How Much Do Donkeys Weigh?

Have you ever wondered how much a donkey weighs? They are smaller than horses, sometimes bigger than ponies, and overall, they look like they’re pretty heavy and chunky. Donkeys can carry a lot of weight on their back, meaning they’re definitely strong, and they can endure long distances. But how much do they weigh? 

If you have a donkey yourself, then asking yourself this question shouldn’t just be out of curiosity, but also so that you can take care of your donkey properly. Knowing the weight is vital for giving the proper care, including, for example, the right amount of food or medication! 

Of course, every single donkey will have a specific exact weight, which you will have to figure out. But it’s important to know the average weight so that you know more or less how heavy a donkey should be! 

The Average Weight Of A Donkey

On average, a healthy and adult donkey will usually weigh between 220lbs and 1000lbs. Standard donkeys will weigh between 220lbs and 700lbs, and miniature donkeys will weigh an average of around 330lbs on maximum. 

Basically, it depends on how big the donkey is. A big mature donkey, however, should never weigh more than 1000lbs, as that would then be considered overweight, and a hazard to their health.

How To Determine The Exact Weight Of A Donkey

If you need to know the exact weight of your donkey, then looking up the averages and estimates simply won’t do. Instead, you are going to have to figure out how much your donkey weighs, exactly. There are a few ways in which you can do this! 

  1. The first way is to simply get the donkey weighed. And we say simply, but it is actually a little complicated because you can’t exactly have the donkey step on human weight scales. Instead, you will have to get your donkey to a veterinarian center in which they have the right kind of scales, or methods, to weigh your donkey for you. Not all veterinarian centers will have this, so make sure to go to a donkey or equine specialist! 
  2. Use an online equine weight calculator. This is essentially an online calculator that will ask you for a few measurements and details regarding your donkey, and it will then take those details to accurately calculate the overall weight!

The first option is far more accurate because it is a direct reading of the donkey’s weight. And that is what should be used for important things. However, if you want to keep track of your donkey’s weight, or are curious, then the second option is far easier and far more convenient to use, and as a general rule, the results are incredibly accurate. 

Should You Know How Much Your Donkey Weighs?

Knowing how to weigh your donkey is always good knowledge to have, but a better question might be whether you should actually be weighing your donkey or not. Or rather, is it actually necessary for you to know exactly how much your donkey weighs? 

The answer is yes. 

In fact, it is very important that you know the exact weight of your donkey, for many different reasons!

 First of all, because you need to know your donkey’s weight in order to make sure it is a healthy weight, and that your donkey isn’t dangerously underweight or overweight in any way. 

Secondly, because the weight of your donkey determines the amount of food for a healthy and balanced everyday diet! The general consensus is that a donkey should be eating between 1.5% and 1.8% of the total body weight. 

Thirdly, because the weight of your donkey determines the amount of weight that your donkey can carry, for riding purposes or transporting equipment. The general consensus is that a donkey should carry no more than between 15% and 20% of its total body weight. 

So there you have it, knowing your donkey’s exact weight is vital in order for you to establish the amount of food, the amount of weight they carry, and whether or not they are healthy! Pretty important things, don’t you think?

Calculating Your Donkey’s Weight – Step By Step

Now that we’ve established that it is, in fact, very important to know the exact weight of your donkey, we’re going to teach you exactly how to do this, with a step-by-step guide on how to calculate your donkey’s weight. 

Of course, you could simply walk your donkey onto a huge weighing scale, but the likelihood is that this will not be possible. And therefore, the most reliable way to figure out your donkey’s weight is through maths! 

This can be best done through the use of an online equine weight calculator, but in order to use this method, you first have to take the measurements of the donkey’s weight figure. This is a series of three different measurements: the heart girth, the body length, and the height. 

In order for the online equine weight calculator to give you an accurate result, it is super important that you input the right measurements. If you get the measurements wrong, the total weight calculated will also be wrong. So take your time with the measurements! 

