|THE LEGEND OF THE DONKEY'S CROSS
"Bring me the colt of a donkey," was the Master's request. A young donkey was brought to Jesus to carry him to Jerusalem. A week later Jesus was ordered crucified. The little donkey so
loved the Lord, that he wanted to help carry the cross. But alas, he was pushed away. The sad little donkey waited to say good-bye until nearly all had left. As he turned to leave, the
shadow of the cross fell upon his shoulders. And there it has remained, a tribute to the loyalty and love of the humblest of God's Creatures." -Singer
Or read the account in the Bible - Luke 19: 28-40 or Numbers 22: 21-33
|WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
"Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any.
But this wrongs the jackass." -Mark Twain
|HOW TRUE IT IS!
"Donkeys possess 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."
-Robert Green, The first miniature donkey importer into the United States (New Jersey Farm) in 1929
- The miniature donkey also known as the Sardinian donkey originated in the Mediterranean Islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
- There are currently an estimated 50,000 miniature donkeys in the United States, of which approximately 40,000 are registered
with the Miniature Donkey Registry.
- The miniature donkey has many uses, the most common being a pet or companion animal. With his long life expectancy a donkey
can truly be a life-long friend.
- Some people train their donkeys to pull a cart or wagon. They often take part in parades or show them at other events.
- There are people that take their donkey to schools and nursing homes for entertainment and education.
- The donkey can be displayed in petting zoos, nativity scenes, or he can be easily trained for smaller children to ride.
- He may be a back packers companion and can be conditioned to carry about 100 lbs. of cargo.
- The donkey can also be kept as a guard animal to guard against dogs or coyotes. They protect newborn calves or herds of goats. If
used as a guard animal one should consider the size of the donkey and the remoteness of the area. A 300 lb. donkey may guard the
same way as a large donkey by instinct - and may be able to fend off a neighbor's dog - but will likely lose out to aggressive, larger
dogs or packs of dogs/coyotes. A larger donkey is more suitable for this purpose. This is excellent reading if you would like to
know more about donkeys as guard animals: Livestock Guard Donkeys and Behavior
- We have talked to an increasing number of people that just inquired about a donkey to hear him bray. For this purpose a jack is most
suitable since it is his nature to bray. Jennets, on the other hand, remain quiet (unless it's feeding time!)
|HISTORY OF THE MINIATURE MEDITERRANEAN DONKEY
Courtesy of Miniature Mediterranean Donkey Association, United Kingdom, Jill Allen-Melvin
Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys are a separate breed of donkey from the island of Sardinia. Because they were so small they were
employed to turn grinding stones for grain inside the peasants' houses. There are 18th century wood block pictures showing these small
donkeys, blindfolded, attached to the grain mill and walking in endless circles. They were also used to carry water from village wells and
supplies into the mountains for shepherds.
Now almost extinct in their native land, these diminutive little animals are a popular pet in the USA, especially in the southern states.
Approximately 300 have been imported into the UK from North America and are fast becoming very popular here in Great Britain. The most
common colour is grey-dun with chocolate highlights. Other colours include brown, black, slate grey, sorrel, spotted, piebald, skewbald and
Miniatures usually have at least three recorded generations of ancestry. Many have up to 400 recorded ancestors dating back to 1929
when the first imports from Sardinia arrived in the USA and were imported by Mr. Robert Green, a stockbroker of New York and sent to his
stud farm in New Jersey.
Mr. Green is quoted as saying, "Miniature Donkeys possess 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.
All original stock in the UK of Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys have come from either Canada or America and originated from those
imported mini donkeys from Sardinia. If you wish to buy a genuine Miniature Mediterranean donkey it is important to purchase a pedigree
donkey, already registered with the American Mule and Donkey Association if you live in the United States or the Miniature Mediterranean
Donkey Association if you are in he UK. All donkeys registered with the AMDS or MMDA have certificates providing pedigree and a
certificate number. The MMDA general register contains miniature donkeys with at least one registered and numbered generation in their
pedigree. The MMDA stud book register has only those miniature donkeys with three recorded and numbered generations in their pedigree.
These donkeys are considered of breeding quality.
|All site copy and photos are the exclusive property of Best Friends Farm and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Any violation of this
copyright is pursueable to the full extent of the law.
|Very Interesting Donkey Information
|People often ask us how donkeys spend their time. Here are a few examples of a donkey's typical day -- on donkey time of course.
|Resting after a very
with my friends.
|Scratching an itch.
|Showing off my best asset -
my legs of course!
|What are you waiting for? Become a little donkey's best friend!
|JUST HOW DOES A MINIATURE DONKEY SPEND HER DAY?
