserves that exist for this purpose.
They were formerly used to transport the water from the wells and to supply water to the local villages in the mountains of the shepherds. Now, almost extinct in their native land, they have become a pet for people of the United States, especially in the States in the South, about 500 have been imported to the United Kingdom from North America and are becoming very popular in Great Britain as pets and are gradually coming to the rest of Europe.
The more common is grey with chocolate. Other colours are Brown, black, Slate Grey, sorrel, stained and cream, albino, etc. In the family tree of many of these animals there have been recorded up to 400 prehispanic, dating back to 1929, when imports from Sardinia came to the United States and were imported by Robert Green, a broker in New York who took them to his own farm in New Jersey.
Mr. Green is quoted as saying, “miniature donkeys posses the affectionate nature of a newfoundland, the resignation of a cow, the durability of a mule, the courage of a tiger, and the intellectual capability only slightly inferior to man’s”
Almost all miniature Mediterranean donkeys in North America originate from those and other early imports. If you want to buy a real miniature Mediterranean donkey it is important to buy a donkey with pedigree.
The donkeys are native to desert regions of the world, this makes their digestive system very rustic therefore nutritional needs are much less of a horse or a pony. Miniature donkeys require little or no feeding during the summer months if they are grazing.
They should always have straw in their stables to provide fodder and for them to munch on, as it is important to provide them with a compound of minerals whenever they need it. In addition to these minerals they should never lack clean and fresh water. Especially during the winter months, the straw is providing them with a daily dose of cereals, which is essential for the donkey to maintain a good body condition, and to be able to eat small amounts as often as they need.
The miniature donkey need minimum care, feeding, shearing, cleaning of the hulls, vaccines, deworming, etc. These precious donkeys if they are in a place with enough space to run and exercise, clean water and food, they are extremely happy, and then when we are with them we will enjoy enormously their company. The minimum space required to have a miniature donkey should be from 80 square meters, where they have a small covered area to give shelter.
The miniature Mediterranean donkeys have a gestation period of between 11-13 months, and almost without exception have single offspring. The female should not be mated until they are (3 and a half years old). Before 3 years they are still growing and developing themselves and can be physical and mentally immature. The life of a miniature is 35-year-old, so there is enough time to become a parent. Females require space a couple of weeks before the birth and of course, the stable must be cleaned thoroughly to get ready for the birth. Most of the miniatures donkeys are very good mothers and usually do not require any assistance for childbirth, below 30 percent may have delivery problems and may require veterinary care).
The baby donkey within the first two hours should stand and suckle, care is needed if the weather is cold, dry the foal and make up a deep bed of dry straw. The foal will need to sleep frequently, however if the weather is warm and sunny the foal will enjoy its running technique within hours of its birth, and enjoy its environment with curiosity.