People who look like donkeys

Equus asinus asinus ass


What do donkeys look like?

Donkeys are a member of the horse family and look a bit like a horse that is too small with a head and ears that are too big.

They have a short, upright mane, are often gray in color and have a dark line on their backs; some also have stripes on their legs.

They are usually lighter around the eyes and mouth - just like on the stomach.

In contrast to the horse, the tail does not have a tail made of long hair, but only a short tassel.

Donkeys are divided into different groups according to their shoulder height:

Dwarf donkeys are only 80 to 105 centimeters tall, normal donkeys are up to 135 centimeters tall, and giant donkeys are taller than 135 centimeters. Their weight is correspondingly different: They can weigh between 80 and 450 kilograms.

Where do donkeys live?

House donkeys come from the Nubian wild ass, the North African wild ass and the Somali wild ass. They all lived in different parts of North Africa.

The Nubian and North African wild asses are now considered extinct. A few hundred animals are said to still live from the Somali wild ass in north-east Africa (Somalia and Ethiopia).

The homeland of the wild ass is a barren and rough country: They come from the mountainous stone deserts of North Africa. That is why they get along with little food such as thistles and hard grass and survive for a few days without water.

Donkeys kept as pets exist in Europe, Asia and North Africa. The Spaniards also brought donkeys to South America.

Which donkey breeds are there?

Unlike horses, donkeys don't have that many breeds. They can be distinguished from one another mainly by their size and color.

The largest is the French Poitou donkey:

It is 150 centimeters high, weighs up to 400 kilograms and has a very long, yellow-brown to black-brown fur.

The fur around the mouth is white and he has white circles under the eyes.

Donkeys bred in the Alps are a bit smaller and more agile. The Macedonian donkey is one of the smallest: it is only one meter high.

There are also crosses of donkeys and horses: if the mother is a donkey and the father is a horse, the animal is called a mule, if the mother is a horse and the father is a donkey, the offspring is called a mule. Both are larger than normal donkeys but cannot reproduce; H. they don't have boys.

How old do donkeys get?

Donkeys can live up to 50 years.


How old do donkeys get?

Donkeys are one of man's oldest domestic animals: they were kept as pack animals and mounts in Egypt as early as 6000 years ago.

The first donkeys came to Europe probably 4000 years ago.

Because they were versatile, they were used as workhorses: They carried people over the highest mountains and longest paths, pulled wagons and drove wells and mills.

Here, too, every miller used to have a donkey to carry heavy sacks of grain. Wherever there are steep paths - for example in the mountains and on small mountainous islands - donkeys used to be the most important means of transport: because donkeys are much narrower than horses, they can still walk safely even on the narrowest paths in the mountains.

Donkeys are considered stubborn and stupid. This is why people often treat them very badly and beat them. But in reality they only have a mind of their own and do not simply subordinate themselves. Donkeys are very clever, brave and careful.

In a dangerous situation they stop and think about how best to react instead of running away headless like a horse.

They are quick learners, and if you speak to them in short, simple words, they will quickly understand what you mean. Donkeys only become aggressive and snappy if they are treated badly.

Donkeys don't like to be alone. They prefer to live in a herd. But they also get along well with sheep, cattle or goats.

With the wild donkeys, several donkey mares form groups with their daughters, the stallions live in groups of stallions.

Donkeys love to graze all day long, in between they rest and wander to the watering area.

Friends and enemies of the donkey

Only predators can be dangerous to wild donkeys. But if a whole herd of donkeys is attacked, it forms a circle and kicks even large predators away with violent hoof kicks.

How do donkeys reproduce?

When donkey stallions argue about a mare before mating, it gets really loud: one screams and moans louder than the other in order to surpass him. In addition, they fight violently with hoof kicks and bites.

The mares, too, sometimes defend themselves with kicks and bites against a donkey that is too spirited.

Around twelve to thirteen months after mating, a young is finally born: it can walk immediately and has a thick coat that protects against cold and excessive heat.

A donkey foal is suckled by its mother for up to eight months, but after a week it gradually begins to eat grass and hay.

How do donkeys communicate?

Everyone knows the typical "I-AHH" of a donkey. They can also scream and moan deafeningly.


What do donkeys eat?

No matter how much they work, donkeys need little to eat: hard grass and hay are enough for them. In the wild, they also eat thistles and prickly scrub.

Donkeys as pets are fed with hay and straw, stale bread and boiled potatoes, vegetables and fruits.

In the pasture, they also nibble on tree branches and hedges. Oats, barley and wheat are delicacies for donkeys, but they actually don't need them. Especially when donkeys do little work, you have to be careful not to give them too much to eat.

Keeping donkeys

Donkeys need a stable and a pasture where they can let off steam. If they also have a bed made of straw and a drinker with fresh water, donkeys feel really good.

Since donkeys should not be kept alone, the stable must of course be large enough for several animals.

In summer, when it is warm and dry here too, donkeys prefer to be in the pasture day and night.

Donkey care plan

Donkeys need little care. It is enough if you brush their fur every now and then.

But hoof care is important: the sole of the hoof must be cleaned every day if possible and the farrier must cut the re-grown hoof regularly.