By Frankie Osborne Lee, Best Friends Farm Miniature Donkeys, Use by written permission.
|YOU KNOW YOU ARE A DONKEY LOVER IF . . . .
By Frankie Osborne Lee, Best Friends Farm Miniature Donkeys. Use by written permission.
- You have pictures of your donkey in your cell phone.
- You buy more farm boots than flip flops.
- You kiss your donkey as often as your spouse.
- You go out in 20 degree weather to check on your new foal, but not to the mailbox because it's just too cold.
- A bray at 3:00 a.m. helps you rest.
- Watching your donkey in the field from afar gives you a warm, snuggly feeling.
- You keep a pair of binoculars at the window closest to the donkey pasture.
- You can't wait to get to the feed store (even while grumbling about the prices)!
- You love your donkeys and know every one of their names, sisters, brothers, parents, and all their dispositions!
- You ask your local Wal-Mart manager to consider carrying donkey products.
- You can't wait to get to the pasture!
- When someone comes to buy a donkey you advertised for sale, you tell them you don't have any for sale.
- You are considering buying stock in Tractor Supply.
- You pay more for your donkey's hair conditioner than your own and complaining about the price of bread.
- You can't wait to get to bed because you're tired as dirt and because you can't wait to do it all again tomorrow!
- You don't understand the question, "But what do you do with a miniature donkey?"
Have some "IFs" of your own? You're invited to share them on our site. Just email to firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE MAKE THE SUBJECT LINE: DONKEY LOVER IF
Miniature donkeys, sweet faced, soft eyed, shaggy, friendly and affectionate. They have won the hearts of most of those who have had the pleasure of being
exposed to their charms. Today they are the beloved and often pampered pets of their owners, yet their history has not always been so kind to them. Originally
from Africa, they arrived in the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily to be beasts of burden. They pulled carts, carried loaded packs, and did other light
farm work. Some accounts have it that hey were often underfed, over worked and not infrequently, abused.
The story of their miserable situation was told to a Mr. Robert Green, a New York stockbroker with a farm in New Jersey, who ordered six jennies and a jack,
sight unseen, while on a trip to Europe. They arrived in New York in May of 1929. Unfortunately a few months after their arrival, they were attacked by dogs and
three of the jennies were killed. The jack and remaining three jennies were the original foundation herd of miniature donkeys in the United States. One of the
jennies was pregnant and on Columbus Day 1929, she gave birth to a little jack who was named Christopher Columbus, the first miniature donkey born in
Mr. Green kept his donkeys as pets and delighted in driving them in the many special small carts he had made for that use. He continued to import others
from the Mediterranean area as well. He only sold a few of his cherished little donkeys when his herd became too large, and in 1935 he had a herd of 52
donkeys. Among his buyers were Mr. Richard Sagendorph, Henry T. Morgan, and August Busch, Jr. (Whose donkeys you can find in pedigrees as the
"Belleau" prefix). These families also imported more of the little donkeys as well and were the original developers of today's donkey stock. It has been
reported that pure Miniature donkeys in the Mediterranean area have become nearly extinct.
In the early 1950's, Daniel & Bea Langfeld bought their first miniature donkey from August Busch, Jr. of St. Louis, MO, as a pet for their daughter who had
cerebral palsy. The Langfelds established the Danby Farm in Omaha, Nebraska where they raised show quality Shetland ponies and Miniature donkeys. They
were the first professional breeders of miniature donkeys in the United States, eventually having as many as 60 to 225 Miniature donkeys in their herd.
Mrs. Langfeld's concept of breed perfection was the original stocky, draft type animal with straight legs and head held erectly. She preferred jennies to be 32"
or under and gray-dun in color. Bea Langfeld established the original registry The Miniature Donkey Registry of the United States in 1958. She turned the
registry over to the stewardship of the American Donkey and Mule Society in Denton, Texas in 1987. The original registry listed donkeys to 38" in height. The
breeders got together and decided to reduce the recognized height to 36" and this change was adopted in 1987.
Today the Mediterranean Miniature Donkey enjoys increasing popularity in the United States and the current population is estimated to be from 10,000 to 15,
000. As many animals are not registered it is difficult to have an accurate count. (2012 17,000 - 22,000).
What accounts for this great popularity of the Miniature donkey? Any donkey owner and enthusiast can spend hours telling you. Mostly it is the nature of the
little guys. They are exceptionally friendly and affectionate. They enjoy people about as much as people enjoy them and tend to greet their owners with
displays of affection and attention getting wiles. They will nudge you and nibble on your clothing and "talk" to you with brays, snuffles and snorts. Miniature
donkeys are docile and surprisingly intelligent. They learn quickly and are easily trained, due in part, to their willingness to please. They make especially good
pets and companions for children, elderly people and people with disabilities because they are so calm and do not bite or kick by nature. As they will live from
25 to 35 years they are truly lifetime companions.
