Height: 3 to 15.3 hands (31 to 63 inches, 79 to 160 cm) at the withers
Weight: 80 to 480 kg (180 to 1,060 lb)
The donkey aka. ass is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae
Ancestors of the donkey are African wild ass or aka. E. africanus
The donkey is famous to work as a working animal for at least 5000 years
Their population in the world today is around 40 million
A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny or jennet
A jenny is normally pregnant for about 12 months
Gestation period: Female: 11 – 14 months
Births of twins are rare
Jennies come into heat again after 9 or 10 days of giving birth
As a result of inbreeding within the Equine family, the hybrid between a jack and a mare (horse) is known as a mule
A few donkeys are milked or raised for meat. Approximately 3.5 million donkeys and mules are slaughtered each year for meat wordwide
Donkey hooves are more elasticthan those of horses, and do not naturally wear down as fast
Donkeys can meet their nutritional needs on 6 to 7 hours of grazing per day
They mostly forage and feed on poor quality scrub
They have tough digestive system in which roughage is efficiently broken down by hind gut fermentation, microbial action in the caecum and large intestine
Donkeys are also less prone to colic
They need less food than a horse of same height and weight ie approximately 1.5 percent of body weight per day in dry matter compared to the 2–2.5 percent consumption rate of a horse
Some experts suggest that a donkey needs to be fed only straw (preferably barley straw), whereas others recommend some grain to be fed and advise against feeding straw only
Donkeys come in all shapes, sizes, colours and coat texture. The most common coat colour is grey, followed by brown and then black, roan and broken coloured donkeys (a combination of brown and white or black and white markings) and the rarest colour is pure white
Definitions Associated with Donkeys
Colt: young male donkey which is less than four years of age.
Filly: young female donkey which is less than four years of age.
Foal: a baby male or female donkey up to one year old.
Gelding: A castrated male donkey.
Mare: A female donkey.
Rig: A rig is an entire male donkey with no signs of external testicles.
Stallion: A male donkey that has not been gelded (castrated).
Yearling: A young male or female donkey between one and two years of age.
Terms Associated with Donkey
Asino: Italian word for “donkey”.
Ass: a male or female donkey.
Burro: Spanish word for “donkey”.
Hinny: result of breeding between a female donkey and a male horse.
Jack: a male donkey.
Jenny: A female donkey.
Moke British term for a donkey.
Molly: A term for a female mule.
Mule: A mule is the result of breeding between a male donkey and a female horse