Fun Donkey Facts for Kids

Fun Donkey Facts for Kids

What is a Donkey

A Donkey is a hoofed mammal that are part of the equidae family.  Horses and Zebras are also animals that are part of the equidae family. A donkey is sometimes referred to as an ass or a burro. Burro is the Spanish word for donkey. Donkeys are smaller than horses.  Their size and color depend on the type of donkey. They range from 3.5 ft tall to over 5 ft tall and can weight between 180-1,00 pounds. Their color can be a variety of grays and browns. Less common is the all white donkey.  A donkey’s ears are much longer than a horses.  Their ears help keep the donkey cool in warm dry environments.

There are many different species/breeds of donkey.  They are usually put into 3 groups: domesticated, wild or feral.  Feral are donkeys that were domesticated but escaped or got loose and are now living in the wild.

Donkey Habitats

Donkeys live all around the world.  They originated in North Africa over 5,000 years ago. They prefer warm, dry desert like conditions. The Egyptians used donkeys as working animals. Over thousands of years donkeys were domesticated and have been transported all around the world.  Christopher Columbus was said to have brought donkeys to America on one of his vogues.   Today in many countries around the world donkeys are still used to till fields, transport people and goods.  They are also sometimes used to pull carts and other items.

There are approximately over 40 million donkeys living around the world.  The most donkeys live in China.  Ethiopia, Pakistan, Egypt and Mexico also have large populations of donkeys.

What Do Donkeys Eat?

Donkey’s are herbivores.  Herbivores are animals that do not eat meat.  Donkeys eat grass, hay and grains.

Donkey Facts

A male donkey is called a Jack

A female donkey is called a Jennet or a Jennie

a female donkey is pregnant for 12 months.

A baby donkey is called a Foal. Foals weight between 15-30 pounds at birth.

A foal can stand 30 minutes after being born.

A male donkey who mates with a female horse makes a mule

A female donkey who mates with a male horse is called a hinny

Interesting Fact- Mules and Hinnys cannot reproduce (have babies)

 

As Stubborn as a Donkey

Donkeys are believed to be stubborn animals, however this is not true, they are extremely cautious animals. A donkey will always put it’s safety first.  If they feel that they could be putting themselves in danger they will dig their heels into the ground and not move.  You will not be able to force them to do something that they feel is unsafe.  This is where the term stubborn as a donkey comes from.

More Donkey Facts

Donkeys do not like the rain

They have excellent memories, they can remember things from over 20 years ago.

Donkeys are social animals.  They live in groups called herds.  In the wild a herd of donkeys usually consists of one male donkey or Jack and a several female donkey or Jennets/Jennies.

 

Famous Donkeys

One of the most favorite and beloved donkeys known around the world is Winnie-the-Pooh’s beloved friend Eeyore.

No one can forget in the movie Pinocchio, when he partly turned into a donkey

During the holidays we cannot wait to hear the Christmas song Dominick the Donkey written by Ray Allen, Sam Saltzbery and Wandra Merrel performed and record  by Lou Monte in 1960.  This Christmas song is about the Italian Christmas Donkey, Dominick who helps Santa Claus deliver presents made in Brooklyn to the children in Italy because the reindeer cannot climb the hills.

We also have to add Shrek’s friend Donkey who’s voice is the great Eddie Murphy.  You can see Donkey in all the Shrek movies.