Miniature Mediterranean Donk’s
Miniature donkeys originated in the Mediterranean area of Northern Africa in ancient times and more recently from the Islands of Sicily and Sardinia off the west coast of Italy. Over time the distinctions between the two island populations blurred and they are now considered one breed properly called Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys. They are simply referred to as Miniature Donkeys in North America.
Purebred Miniature Donkeys in the Mediterranean area are rapidly disappearing, as the small donkeys are being mixed with larger breeds. For this reason, the Donkeys in North America have global genetic value. Fortunately, numbers in the U.S. and Canada are strong and are increasing since the first Donkeys arrived in the early 1900's. Approximately 2,179 animals were registered in 1995 and the current population is estimated between 17,000 and 20,000 in the U.S.
The Miniature Donkey is a compact, well-proportioned animal with a sweet, sociable disposition. At maturity (3 years), it is able to pull a cart or carry a pack as it did in its native Sicily and Sardinia.
For Past Thyme Farm to succeed at sustainability, it is very important that every component we put onto our farm gives back to the farm more that it takes!
Our donk's (Alfalfa and Burdock) provide our gardens another nitrate source but most important they provide a deterrent against coyotes in the spring when our sheep are lambing. In the spring, after a long cold winter, the food sources that Coyotes depend on are very low and they love the taste of lamb. So we confined our donks within the same corral as the ewes at lambing time. They make a lot of noise when coyotes get inside the corral area and are very willing to give these visitors a real close look at the bottom of their hind hoofs.
They also provide our Guests a very unique "Farm Stay" Experience. Their friendly and lovable nature makes them great farm ambassadors.