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There are several breeds/sizes of donkeys to choose from all around the world...maybe you would like one of each. Each of the sizes/breeds has a Standard of Perfection. A Standard of Perfection is a description of what the perfect donkey for this breed would be.
Remember when choosing your donkey that a Miniature can not be ridden by an adult and an American Jack sock will eat more then a Miniature as well as need more space.
There are really many, many breeds of donkeys world wide and I will only be covering those popular sizes in the USA. (for now anyway)
Cute, Cute, Cute....but also frequently spoiled due to there little size. Remember when training these little bitty babies to not allow any misbehavior...they will not outgrow it and it can become very dangerous and repulsive.
The Miniature donkeys ancestors came from the Mediterranean Islands of Sicily and Sardinia. They are to be 28" to 36" most average 34", they should weigh from 250 to 450 pounds (healthy pounds that is).
Be sure when breeding or buying a Miniature donkey to check to make sure that the animals you are looking at are of good sound structure and are proportionally correct. Check teeth to make sure that they line up correctly and the mouth has room for the teeth that are in it.
Miniature Jacks when bred to Miniature Horse Mares produce Miniature Mules. <now that is cute too, grin>.
Small Standard Donkeys
These are what I call the donkeys that somehow fall in size between a Miniature and a Standard. Maybe it is because of breeding the two breed together or just the way God made them, but they can and are great donkeys used for the same purposes as all others.
These are the most popular sized Donkeys in the USA. They are of good size for working and playing. They are also the donkey people think of when they hear the word "burro".
These are a great sized animal for most work, although can not really be ridden by large adults.
The Standard donkey should stand between 36" and 48" high at the wither.
Large Standard Donkeys
Highly sought after. These are nice sized donkeys and of good working size. Most small adults can easily ride one with a saddle (saddles and other tack should be considered part of the weight load on a donkey or horse). A Large Standard Donkey is obviously larger then a Standard and smaller then an American Jackstock/Mammoth Ass. Large Standard Donkeys are 48" or taller.
American Jackstock/Mammoth Donkeys
These are the largest donkeys and are correctly not even called donkeys. They are great for riding, pulling, all the other things you could do with a donkey and are also great for breeding to mares (horses) to product large, heavy boned mules for working.
It was George Washington, the USA's first President that is credited with breeding Mammoth sized donkeys in the Untied States of America. He wanted large, big boned mules for working the soil here in America and began the breeding program.
American Jackstock also known as Mammoth Asses, Burros or Donkeys, should be approx. 15.2 hh (hands high, a hand being an equine measurement of 4" each). Jennets should be a minimum of 54" tall and jack 56" tall, weighing appox. 1300 pounds. Some of course are larger and most you will find on the farm might be smaller. All should be heavy boned, have a roman nose and wide ear span from tip to tip horizontally.
American Jackstock can make wonderful riding asses. They can be taught to pull carts, they can pack a good load, most make great pets, but most of all they (meaning the ungelded jacks) are valued as "Mule Jack", a term used for Jacks that are used to breed to Horse Mares to produce Mules.
You can, and some people do, breed a Standard Jennet to an American Jackstock to try to produce a larger mount. You do need to know that sooner or later a small foal will be produced either by this breeding or one in the future...even from two large asses.
(more to come, promise!)