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About ADMS

Registration Info
Where Does my Donkey Go?

What are the Reg Books and what determines which book to use?

Miniature Mediterranean Donkey PDF Reg form (give to others for mail-in)

American Miniature/Standard/Mammoth Donkey PDF Reg Form (to give to others for mail-in)

Secure Online form Miniature/MDR Only

Secure ONLINE FORM for all other Longears

PLEASE READ HERE before using online form if you have not used it before.

(* Since we now have online forms, we will no longer assign numbers for show. * )
Registration Rules 1

Registration Rules 2

Registry Checklist

Inspection Form

Transfer Form or   PDF Version

Update Form      or  PDF Version

Stud Report

Breeding Certificate
(on the reg form)

Stud Contract

Sales Contract

Code of Ethics (PDF)

REGISTRY changes 2009

Permanent ID OPTIONS 2010
The ONLINE Registration form is to be used for all ew registrations of donkeys or mules of all sizes. Please do NOT print the online form and mail it in! ***************************

VHOF/Versatility Hall of Fame

Official American Donkey and Mule Society Terminology


Mammals, members of the family Equus.  These are single-toed (hooved) grazing animals.  Equines are horses and ponies, donkeys, wild asses, zebras, and the equine hybrids resulting from the crossing of two different species (such as donkey x horse = mule, zebra x donkey -zebrass)

Sire :  the male parent of an equine.

Dam:  (pronounced as it looks) the female parent of an equine.

Stud: The breeding male of a species, or, the breeding farm housing a stud (stallion or jack).
Get:  The offspring of a Jack or Stallion.  The male is said to "get" the offspring on the female, thus the collective term get for his young.  The class for this is Get of Sire. By means sired by.  The young by the same stud are shown together as a group. The term "out of" refers to the female and not the male.

Produce:  The offspring of a Jennet or Mare.  The females produce the young.  The term "out of" is literal in the sense that the foal was born out of that female.  The Produce of Dam are shown in special classes the same as in the Get of Sire.  (Blackjack x My Jenny is read as "By Blackjack  out of My Jenny";.)

Hand - the unit of measurement for the equine.  One hand equals four inches.  Equines are measures from the ground to the heightest points of the withers.  A measuring stick with a cross piece and level is the preferred methos.  HEight liststed in hands are given as hands+inches.  !3.3 means 13 hands, 3 inches.14.2 would be foturteen hands, 2 inches.  14.3 3/4 is fourteen hand, three-and-three quarters inches.  There is no 13.4 or 14.4 - when you reach 4", you just add another hand. 


All of the types listed are registered by ADMS.  (There are few true BREEDS of donkeys left, especially in the US.  Donkeys in the US are classified byby type or height, while foriegn breeds may exist - A breed must be of the same type and usually has a studbook backing it. )

Miniature Mediterranean Donkey: Originally imported from the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, and other Mediterranean areas, these donkeys must be under 36"at the withers at maturity (after age 3) to be registered with ADMS as a Miniature.  (At the current time, donkeys up to 38"; may be listed as O for Oversized ONLY if they have a traceable pedigree of Registered Miniature parents. Both Parents must be registered Miniatures).  These animals are registered by all legitimate American Donkey or Canadian registries, including the American Council of Spotted Asses.  The are often referred to as Sicilian Donkeys, but this is not correct usage, nor is Sicilian the name of the typical coloration of these donkeys.  The ADMS now registers these animals in the Miniature Donkey Registry, although ADMS also has some older animals listed in the American Donkey Registry as well. 

Standard Donkey: This covers the size range of most donkeys in the world.  The size range is from 36.01" to 48"; at the withers.  This size donkey is often called a "burro".  (Most but not all of the background is Spanish stock)

Small Standard Donkey: A subdivision of the Standard grouping.  Small standard stand above 36" and up through 40", often with a miniature background.  This includes donkeys up to 38" if they have no registered miniature parents or traceable miniature pedigree. 

Large Standard Donkey:   Donkeys from 48.01" up to 54" for females and up to 56" for males.  These are good riding donkeys or can be used in breeding saddle mules.  Many may have Mammoth breeding in their background. 

Mammoth  - Mammoth Jackstock, Mammoth Ass - This is one of the largest breeds of donkey in the world.  Once referred to as American Standard Jack Stock.  Males must stand 56" and up, females must be 54" and up.  These animals have their own registry, the American Mammoth Jackstock Registry (formerly Standard Jack and Jennet Registry) and are also registered in the ADMS American Donkey Registry.

American Spotted Ass. While all asses can come in the spotted pattern ("pinto"), the term American Spotted Ass is a trademark for those donkeys (asses) registered with the American Council of Spotted Asses (ACOSA), which is trying to establish foundation stock for spotted asses. For those interested in genetics:  At this time, it is not known if the spotting gene can be homozygous (SS) as in the horse tobiano, as spotted jacks and jennets are still seen to throw non-spotted (solid) foals, meaning they are still heterozygous (Ss) for spots. 

(See also this fun page on
Measuring Equines!)

