Owning a donkey is not as expensive as one might think. In fact, donkeys are relatively affordable compared to other animals. The average cost of purchasing a donkey is between $200 and $3,000.

Donkey care is also not as expensive as some people might believe. Donkeys only require basic care and can live on a diet of hay and grass. Donkeys are also very hardy animals and do not require much in the way of veterinary care.

The biggest expense associated with owning a donkey is usually fencing. Donkey-proof fencing can be expensive, but it is necessary to keep these intelligent and curious creatures contained.

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Bringing Home a New Donkey: One-Time Costs

When you first bring your donkey home, there are a few one-time costs that you will need to consider.

The cost of purchasing the donkey itself is the most obvious expense. As we mentioned above, donkeys typically cost between $200 and $3,000. The price you pay for your donkey will depend on a number of factors, including the animal’s age, health, and breed.

If you do not already have a donkey-proof fence, you will also need to factor in the cost of fencing. A good donkey-proof fence can be expensive, but it is essential for keeping your donkey safe and contained.

Other one-time costs that you may need to consider include the cost of having the donkey microchipped and registered, as well as the cost of any necessary vaccinations.

Donkeys are social animals, so you will need to provide them with a companion. If you do not already have another donkey, you will need to purchase one (or more). Donkeys can be purchased for around the same price as the original donkey.

You will also need to purchase food and water buckets, hay, straw, and other supplies for your donkey. A good rule of thumb is to budget about $100 per month for supplies.

baby donkey
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In some cases, you may be able to find a free donkey. Donkeys are often given away for free by people who can no longer care for them. However, it is important to remember that even a free donkey will come with some costs. You will still need to provide the animal with food, water, shelter, and fencing.

If you are considering adopting a free donkey, be sure to do your research and make sure you are prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for the animal.



Another option for finding a donkey is to adopt one from a rescue organization. Donkey rescues are dedicated to rescuing donkeys that have been abandoned, neglected, or abused.

Adopting a donkey from a rescue can be cheaper than purchasing one from a breeder or private owner. Adoption fees typically range from $75 to $250.

However, it is important to remember that donkeys adopted from a rescue may come with some medical problems due to their previous situation. Be sure to factor in the cost of any necessary medical care when considering adoption fees.



Depending on the breeder, the quality of the donkey, and whether you are buying a male or female, you might pay a breeder fee of anywhere from $75 to $500. It’s not uncommon for a breeder to ask for half the purchase price up front, with the remainder to be paid when you take possession of the donkey.

donkey eating
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Initial Setup and Supplies


Be prepared to spend at least $200 on your new donkey, but prices can range up to $4,000 or more. You need to consider the age, health, and breed of the donkey when budgeting for your purchase.

List of Donkey Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar$10
X-Ray Cost$50–$100
Ultrasound Cost$50–$100
Teeth Cleaning$75
Nail Clipper (optional)$10
Brush (optional)$10
Food and Water Bowls$50

How Much Does a Donkey Cost Per Month?


In addition to the one-time costs associated with purchasing a donkey, there are also monthly expenses that you will need to consider.

The biggest monthly expense is food. Donkeys are herbivores and their diet consists mostly of hay and grass. A good rule of thumb is to budget about $100 per month for food.

burro donkey
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Health Care


This includes the cost of routine check-ups, vaccinations, and deworming. If your donkey requires any special care or treatment, the cost of health care will be higher.


$30–$100 per month

Donkeys are herbivores and require a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar. The cost of food will depend on the type of food you choose to feed your donkey and how much the donkey eats. A good quality hay can cost between $10 and $30 per month.


$10–$20 per month

Grooming shouldn’t cost too much. You will just need to purchase a few supplies, such as a hoof pick and brush. If you want to get your donkey professionally groomed, you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per month.

Medications and Vet Visits

$30–$50 per month

Vet bills and medications will be your biggest monthly expense when owning a donkey. Donkeys are susceptible to a number of health problems, including parasites, respiratory problems, and joint issues.

The cost of preventative care, such as vaccinations and deworming, is relatively low. However, the cost of treating a sick donkey can be very expensive.

You should budget at least $30 per month for vet bills, but the actual cost will depend on the health of your donkey and any problems that arise.

vet checking donkey
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Pet Insurance

$10–$30 per month

Pet insurance is an essential monthly expense for all pet owners. While donkeys are relatively hardy animals, they can still get sick or injured. Pet insurance will help you cover the cost of unexpected medical bills.

Environment Maintenance

$30–$50 per month

Yes, donkeys are hardy animals. But they do require some basic maintenance in order to stay healthy and happy.

The most important factor in maintaining a healthy donkey is providing them with a clean and spacious living area. This means cleaning their stall or pen on a regular basis and making sure that they have plenty of room to move around.

You will also need to provide your donkey with fresh water and hay or straw. Most donkeys need about 1–2% of their body weight in hay or straw each day. For a 500-pound donkey, this works out to about 5–10 pounds of hay or straw per day.

If you live in a cold climate, you will also need to provide your donkey with a blanket or coat during the winter months. The total monthly cost for these things shouldn’t be more than $50 or so.

donkeys in the pasture
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Hay Net$30/month

Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Donkey

$100–$300 per month

Every month, you’ll need to make sure your donkey has food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. The amount you spend will depend on the size of your donkey and how much you’re willing to spend on him. Donkeys are relatively low-maintenance animals, but they still need plenty of care and attention.

Additional Costs to Factor In

When you’re thinking about the costs of owning a donkey, there are a few other things you’ll need to factor in on top of the basic monthly costs. These additional costs can include:

  • Vet Bills: Whether it’s an annual check-up or an unexpected illness, donkeys will need to see the vet from time to time. The cost of these vet bills can add up, so be sure to budget for them in your overall donkey ownership costs.
  • Farrier Bills: Donkeys also need their hooves trimmed and maintained on a regular basis. This is typically done by a professional farrier and can cost around $50 per visit.
  • Feed and Hay: Of course, your donkey will need to eat! The cost of feed and hay will vary depending on the type and quality you choose, but you can expect to spend around $30 per month on average.
  • Other Supplies: There are a few other supplies you’ll need to care for your donkey, such as a halter, lead rope, and brush. These items can typically be found for around $50 total.

As you can see, there are a number of costs to consider when owning a donkey. Be sure to factor in all of these costs when budgeting for your new furry friend!

baby donkey eating hay
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Owning a Donkey on a Budget

It’s possible to own a donkey on a tight budget. Here are some tips:

  • Try to find a donkey that is already trained. This will save you time and money in the long run.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price. Donkeys are not cheap, but you may be able to get a discount if you haggle.
  • Be prepared to spend extra on hay and other food for your donkey. They have large appetites!
  • Make sure you have a good vet who is familiar with donkeys. They require special care and treatment.

Owning a donkey can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little bit of planning and research, you can find ways to save money.

Saving Money on Donkey Care

If you’re trying to save money on donkey care, you’re in luck. Donkeys are relatively inexpensive to care for compared to other animals. Their diet is mostly hay, they don’t require vaccines or other medical care, and they don’t need expensive hoof care.

However, donkeys do require some basic supplies and regular maintenance, so be prepared to budget for these things.

spotted donkey
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Even though donkeys are not as expensive as some other animals, they still require a decent amount of money to keep them healthy and happy. Overall, the cost of owning a donkey is about $200 a month.

This includes food, hay, straw, vet bills, and other miscellaneous costs. Of course, the price may be higher or lower depending on where you live and what type of donkey you have. Nevertheless, donkeys are wonderful creatures that can bring a lot of joy to your life.

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels