Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys are a separate breed of donkey originating from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Because they were so small they were employed to turn grinding stones for grain inside the peasants houses.
There are 18th century wood block pictures showing these small donkeys, blindfolded, attached to the grain mill and walking in endless circles. They were also used to carry water from village wells and supplies into the mountains for shepherds.
Miniatures usually have at least three recorded generations of ancestry. Many have up to 400 recorded ancestors dating back to 1929 when the first imports from Sardinia arrived in the USA and were imported by Mr. Robert Green, a stockbroker of New York and sent to his stud farm in New Jersey.
Within the past ten years the export of Miniature Donkeys to England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia has demonstrated the increasing popularity of these versatile, affectionate creatures. In 2014 the MDR now has over 65,500 registered donkeys.
Although every Miniature Donkey is not breeding quality, all Miniature Donkeys, especially geldings, have a role to play as endearing companions and as public ambassadors in schools, fairs, parades and nursing homes.