Besides being excellent pets, the donkeys are easily trained to pull a cart or wagon. Many people enjoy showing their donkeys in driving, halter or pack
classes. Due to the popularity of these activities there are a growing number of donkey shows across the country today. Miniature donkeys can carry a pack up
to 75-100 pounds if well conditioned and properly fed and make a fine trail companion for hikers and backpackers.
Because they are small, they do little damage to trails and the countryside. They are also great fun for parades, petting zoos, Nativity Scenes and the like,
always attracting a lot of attention and seeming to enjoy it all. Next to their winning personalities is their appearance. They are just plain cute! Their hair may
be flat or burly, smooth or wiry, long or short, but is often shaggy, particularly in the cold months. They have large, gentle eyes, long ears and soft noses. They
are at most 36" high and may be as small (very rarely) as 26" tall. Gray-dun (gray body color with the cross over the shoulders) is the most common color with
brown and spotted becoming popular as well. Sorrel, white and black may also be found but are not as common. Nearly all miniature donkeys have a line
down the back (dorsal stripe), with a cross over the shoulders. There are several charming legends regarding the origin of the donkey's cross.
Miniature donkeys are easy to care for because they are quite hardy and require a minimum of space and care. They do require a good supply of fresh water
and a free source of salt or a salt/mineral block. They get by well on pasture grass and good quality grass hay. Miniature donkeys adapt well to almost any
climate but they do need a good three-sided shelter to protect them from the wind, rain and winter weather. Since their bodies are smaller than most farm
animals they need protection from cold, wet winds. Donkeys need to have their feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks but do not need to be shod. Many owners learn
to do this task for the donkey themselves. Worming should be done a minimum of two times a year and certain vaccinations may be appropriate depending
on the environment and circumstances.
Further information may be obtained by contacting both The American Donkey and Mule Society, 2901 N. Elm St., Denton, TX. 76201(817) 382-6845 or fax
817-484-8417 and the National Miniature Donkey Assn. RD 1, Box 427, Dewey Rd., Rome, NY 13440, (315) 336-0154. For Brayer Magazine books & literature,
registration forms and breeders listings contact the American Donkey and Mule Society. For special breed services, the ASSET Magazine, breeders' listing,
contact the National Miniature Donkey Assn. These two associations work in tandem to better serve the Miniature Donkey World.
-Reprinted with permission from The Brayer Magazine
|ABOUT MINIATURE DONKEYS
Courtesy of The Brayer Magazine, May-June 1997 Issue, Article by Bobbe Leonhardy, Sundown Ranch, Sisters Oregon
|USES OF THE MINIATURE MEDITERRANEAN DONKEY IN THE UNITED STATES
Courtesy of Nadia Attia-O'Bryan, The Little Friends Ranch
|THE LEGEND OF HOW THE DONKEY GOT HIS VOICE
After the Christ Child was born long ago
In a stable that first Christmas night,
An angel warned Joseph to leave Bethlehem and
So the whole family took flight.
Then, as the three of them journeyed to Egypt,
They rested when stars filled the sky.
And while they were sleeping, their donkey’s keen ears
Heard King Herod’s soldiers nearby.
He tried very hard to get Joseph awake, but donkeys were mute in those days.
Then all of the sudden a miracle happened…. he let out
Some great piercing brays!
The family awakened in time to escape and hurriedly
Slipped out of sight.
The donkey was grateful and quite humbled, too,
That God chose to use him that night.
And still, to this day, the loud, piercing bray from a
Donkey so gentle and mild
Reminds us again of that creature’s devotion and love
For the dear Holy Child.
-- Author unknown
|Something To Ponder: Ninety percent of a donkey's growth is completed by age one. A foal's legs are said to be as long as they will ever be upon birth.
|BEST FRIENDS FARM MINIATURE DONKEYS
Farming for the fun of it since 1998!
352.339.3908 or 352.333.3819 Jim and Frankie Lee, 13903 Millhopper Road, Gainesville, FL email@example.com
|We hope you enjoyed this very interesting donkey information. Thanks for stopping by!
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You know you're a
donkey lover if . . . .