Micro donkeys, mighty hearts by Kate Sears


Who’s your favourite donkey? There’s Eeyore, the lovable but forever sad donkey whose spirit is uplifted by his friends Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. There’s Donkey, Shrek’s chatterbox sidekick who has amazing one-liners. Well, prepare yourself - we’ve got a new donkey for you to fall in love with.

Meet Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys. These super-friendly memorable micros prove that good things do come in small packages. Even if you’re stubborn as a mule, your favourite donkey will be bumped for these babies.

At less than 81cm, micro donkeys are the smallest of the miniature donkey breed, which also includes mammoth, standard, small standard and miniature.  Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys has been operating for two years in Langwarrin, and with Kris at the helm it has created quite a fuss. The breed is difficult to find and in high demand. Kris endeavours to make sure the family that purchases one of her foals is suitable and that the home is appropriate for her beloved cherubs.

“They don’t want to be just in a paddock; they must have a companion like a sheep, cow or a pony,” Kris says.  “It’s important that they have their own herd, so to speak, as they can’t be lonely and they love to play. That’s why we have a screening process.”

The gestation period varies from 11 to 13 months, and they aren’t weaned off their mothers for six months. Given this, Kris is only just now preparing to sell her second foal and is seeking expressions of interest for this five-month-old named Elenor.
The males are called jacks and the females are jennys; furthermore, all of Kris’s donkeys are named after cars. Enzo is the smallest registered jack in Australia at 66cm - he’s tiny but full of character. There’s also Shelby, who is pregnant, and Lola, who gave birth to Elenor this year.

These donkeys don’t reach their fully-grown state until they are three years old. They all play together and are naturally very curious animals. With adorable floppy ears, fluffy winter coats, and full of individual characteristics, they don’t horse around. They are confident as they know how “awwww” worthy they are.

“They go straight up to you and will follow you. They want to know what you’re doing at all times. Ultimately, they are like little dogs; they’ll even go inside. They’re really smart - sometimes too smart! They can work out how to open things and love ball games.”

These loving and low-maintenance pets are great around kids because they’re an ideal height and don’t shy like horses do. They’re raised by people and love attention from their human friends. Micro donkeys are an expensive purchase but their upkeep is relatively cheap. They’ll happily live off grass and hay but they’ll need to have their hoofs trimmed every four months and be wormed regularly.

If the image of these little treasures has you wanting more, there are plenty of videos on Kris’s Facebook page to get you going “Awwwww!” Follow their adventures at @Marions-Bounty-Micro-Donkeys.