How Much Does A Donkey Weigh?

Donkeys are great additions to farms since they help guard small livestock. But how much does a donkey weigh?

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Donkeys are great additions to farms since they help guard small livestock. But how much does a donkey weigh?

It is important to manage the weight of donkeys since their job requires them to be strong and tough. Moreover, without knowing the average weight of a donkey, it is difficult to understand the weight to feed proportion.

The first thing we need to keep in mind is that a donkey's weight depends on its size. Donkeys can weigh anywhere between 200 to 1300 pounds. Their weight is extremely important as they are classified by their weight rather than their breed.

Donkeys in the US are of three kinds – miniature, standard, and mammoth. Each of these donkeys has different weights. Roughly speaking, miniature donkeys are the smallest and lightest, while mammoths are the largest and have the most weight.

We've worked with these wonderful animals on farms for years now. We've also kept and raised all three types of donkeys. As a result, we know all about how much each type weighs and how much they need to be fed.

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How Much Does a Donkey Weigh?

This question does not have a single answer, mainly because it depends on the kind of donkey. Hence, you need to learn a little about each donkey. Below you will find three classifications of donkeys that can commonly be found in the US and how much each kind of donkey weighs.


Miniature donkeys are anywhere from 30 to 36 inches tall and can weigh 400 pounds or less. These donkeys make the best pets, as well as farm companion animals, especially for miniature horses, pigs, sheep, and lonely goats.

While children can sit on miniature donkeys and enjoy the ride, these donkeys cannot tolerate the weight of adults.

Florida is home to the smallest miniature donkey in the world – it is only 25.29 inches tall. It is estimated to weigh less than 200 pounds.


At their shoulders, standard-sized donkeys are between 36 and 56 inches tall, and they weigh more than 400 pounds. That's the minimum. These donkeys can weigh up to but usually not more than 900 pounds. The height of a standard female donkey can go up to 54 inches, while male donkeys can grow to 56 inches.

Standard donkeys are usually used on the farm as guard animals. They help protect livestock, including cattle, sheep, and goats.

Standard-sized donkeys make wonderful pack animals, as well as pets. Small children and young adults can ride them. However, full-grown adults should not sit on these donkeys because they can buckle under their weight.

Mammoth Donkeys

Mammoth donkeys have a height of at least 54 inches. They can weigh anywhere between 900 to 1300 pounds. These donkeys are usually used for farm and draft work.

According to history, Romulus is the largest donkey in the world. This American Mammoth donkey has a weight of 1300 pounds.

Mammoth donkeys have been used throughout history to produce mules by breeding with horses. Mules are the offspring of these two animals. They have the height of a small horse and are approximately 14 hands (56 inches) tall, maybe more.

If you are looking to ride a donkey, mammoth donkeys are the best. Because of their size, they can easily carry the weight of an average-sized adult.

How Much Does a Donkey Foal Weigh?

A donkey foal's weight depends greatly on the size of its parents. Newborn miniature donkey foals can weigh approximately 18 to 25 pounds or less.

The weight of a standard-sized donkey is usually between 19 to 30 pounds. Mammoth donkeys weigh more – their weight can go up to 10 percent of the total weight of their adult mother.

How Do You Calculate a Donkey's Weight?

It is important to know the weight of a donkey so that you can measure their feed, supplements, and medicines and know how much to buy. Here are some ways to calculate a donkey's weight:

Get a Livestock Scale for the Farm

There is no denying that livestock scales are costly. They can only be a cost-effective option if the farm has an entire herd of animals that are supposed to be weighed every single day.

Livestock scale setups can cost approximately $2,500 or more, depending on the size of the setup.

Get a Large Animal Veterinarian for the Donkey

If you are wondering how much your donkey weighs, take it to a big animal veterinarian. They will definitely have the appropriate scales in their offices that will allow you to accurately weigh your donkey.

Look at Local Farms

Survey the farms around you. Look for local farm owners who have livestock on their farms. Check around to see if they have a big animal scale that you can use to find out the weight of your donkey.

Use an Equine Weight Calculator

Take note and measure the donkey's chest circumference, body length, and shoulder height. Look for an equine calculator on the internet where you can type in the measurements and calculate the donkey's approximate body weight. This figure should be treated as an estimate, though; the best thing to do is to use a scale to measure your donkey's weight.

Is Your Donkey Overweight?

If you want to determine whether your donkey is overweight, all you need to do is examine its body conformation. One of the easiest ways to tell if your donkey is overweight is to check its neck – if it has a thick neck, it might be overweight.

Moreover, an overweight donkey will have a thick layer of fat on its shoulders, back, and hindquarters. This will make it difficult for you to find its bones, even if you apply some pressure. Overweight donkeys will also have difficulty walking and will show signs of laminitis and lameness, both of which will worsen over time.

If donkeys graze on lush pastures or are rewarded with a variety of high-calorie treats during the day, they can easily gain weight.

If you find that your donkey is overweight, it is best to speak to a veterinarian who can confirm this information and help you come up with a plan that will allow your donkey to lose weight safely.

Is Your Donkey Underweight?

Now that you have the answer to "how much does a donkey weigh," you also need to ensure that your donkey is not underweight. To figure this out, all you have to do is perform a simple physical exam. Underweight donkeys usually have thin necks and do not have a lot of muscle conformation throughout the body.

Moreover, an easy indication of whether your donkey is underweight is to check its ribs. If it has visible rib bones that you can easily feel, it may be underweight.

The reason why donkeys are underweight is that they are not being fed sufficient food. However, their weight can also be low because of health issues.

If a donkey in your care is suspected to be underweight, you must get in touch with a veterinarian as soon as possible to figure out why the donkey has been losing weight and how you can help solve this problem before it worsens.

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