How Much Does a Donkey Cost – Price Breakdown

Donkey Cost depends on many factors like size, type, and health condition. They range in size from 26 inches to 68 inches. This guide can help, If you are thinking to opt for a donkey, So here is a rising question again How much does a donkey cost?

Donkey costs from 75$ to 3500$.This price is the initial adoption cost. Other keeping cost like Electric Fence, shovel, yard broom, rake, and grooming kits. Living costs, feeding costs, and medical costs are a major part of an owing donkey.

Donkeys (burros and asses), members of the Equidae family are found in almost every part of the world. There are three types of donkeys found in the world that are

wild, domestic, and feral. Male donkeys are usually referred to as jacks and females are called jennets or jennies.

How Much Does Owning a Donkey Cost?

Donkey adoption cost varies in different states. Some basic factors also put an impact on buying costs. Different donkey organizations sell donkeys in different states. while purchasing donkeys keep in mind these factors.

  1. Organization Impact
  2. State Tax Variation
  3. Online resources
  4. Size
  5. Gender 
  6. Age
  7. Bloodlines, Color, personality

Organization Impact

Some organizations work in each state. They play an important role in the price of a donkey. Selection criteria, adoption process, and cost vary in each organization.

Rule of supply and demand works in the organization. If an organization has few donkeys price will be high as compared to an organization with plenty of donkeys.

Stat Tax Variation

State sales tax also puts a great impact on buying costs. Some states have a very high tax rate like California and Mississippi with seven percent sales tax. Some other states like Alaska, Delaware, Montana, and Hampshire have low tax rates.

Online Resources

You can buy donkeys from online resources like Horseclicks or equine now. Price can vary in online resources. People list their animals on these sites.

You can get a donkey at a fair price. Make sure to consider all factors before buying a donkey. After looking at equine now, I get an idea of 300$ to 2000$ cost.


Size can lower or increase the price of a donkey. The more you go for the bigger one the more you will have to pay.

Donkey range in size from 26 inches to 68 inches. Some donkeys are used for mule breeding which is expensive.

Despite the size as a price factor, many poorly bred donkeys are available in a rescue center for free. Miniature donkey or miniature horse cost is different from the mammoth donkey.


Generally, females are more in demand and they are being sold at higher prices than male ones.

Because they have the ability to produce more. Some mule production donkeys are also expensive. Gender plays an important role in cost estimation.


The younger ones will make you pay more as they have years to live than the older ones. Working donkeys have an average age of 15 to 17 years. (source)

In prosperous countries, they have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. Jennet can reproduce in the early 20s. At the age of 2 years, the donkey can mate and the female donkey gives birth to a new foal each year.

Bloodlines, Color, and personality

Bloodlines, color, and personality also determine the cost of buying a donkey. Donkeys are found in grey, brown, black and mixed colors. People are seen paying more for brown, black, and grey donkeys.

Depending on the size, color, and gender of a donkey you may have to pay around $500-2000 to get one.

donkey price

What is the Cost of Keeping a Donkey?

After buying a donkey, the next thing is to estimate the monthly cost. You need to invest in food, medical and living costs.

Living Cost

It is better to have two donkeys or keep them with ponies. Donkey is a social animal and love to live in a herd. On average a donkey needs half an acre of land.

It depends on the size of a donkey. The standard size backyard is enough for a miniature donkey. A medium-size donkey which is more common needs half an acre.

Give them a proper shed to prevent snow, rain, and other harsh conditions. They are susceptible to pneumonia and bronchitis. Donkeys need adequate shelter in winter.

Feeding cost

The feeding cost depends on how actually you are feeding your donkey. Whether you are buying hay or you are letting your donkey graze.

If you are letting your donkey graze your feeding cost will be zero. But if you are thinking of buying hay you may have to suffer a cost of $3 or maybe upper bale. You may need a feed bucket which costs about 30 to 50$.

Donkeys eat more in winter to stay warm. A mammoth donkey can eat 10 to 12lbs in a day. Most of the donkeys do not like grain. However monthly supplements can cost you 20 to 30$.

Lush Pasture is not recommended for donkeys. They are very pruned to obesity and metabolic disorders. Mammoths need more area as compared to standard or miniature donkeys.

If it is possible, divide the pasture into two parts. Pasture fencing can be barbed wire, page wire, or electric fence. An electric fence can cost you 90 to 180 euros.

Medical cost

They actually don’t really get sick very often if they are being treated right. Provide them proper shelter in the rain and wet conditions and they will never get diseased.

Even their dentist visits are lesser than the horses. Overall medical expenses can be around $80 dollars. 

Prolonged colic disease or serious injuries can increase vet costs. For pregnant donkeys, pre-birth exams are very important. Feed them more hay and provide pregnancy supplements.

Deworm your donkey three to four times a year using any wormer.

A veterinarian should make a fecal test to check the presence of the parasite. If you ignore deworming, internal tissue damage will decrease your life span. A fecal test will cost around 25 to 30$. Best dewormer costs you around 10 to 20$.

Farrier/ Trimming cost

They need regular trims( if they are not walking on paved roads). These are generally needed to be done every 6 weeks and it costs around $40-80 (each time).In wet areas, the farrier bills may go up to $800.

Training cost

Training cost also depends on the size, gender, and age of the donkey. The miniature donkey may make you pay $500-2000 as a training cost.

Jennet( who is ready to breed) can even make you pay more. The trainer is seen charging $35 per hour in some areas.

Electricity cost

It gets pretty high in winters but it also depends on the size of your donkey. As they need heating tanks in winter. It can sometimes cost you $70 dollars a month.


It depends on how big is the donkey and how much it likes taking in water. It is hard to estimate how much you will need to pay for it but it won’t let you go into bankruptcy.

Euthanasia cost

The reason why we are highlighting it into a separate heading is that it is super important to keep some cash for it too. The lowest euthanasia cost can be expected at $300.

This cost can vary according to size and place. Some states have more taxes and other fees and living factors can increase or decrease costs.

Disposal cost

Disposal cost is very high when it comes to horses and donkeys etc. It cost you hundreds of dollars.

That is all about the owing and monthly expenses of the donkey. Now choose the perfect donkey name and enjoy this social pet.


Why should you have a donkey?

Because of their gentle and obedient nature, they are seen forming a strong bond with humans around them. Another reason why they should be kept is that they have the ability to protect farm or domestic animals from wild attacks.

Are donkeys easier to keep?

Yes, they are actually very easy to keep even in winter.

Is keeping a donkey expensive?

Keeping a donkey a pet or as a guard for farm animals may cost you a few dollars per month but they are less expensive as compared to the horses and other such animals. As they can survive on grass, hay, or even pasture. It may cost you around 100-300 dollars per month.

Which type of donkeys is expensive to keep?

Young and miniature donkeys are less expensive to keep but elderly donkeys are not. They require different medical and living conditions. Elderly donkeys make you visit the doctor more for their dental and respiratory problems. Their feed and bedding are also costly. So, If you are low on a budget consider buying a  miniature donkey.

Final Words

So the answer to the question ” how much does a donkey cost” depends on many factors. This guide was the basic idea of buying costs and monthly expenses. This owning cost and expenses can vary in different regions and types of donkeys.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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