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Raising miniature donkeys

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Fun for everyone

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Gail Heaney, owner, Gail's Mini Donkey Ranch

When you have a smaller place out in the country but still want farm animals, miniature breeds are great! My friend Doug has several miniature donkeys. They're really cute and not as noisy as I thought they'd be. And so tiny! To be considered a true mini, the donkey has to measure under 36 inches from his shoulder to the ground.

Gail Heaney raises these pint-sized animals and compares their personality to a trusted dog. Loyal and protective, these little donkeys love to be around people so she does a lot of volunteer work with them.

"I take them on field trips with handicapped adults and children; and 4-H groups, Head Start groups, and senior citizens come here, but you can do other things with them," Heaney says. "You can take them in parades, you can take them to senior center homes, you can pack with them. They can carry about 60 pounds on their back depending on the size."

Miniature donkeys are happy to give rides to kids and are so easy going, they don't need to be broke first like horses do. With the right harness, you can train them to pull a well-balanced cart with 400 pounds on it. This makes them a big hit in parades. You could even dress them in costume.

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