One of the most stubborn animals you’ll find on any farm, Donkeys are none the less still very common on many homesteads. Traditionally used as a working animal, Donkey’s can serve a wide variety of purposes on a small farm. Some of their skills include: halter-breaking young horses, protecting smaller animals (sheep and goats) from predators, companionship for other animals, and mule breeding.
Though donkeys are often portrayed as difficult and moody, donkeys can actually be a great addition to any hobby farm. If donkeys are trained properly, they can be loyal and protective against coyotes or roaming dogs as well as protectors of sheep and goats.
If you are looking to use donkeys on your hobby farm as protectors, it is best to raise the donkeys with the group they will be protecting. Donkeys are territorial animals – not necessarily of their herd so much as their territory and themselves.
Donkeys are great for people looking for an alternative to aggressive or big guard dogs. They can be great protectors yet a bit more welcoming of guests than guard dogs. Donkeys, however, cannot be used as guards against dogs and coyotes as they would be too vulnerable themselves.
While they may appear disinterested and lethargic, Donkeys are actually and incredibly hardy animal who can survive and thrive in conditions most other animals can’t. Able to adapt to nearly any climate, they are perfectly suited for even the most extreme terrains and foliage.
Donkey’s typically come in three sizes: Miniature, Standard, and Mammoth, so there is the perfect sized donkey out there for every Hobby Farm! Additionally, Donkeys make great companions for kids. They are typically extremely gentle and loyal, even being used commonly as a riding therapy animal.
For working donkeys, some breeds to consider would be the Andalusian, Asinara, Black, Burro, Mammoth, Mules, and the Provence.
For those looking to breed donkeys, some breeds are the Poitou and the Mammoth.
For an all-round donkey breed that can do it all, check out the Catalan.
Whether you are looking to keep a donkey for work purposes or pleasure, they’ll add joy to any hobby farm!
Check the links below to find the perfect Donkey near you!
Origin: Spain, portugal
Production: Sport, work
Breed Note: Easily trained, exceptional athletic ability, and is today's top choice for dressage horses.
Origin: Sardinia, Italy
Production: Working, Tourism
Breed Note: Very rare breed located off the islands of Sardinia
Coloring: Black, gray, red roan
Production: Work, tourism
Breed Note: Exceptionally powerful. long back and small hips make this breed excel in moving objects.
Origin: U.S. Mexico, Nicaragua
Breed Note: Average weigh is 270
Coloring: Black, gray
Production: Work, meat, protection, tourism, breeding
Breed Note: This breed is strong and great for humans to ride on (tourism)
Production: Breeding, work
Breed Note: Weigh in between 1,000 and 2,000 as adults
Breed Note: very friendly, tame, and gentile to humans.
Coloring: Various coloring
Production: Working Animal
Breed Note: The Mule is the offspring of a Male Donkey and a Female horse. They are almost always infertile.
Coloring: Brown, black, white
Production: Breeding, show
Breed Note: One of the largest donkey breeds
Coloring: Shades of gray, rust
Production: Work, agricultural
Breed Note: Hooves relatively large for their body