As with all critters the initial cost of the miniature donkey is not the most important factor! The long term costs are way more important to keep track of! The miniature donkey can live well into their 30’s and 40’s with good care.
There are 3 basic ways to get your hands on a miniature donkey!
- Rescue- There are rescues all over the country that offer you the opportunity to bring home a donkey. One thing to note is many will only rehome donkeys in pairs or to homes that already have donkeys. Typical adoption fees range from $350 for a single and over $500/pair.
- Auction- There are so many types of auctions from “meat markets”, to BLM auctions, to donkey specific auctions. You will find donkeys in every condition at these events and it is likely you will find additional health issues with the donkey. It's good to be prepared with a quarantine area and a vet visit as soon as you bring your new family member home. Depending on the auction, a miniature donkey can range from as low as $200 up to over $2500 per single donkey. Chances are also high you may get a pregnant jenny from an auction.
- Breeder/Family Farm- There are many miniature donkey breeders across the US. Most that we have seen charge on the low side of $800 and up to over $5000 for a single donkey. Many will have contracts that state you will not breed and will get a Jack gelded as soon as safe.
Care for a donkey is very important. We do not recommend just sticking a donkey in a field and not doing anything with them. Our basic annual expenses per miniature donkey are as follows:
- Spring Shots + Vet Check Up $140- $170
- Fall Shots + Vet Check Up $200-$250
- Farrier Trims (Every 6 Weeks) $30-$50
- Equine Dentist ( 1xyear) $150-$170
- Grain/Balancer $30/month
- Minerals $100/year ( We love Rush Creek!)
- Dewormer/or Fecal Testing $100/year
- Maintenance/Electricity $1500/year
So your basic expense per year is $3100! And that does not include any extras or surprise vet bills!
For example we have had some of the following happen:
- Stay at equine hospital for hyperlipaemia $3500
- Initial vet visits prior to hospitalization + Follow Ups $3000
- Eye exam for ulcer $450
- Potential colic visit (Initial + Follow Up) $1250
- 12 pills for elder miniature donkey $145
And many more so it is important to be prepared when issues arise! We also have expenses such as treats, toys, and supplements that we did not include in the list above. Depending on where you live your critter may also need a fly mask, fly boots, sheets, and blankets! If you are looking at training your donkey to drive you also have equipment and training costs associated with that.
As you can see it is not cheap- and cost can escalate quickly! If the cost is not a deterrent the miniature donkey makes an excellent pet. They are smart, loving, and hilarious and make excellent additions to most farms.