Donkey Breeding Ages: A Guide to Safe Breeding | The best farm animals (2023)

If you've owned a donkey, you know they can be amazing animals to be around. While donkeys can often enjoy the company of humans and other horses, they feel best in the company of their own kind. Knowing this, I sought to breed my donkeys to expand my herd. My current Jennet donkey is a rescue dog and a bit older so I did some research to make sure she could breed without any problems. I learned that donkeys have quite a long reproductive lifestyle. That means they cantake care of their stables and pasturesfull of foals for years to come. I wanted to share my research so others can make the best decision for their asses.

How early or soon can a donkey be raised?Most female donkeys can conceive by the age of 8-9 months, but it is not healthy for a young foal to reproduce so early. Jacks can fertilize as young as six months of age. To ensure your donkey's long-term health and fertility, wait until the foal is at least 1 year old, but 2 years is a better rule of thumb as donkeys are fully developed and their reproductive abilities mature.

Miniature donkeys should not be bred until they are at least 2.5 years old and it may be beneficial to wait up to 3 years to breed. Jacks can breed before they're even a year old with minimal effect, so it's important to separate jacks and jennets once they're weaned.

How old (how long) can a donkey safely breed?

Since most donkeys live into their 40's and 50's, a female donkey can safely reproduce well into their 20's. A male donkey can reproduce for up to 40 years without any problems. After female donkeys or donkeys cross the age of 20, they may have fertility problems. Donkeys, or male donkeys, tend to start having fertility problems in their 40s.

How old can miniature donkeys get?Miniature donkeys are only 25 years old and can only reproduce until they are 15 years old. However, they can have fertility problems and other reproductive problems as they age. Older donkeys should be observed during pregnancy and calving so they can be monitored for life-threatening problems.

If you're looking to increase the number of donkeys in your pasture, don't worry, your donkeys have many reproductive years ahead of them. Donkeys can reproduce much longer than horses thanks to their long lifespan. They remain relatively healthy as they age, meaning pregnancy continues to be less risky as you age. However, there are a few things to watch out for and keep in mind. So let's examine how you can tell if your donkey is too old for breeding.

Reproductive Lifespan of Donkeys

Many people compare donkeys to horses because they look alike and can be crossbred to produce mules and mules. However, donkeys tend to live much longer than horses, meaning they have significantly longer reproductive cycles.

Most horses can live into their late 20s or early 30s and typically only breed into their mid-teens. Breeding a horse later can lead to fertility problems and endanger the horse's life.

Donkeys can live comparatively much longer than horses. TOhealthy butterit can easily live to be 40 or 50 years old. That means you can expect a longer reproductive lifestyle than a horse. The only difference in this trend is the miniature donkeys, which have an average lifespan of 25 years.

When is a donkey too old for breeding?

The decision as to when your donkey is too old for breeding is as unique as your animal. However, various health factors may play a as your donkeyAge groups that they can eventually pull away from foster care.

Not surprisingly, donkeys or male donkeys can reproduce much longer than female or female donkeys. Because they don't have to worry about a foal by term, it's usually easier to raise a cat into old age. Some cats can produce healthy, viable offspring when they are over 40 years old. The biggest issue with breeding old male donkeys is their fertility as their sperm count can decrease as they age. To test your senior donkey's fertility, you can have your vet test the sperm count of their semen.

Jennets might have another challengematernity leaveas we age, the process is naturally more physically demanding. In general, jennets can breed for up to 20 years without problems. After that, like cats, they may have fertility issues or perhaps be more hostile to mating partners.

Breeding a jennet too late can also lead to more serious health problems. These include congenital disabilities or stillbirths.

While donkeys are hearty animals, be sure to consult your veterinarian if your adult Jennet is or may become pregnant. A veterinarian can help identify any issues with the upcoming birth and can intervene to ensure the birth is safe for everyone involved.

When can you start donkey breeding?

In general, donkeys reach sexual maturity relatively young. Both jacks and jennets reach sexual maturity at around two years of age, but may show signs earlier. Some female donkeys can experience their first heat as early as one year of age. However, it is important not to breed donkeys when they are so young as this can cause problems with their physical development.

