Meet Dartmoor’s Dinky Donkeys

We’re home to two of the best looking lads on Dartmoor and our guests love meeting them. If we turn up to let Tiny Tim and Freddie out without any guests, they often look a bit disappointed.

The boys love plenty of brushing and cuddles once they’ve woken up. During the summer months when the grass is rich, they enjoy a mid afternoon siesta for a few hours which probably goes back to their Mediterranean heritage!

Both Tiny Tim and Freddie love taking people for guided walks on Dartmoor. As soon as they see their halters and guide rope, they often carry them to the gate. One of their favourite things to do during a walk when we reach the top of a hill is to give each other a knowing nod before running down by themselves. Have you seen a donkey run down hill? There little legs aren’t very coordinated, they fart and occasionally bray. It certainly makes us giggle.

Would you like to know more about our dinky donkeys?

Well, Tim is the eldest although smallest. Miniature donkeys grow until they’re three years old. When Freddie reached the grand old age of two, he was taller than Tim who is five years older.

To be officially a miniature donkey, they have to be less than 36 inches tall behind the base of their neck which is called their withers. Ours are smaller than that.

The breed name is Miniature Mediterranean Donkey. Originally they were used to carry things in places like Sicily before becoming farm pets in America. These cute animals have been introduced to the UK over the last decade where there are about 700 – that’s pretty rare so meeting them is pretty special.

Did you know they have passports and can’t be moved without them? The passports contain information ranging from date of birth, unique marking details for identification and their medical records.

Tiny Tim may be small, however he’s very responsible. Tim is always on the look out to make sure Freddie and him stay safe. He’ll stare at the cows and sheep in the neighbouring fields, encouraging them to keep their distance. He’s a bit of a slow eater and has a little chubby tummy. We’re careful to make sure he doesn’t eat too much. Tim’s colouring is grey dun and guests often think he looks like Donkey from Shrek.

Freddie might be younger than Tim, but he wants to be in charge. Freddie loves his food although manages to burn off calories and stay thin. In the early evening you’ll often see him encouraging Tim to play which usually includes chasing each other around the fields and pulling their fly masks off which they sometimes wear on summer days. Freddie is a light grey dun colour. He has a distinctive hee-haw – it is high pitched and a bit like a kettle when a kettle boils.

Our guests are very welcome to meet the donkeys on select weekends and certain days during the school holidays. We also offer Dartmoor walking experiences with tea on the lawn – it’s a special experience that you’ll remember for a long time.

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