Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Dream Becomes Reality

Several years ago, some friends of ours came home from a mule show in California with, of all things, A MINIATURE DONKEY! Having never seen one or even imagined there could be such a thing, we went over to see him and OH MY GOD he is too adorable, honey I want one too!!! We got lucky because our friends had already decided they wanted more themselves, and had done the research. They didn’t have much luck here in Arizona, but found some good quality at a decent price in east Texas and they hooked us up, so we ended up sharing the trip to pick up our boys. We even bought an extra to bring back and sell to help pay for the trip. We sold the largest one and kept the other two to see how they grew, with the idea that we would keep the smallest/best quality and try to breed him to our little mares for mini mules. In the back of my mind, however, was the beginning of a dream – since we had been unable to find what we were looking for here at that time, I figured there might be a lot more people like us - so I wanted to become a miniature donkey breeder with good quality at a fair price, in Arizona. After all, not everyone can afford to make the trip to Texas! Kinda hard to do that with all boys which we got the first trip, but we purchased our first jennet the next year and at that point decided to have TWO jacks, one for horses to make mini mules, and one for jennets to make mini donkeys.

Fast forward a few years and we’ve revised our plans… we love the donkeys so much and have found some issues with mule breeding that we really don’t want to deal with. We’ve made a total of 4 trips to Texas and purchased 14 miniature donkeys. 5 have been sold and one passed away. We also bought a spotted mini jack out of New Mexico, and then we had one jennet we purchased pregnant that gave us a beautiful jennet foal, so we are at 10 miniature donkeys. Except for the two 10-year-olds we purchased on our final trip, we have bought all babies, and have been waiting for them to grow up. My older girls aren’t as small as I’d like them to be but my jack Dillon is absolutely awesome – very small, very correct, handsome as all get-out and personality plus! The girls are all sweet as pie so my hope is that Dillon passes on his physical attributes to his offspring. In the fall of 2006 Dillon and Betty Lou were finally old enough to hang out together, and on Sunday, November 18, 2007, we had our first home-bred donkey foal.
Starting to "unfold"
Moses has no problem finding the groceries!
Betty Lou loves her boy!

That's my mama!
Betty Lou, checking out Moses
Darci is trying to figure out what has taken my attention away from her
Moses, trying to figure out how to lay down
Halfway down
Ok enough pictures already!
I couldn’t be happier with this little guy - he is, except for color, the image of his wonderful papa.
These pictures don't do him justice but here's daddy! Mirror P Marshall Dillon:
And even better, my thoughts were correct, and there IS a desire here for miniature donkeys – Moses sold via e-mail in less than 4 days, and if I hadn’t missed the first message sent Monday, I’d bet it would have been only 2 days! As it was there were two people had who contacted me by Wednesday and when the second party got back to me on Thursday, they were very disappointed to hear that he had already sold. “No worries”, I told them, “this foal’s aunt was bred to the same jack and is due in the spring, if you are still interested then”. So they now have DIBS on Susie Q’s foal! This fall we only gave Betty Jean to Dillon, but let Wiley, the spotted jack, have the other three jennets that are old enough. Taffy Jo and Becky Lynn are spotted too, and our chocolate, Peggy Sue, is Taffy Jo’s daughter, so we are hoping for some color next fall. I do plan to keep any spotted jennet foals for later breeding to Dillon, but all of Dillon’s foals and any of Wiley’s jack foals will be sold. And lest you feel sorry for him, Dillon’s not being left out too much, because he will be back with Betty Lou when Moses is weaned.
So, fair warning – be careful asking me about my donkeys! I am beyond excited about our first baby and hoping to enjoy many more in the future!

Moses checking out his new playmate Zacchaeus

Moses is King of the Hill - er, Tarp?


Mikey said...

Moses is a cutie, I can attest to that! But so is Dillion, and Eve, she is a standout :)
I love them all!!!

Lisascraftroom said...

He is just so cute and I always have to give Moses love and of coarse momma and daddy. We will one day adopt a mini donkey from you even if Abby does give us a baby! You know how Nate LOVES the donkeys! You do such a wonderful job with them all!