While donkeys can be ready to breed when they are a year old, they are not fully mature until they are over two years old. Breeding a donkey that is too young can stunt its growth and cause injuries that can progress later in life. Carrying a foal to birth puts stress on a young Jennet's body, including extra weight on her bones and stress on her abdominal muscles.

Boys also benefit from waiting. While a cat is fertile after one to two years, they reach their peak of fertility around the age of five. Your cat will remain fertile for several years and only begin to lose fertility after the age of 20.

A donkey should be at least two years old before you start breeding to give it time to develop properly. Waiting even longer, until they are three years old, is even better as the donkey will then have more time to develop.

How long do donkey pregnancies last?

One thing to consider when breeding donkeys is gestation length. Donkeys get pregnant for over a year, which can be enough to take an animal through different parts of its life cycle. Miniature donkeys get pregnant for a whole year. Because of this, it's important to wait for a jennet to mature before allowing it to breed. Raising a donkey when it is too young or too old can put undue stress on its body.

Don't be too impatient to breed your jennet. Donkeys come into heat regularly, with a frequency of 20 to 40 days. Most Jennets have an average cycle time of 22 to 23 days. Your cycle lasts about a month or 21-28 days. Female miniature donkeys have a cycle of approximately 19 to 21 days and ovulate 5 to 6 days after the onset of heat. If your Jennet is too young or too old, she has a good chance of breeding successfully as she gets older.

If you want to breed successfully when your jennet is older,It is important to breed them regularly. Too long a period between pregnancies can cause a donkey to enter menopause prematurely and make it more difficult to conceive as it ages. Donkeys generally conceive much more easily than horses, so the offspring tend to be more successful.Almost 80% of donkey calves result in successful pregnancies, which means you will have ample opportunities for foals in your Jennet's future.

Conditions to be considered when rearing older donkeys

Donkeys tend to remain relatively healthy as they age, which bodes well for breeding them as they age. However, there are some conditions that can develop after multiple pregnancies that you should watch out for. If you are contemplating breeding an older Jennet, be aware of the following conditions as they may affect your pregnancy.


Overweight donkeys are naturally more prone to hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood). However, the risk increases with pregnancy. If you plan to breed your jennet to age, be sure to keep her at a healthy weight to reduce this risk. Overweight donkeys develop love handles around their necks, stomachs and buttocks. They can help control obesityThey feed donkeys with hay, avoid grains and offer more frequent but smaller meals.


Older donkeys can have difficult calvings and may require more intervention to give birth to the foal. This can be especially true for miniature donkeys, which can have larger heads as foals. Having a veterinarian present during labor is a great way to prevent risks and take life-saving measures if your donkey develops dystocia during labor.


Multiple births can contribute to scarring and abnormalities in the uterus, leading to endometriosis in donkeys. While endometriosis is a common cause of fertility issues, it can cause pregnancy problems in your donkey. Be sure to test your older Jennet before breeding to determine if endometriosis is a problem.

As always, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can ensure your donkey has a safe pregnancy. While the above conditions pose risks to all aging female donkeys, good veterinary care can help anticipate and mitigate them before they become emergencies.

You may have noticed that each of the above risks affects jennets and not jacks. This is because, as mentioned above, cats rarely experience reproductive problems as they age. the biggestCare to raise an older male donkeyit's fertility that a vet can assess if it's an issue. Fortunately, this poses no risk to any part of the breeding pair, allowing them to continue to live long and healthy lives as part of their herd.


UnderstandingWhen a donkey is too old to breed, you can make the best decisions to help your donkey progress. Not surprisingly, breeding and bearing a foal for older female donkeys is far more risky than male donkeys and should be a careful decision. In general, donkeys are healthy little horses that can handle breeding on their own without major intervention. However, as your donkeys get older, they sometimes benefit from a little help from their favorite humans.

Annemaria Duran

Hello, I'm Annemaria Durán. I moved to the country 6 years ago mainly to have more land. I love all aspects of country life. First we got chickens, then ducks. Now we have sheep, goats and rabbits. I'm always learning and I love to share it!

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