How Much Does A Donkey Cost?

Donkey Cost

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Before buying a donkey, you should consider all the costs associated with acquiring this new pet. From purchasing expenses to costs of creating a suitable environment and providing ongoing care, all these factors should be considered before taking on a donkey. So, this new decision may have left you wondering, how much does a donkey cost?

Like equines, the prices of donkeys vary from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on a great deal on what you want.

Whether you want a pet, companion, show animal, or a pasture ornament, you will have to pay different prices for each of them. There are three different types of donkeys; domestic, wild, and feral. Mostly, domesticated donkeys are traded for money and protection against coyotes.

Donkeys are hardworking animals who work tirelessly to make their owners happy. Most farmers buy them for different farm work and they always follow their orders to be the best employee.

Donkeys help farmers with the day-to-day operations, therefore, you will usually find one on the farm. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you will be expected to pay for buying and keeping a donkey. 

How Much Does A Donkey Cost?

On average, the cost of a donkey starts as low as $100 and goes up to $3000. Usually, you will get a mature or adopted donkey for more or less $100 whereas if you want a young, trained donkey, it will likely cost higher. Getting a registered donkey from a famous bloodline donkey will add to the cost further. 

Some breeders sell jacks and geldings together with their mother, these bundle packages will cost anywhere between $1200 to $2000.

Female donkeys older than 8 months are priced between $1500 to $2000. Pay within the range of $900-$1400 for mature open jennies. 

Old and retired donkeys cost as little as $200 to $500. The cost of miniature dwarf donkeys ranges between $1200 to $2000.

The price of the donkey is determined by several elements like breed, bloodlines, sex, color, personality, and size.

The well-bred, well-trained, large, rideable, drivable donkeys will cost a pretty penny. Besides the purchase price, there are more expenses to follow in terms of upkeep costs.

How Much Do Baby Donkeys Cost?

It is a no-brainer that you would have to pay less for younger donkeys. Jacks and Geldings under the age of 6 months are priced at $300 to $600.

If you want a registered breed, prepare to pay additional costs. Female donkeys around or above the age of 6 months are priced between $700 to $1900.

You will get them at a lesser price if the donkey belongs to an unregistered breed or is rescued.

How Much Does it Cost To Keep A Donkey?

The raising cost should concern you rather than the purchase price because it is an ongoing expense that you will be paying till you keep the animal.

The cost of keeping a donkey is less than a horse or other big animals but it will outnumber the purchase cost in a short time. 

As per the rule of thumb, you will be spending about $1000 on a donkey per year in terms of upkeep costs. These expenses include feed, shelter, deworming, medical bills, and more.

These costs vary depending on the region, so, make some phone calls to local donkey owners to get an estimated total annual expense including all the necessities.

Ask about the rental, feeding cost, veterinary care, and other important things, and determine whether you can afford to keep a donkey or not. It is better to research thoroughly than to regret it later. 

Upkeep Cost Of A Donkey

Before buying a donkey, take into consideration the monthly, quarterly, or annual keeping cost besides just fussing about the purchase price.

It matters more than most people believe and may make you give up on the pet if you can not set aside some amount for monthly expenses. Some of the rising expenses to look for are as follows

Feeding Cost 

Hay bales usually cost anywhere between $5 to $10, in areas where hay is scarce, an owner may have to pay as much as $25.

High-end feed stores and rodeo suppliers sell bales of hay at a higher rate than local dealers. If you are letting the donkey graze on pasture, this cost will be considerably reduced. 

Adult donkeys may eat 10 lbs to 12 lbs a day and more in winter to stay warm. Besides hay, you would have to give additional supplements from time to time to treat different deficiencies.


The donkey will need a play to stay and sleep, you can opt for a rented space or buy land for the donkey to live.

There are many factors involved when pricing out this cost. Calculate the expense of shelter, fencing, and labor to install it.

A miniature donkey can easily live in the backyard of standard size. It is always better to buy them in pairs, so, you would likely have to arrange a space for them to live.

Veterinary Care Cost

To determine the exact cost of veterinary care, contact the local vet and ask for the cost of exam visits, dental checks, deworming, vaccinations, and more.

On average, the exam fee is about $50 and you would be paying around the same aforementioned amount per vaccine.

Annual dental checks may cost about $60 to $70. Elderly donkeys need extra medical care as they develop many health problems with age. 


How many times do donkeys need to be dewormed in a year? It depends on the owner’s land management system and the results of the fecal count.

This cost keeps changing depending on the drug and the number of times a donkey needs to be dewormed in a year.

Assuming three times for a 200 kg donkey, the cost ranges between $15 to $40. 

Farrier Cost

Like horses, Donkeys need trimming every 3 to 4 weeks. If it is used as a working animal then you should trim their hooves frequently.

If the owner can do this tough job himself, no need for an additional cost.

When done by the professional, the farrier bill may cost about $40-$80. In some areas, this expense can cross hundred dollars benchmark.

Training Cost

Training cost depends on the gender, age, size, and temperament of the donkey. The cost of training a miniature donkey is about $500 to $2000. Some professional trainers can charge up to $35 per hour.

Factors which Effect the Price of a Donkey

Factors Affect the Price

As you all know that each donkey is priced differently. There is no way to come to an exact estimate because many factors like the following influence the donkey cost.

  • Bloodlines – Donkey names are registered according to breed. If you want the most sought-after bloodlines, then, most likely you will have to pay more. Registered breeds are sold at a higher price than unregistered ones.
  • Training – Tamed and trained donkeys are easier to handle and are taught to comply with the owner’s orders, therefore, they fetch higher selling prices.
  • Age – Donkeys can live up to 50 years, if well cared for, when it comes to buying donkeys, most people opt for younger ones. Old and retired donkeys are sold at a lower price.
  • Health – Health is a critical factor that is not overlooked when buying a donkey. If it is absolutely fit and healthy, the potential buyer will easily agree to pay a higher price. 
  • Gender – Generally, female donkeys are more in demand than male ones. They work hard without tantrums, therefore, are sold at a higher price.

Wrap Up

Now that you know the purchase price and upkeep cost, it is up to you to decide whether you want to move forward with your decision of keeping a donkey as a pet or a working animal. Raising a donkey is rewarding in many ways, so, if the budget allows, go for it!

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