English / Irish Donkeys

About English / Irish DonkeysAbout English / Irish Donkeys

Historically, the donkey was never used extensively in Britain – except in Ireland, where it became the principal draught animal for cottagers and smallholders throughout the country.

Eggs and butter, which were the chief produce of the widespread small farms, were brought to market weekly by a patient donkey harnessed to a small cart, usually driven by the farmer's wife.

While some breeders refer to their donkeys as “Irish” and others as “English”, they are essentially the same breed and are grouped as English/Irish by the Donkey Society of New Zealand.

Since the early 1990’s, a number of these small donkeys have been imported into New Zealand, and they are now firmly established and are being bred in a number of studs. Pure English/Irish donkeys are no more than 11 hands (44 inches or 111.76 centimeters) in height, and are often referred to as “Miniatures.”  They come in a variety of colors.

The breed is today probably the most sought-after donkey in New Zealand.

Content and Photo Source: New Zealand rare Breeds (http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/).