When we bought our Southern California ranch, we decided that we wanted to have as many different species of animals as we could. We started with goats, and moved to longhorns and chickens. But, one day we started talking about how much fun it would be to have a donkey on our land. A neighboring farm had one and we always stopped by his corral, and he seemed to recognize us. Granted, we didn’t think it was our winning personalities doing the trick, it was likely the carrots we brought. Our son called him Mr. Donkey. It didn’t take long for us to realize that it was Mr. Donkey who had the winning personality.
To get more information we started looking online for guidance on what to look for in a donkey and to help us decide what features and qualities would best suit our ranch. We never imagined that there were so many kinds of donkey. We knew that we wanted a donkey as a pet or casual worker on the farm, but we didn’t realize just how many other uses there were. In the old days, they may have been beasts of burden, but no more. Now, they’re used as cart-pullers, flock guardians, companions for other livestock, and riding.
There are numerous donkey breeds, some of them rare, and all of them cute. Whether you are looking for a jack or a jennet (male or female), donkeys in the US are generally categorized by their height, which is measured at their shoulders. They include miniature, standard, and mammoth breeds (as well as the spotted ass and the burro). If you want one that is a bit more exotic, you might want to opt for one from abroad. These breeds include the French Poitou, which is quite rare in the US, but there are some to be found if that’s what you want.
If you, too, are interested in learning about donkeys and would like to get one for your homestead, visit modernfarmer.com here…