And just to make sure that you know how to take these measurements, here is every single one of them, explained in detail:

Measuring The Heart Girth

The heart girth is measured around the midsection of the donkey. In order to take this measurement, we recommend using a piece of cloth (that is long enough).

You can take the cloth and circle it around the thoracic region (basically around and under the chest of the donkey), making sure that it goes behind the donkey’s elbows and over where the withers meet the backbone. 

Once you have put the cloth around, keep your finger on where the two ends meet, and then measure that distance with a tape measure or similar. 

Measuring The Body Length

To measure the body length of your donkey, there are different methods depending on the online calculator you are using, so make sure to check what the calculator is asking you to measure. In most cases, the body length refers to the distance between the donkey’s shoulders, and the butt. 

To measure this, again, take a piece of cloth or string and measure the distance from one end to the other.

Measuring The Height

To measure your donkey’s height, take a string or cloth and measure the distance between the bottom of the hooves, on the ground, up to the top of the withers. Some owners like to use a height measuring stick, as these are common tools found in stables. But a string will work just fine! 

The reason why we recommend using a string or cloth when measuring your donkey is that it is soft and non-scary, so your donkey will not be alarmed and will therefore stay still and calm, allowing you to take exact measurements without making any mistakes. 

Once you have all the measurements written down, go to the online calculator and input them. After a few seconds, you should get a final result on the weight of your donkey! 

And just in case you need some visuals to help you out throughout the process, here is an image with the different measurements of a donkey indicated: 

Source: calkinsart

To find an online equine weight calculator you can simply do a quick google search. But just in case, here are a few different ones you can use: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Mature Donkeys Weigh The Same?

In the same way in which not all adult humans weigh the same, mature donkeys will all have different weights depending on many different factors, such as their breed, their age, their living conditions, their daily activity, their diet, and more. 

Is It Important To Know How Much My Donkey Weighs?

Yes, it is incredibly important to know the exact weight of your donkey, in order for you to provide proper care. Firstly, because you need to know whether your donkey is at a healthy weight, or if there are any health issues you should be looking into.

Secondly, in order to properly manage your donkey’s diet, with the amount of food, and the type of feeding. Thirdly, because the weight of a donkey determines the maximum capacity of carrying weight, and it is important not to go over this or else your donkey’s back will be damaged. 

What’s The Best Way Of Calculating My Donkey’s Weight?

The traditional method of weighing a donkey is to have them step onto a huge set of weighing scales, usually with the help of a vet or an equine specialist.

However, nowadays the most reliable and convenient method is to use an equine weight calculator, by inputting the three different measurements requirements, which paint an accurate picture of the donkey’s weight figure. 

This is easy and fast, and there are online equine weight calculators that do all the maths for you, so all you need to do is take the measurements. 

How Much Weight Can A Donkey Carry?

Donkeys are known for being strong and tough, able to carry large amounts of weight on their back, which is why they were traditionally used as animals for transporting cargo.

However, there is a limit to how much a donkey can carry, and this limit is determined by the body weight of each individual donkey. 

As a general rule, a donkey should carry no more than up to 15% of its body weight. 


In conclusion, the average weight of a donkey, in this case, an adult healthy donkey, is usually between 220lbs and 1000lbs. No mature donkey should weigh more than 1000lbs, as that would be considered very heavy and overweight. Meanwhile, miniature donkeys should not weigh any more than around 330lbs, as they are far smaller in size. 

However, if you own a donkey, it is important that you know the exact weight, and not just a rough estimate based on averages. This is because you need to monitor your donkey’s weight, as well as determine how much food to feed it every day, and determine the maximum weight capacity that your donkey can carry on its back. 

In order to calculate the exact weight of your donkey, the most reliable and convenient method is to use an online equine weight calculator.

This will do all the maths for you, taking into account the donkey’s weight figure in order to give you an accurate weight value. But beforehand, you will have to take three different measurements, which need to be as accurate as possible, in order for the weight value to be calculated properly. 

Recent Posts