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Miniature donkey

Equus asinus asinus miniature

These donkeys are a separate breed in their own right and are extremely popular as farmyard pets because of their affectionate and docile nature and their small size.

They get on well with a variety of other livestock and become quite attached to their herd mates, as well as their owners. It averages 32 to 34 inches at the withers (or shoulders) and is 90 to 155 kilograms in weight.

Historically, they were used to turn grinding stones used for grinding grain inside peasants’ houses, and to carry water from wells.

Belfast Zoo is home to Dylan who lives in the zoo farm.

Conservation status

The cross breeding of donkeys is slowly diluting the pure breed of the miniature donkey.


Miniature donkeys are becoming increasingly rare in their native areas of Sicily and Sardina. There are thought to be around 20,000 in the wild today.


Eats hay and grain and enjoys an occasional apple.

Fun fact

To be classed as a miniature donkey, they must not exceed 36 inches in height.