Ass:  The correct term for the animal commonly known as the donkey, burro, or jackstock.  The term comes from the original Latin term for the animal which was Asinus.  The scientific term for these animals is Equus asinus.  The term fell into disrepute through confusion with the indelicate term "Arse" meaning the human backside.  You are never at fault when you refer to one of these animals as an ass, and the term is not improper unless you misuse it so yourself.  The difference between asses and horses is a species difference.  You might compare it to the differences between zebras and horses, different species but closely related and able to interbreed to a degree. 

Jack:  The term used for the male of the ass species.  Thus, the often used term Jackass - which is correct if redundant. Jacks are called stallions in the UK, but stallion is reserved for horses and zebra males in the US. 

Jennet:  Pronounced JEN-et, the correct term for the female of the species.   The more commonly used term is Jenny, which is considered correct in non-technical use.  The term mare is used for horse and zebra females in the US. (But a jennet is a mare in the UK)

Burro:  A word taken directly from Spain.  It means the common, everyday working donkey found in Spain and Mexico.  It came into usage in the Western United States.  As a general rule, the term burro is heard West of the Mississippi  and the term Donkey, east of the Mississippi. Burro is not appropriate for use in referring to Miniature Donkeys or Jackstock.

Wild Burro: These are the feral (descended from domestic stock that has gone wild over generations) asses which run wild in the Western part of the United States. The American Donkey and Mule Society and Bureau of Land Management (who are in charge of the Wild Burro population)  prefer to keep the term Burro for these animals.  When registering they are listed as "Standard Donkey" and the origin and breeding is given as Wild Burro.

Donkey:  Taken from England, the derivation is uncertain, but most authorities think that the name comes from dun (the usual color) and the suffix "ky" meaning small.  Thus "a little dun animal".  In earlier England the word Ass was taken from the Roman word for the animal.  "Donkey" is a relatively recent variation of the species name.

Jack Stock: (Jackstock) The term for plural of the American Mammoth Jack and Jennet.  These animals are properly termed Asses and not donkeys, and never called burros.  They are one of the largest of the types of the ass species.

Gelding Donkey: The proper term for a gelded (castrated, or "altered" male ass.  An informal term is John (a modified form of Jack).

Spanish Jack or Spanish Donkey:  ADMS does not accept this terminology unless the animal has written documented proof of importation of itself or its immediate ancestors from Spain.  This holds for animals which people call by the breed names of foreign breeds such as Catalonian, Maltese, or Andalusian.  These breeds as pure strains are rare even in Spain, and are non-existent  in the US. The term Spanish Donkey is found in common usage meaning a large standard donkey  The ancestry of most of the donkeys in the United States is predominantly a blend of all of the Spanish breeds.  In any case, the term is inexact and is not good usage.

Mule Jack: Not a mule, but a jackass used to breed mares to obtain mules.

Jennet Jack: a jackass used to breed to jennets (the female of the species) in order to produce more donkeys.  A good breeder uses only the finest of jacks for this purpose.

British Terms: You may read English books on donkeys.  For some reason, the terms jack and jennet have been abandoned and turned to stallion and mare instead.  Also, a hinny is commonly called a jennet in England. 

The Cross: Refers to a line of darker hairstarting at the top of the head and running to the end of the tail. (Dorsal stripe)  This is crossed at the withers with another darker line of hair (the shoulder stripe) forming a cross.  The shoulder stripe may be long, very short, thin, wide, fading or dashed, but nearly all donkeys have some form of this marking.  The exceptions are the Mammoth asseswhich have been bred away from this marking, and true black animals where the cross is not visible. Even spotted animals or white-appearing donkeys may have partial or faint crosses.  This trait is very dominant.  The presence of this marking on donkeys has led to many lovely legends in the Christian religion.  The term Jerusalem donkey is often incorrectly applied to donkeys with the normal cross marking. It is a nickname, and not a true breed or type.

Markings:  In addition to the cross, many donkeys have dark markings on the ears, as "garters" (zebra marks) around the legs, or as "zippers" down the inside of the forelegs.  Small black spots on the sides of the throat, called collar buttons, may also be seen, as well as a dark line (ventral stripe) down the belly.

White Points: When registering donkeys, white points are so universally normal that only the absence of them is to be noted.  It is normal for a donkey to have short, fine, light colored hair on the muzzle (although the lips themselves will have darker hair), ringing the eyes, on the belly and inside of the legs.   A donkey that does not have these points is seen as unusual but are not too uncommon.  The gene for No Light Points  (*NLP) appears to be recessive.  A few donkeys will have only a small patch of lighter (tan, not the usual soft white) hair only a the side of the muzzle, with dark around the eyes and a tan belly.  This is noted in registration papers as an Intermediate Black Muzzle.  Just having dark lips, with the fine muzzle hair being light, is not a black muzzle. 


Mules (and hinnies) can be bred from any horse or pony breed.  Therefore they are listed by the using type rather than the size or breed of  horse parent. The old breed terms of Cotton Mule, Sugar Mule, Mine Mule, etc, are not relevant today.

Miniature Mule: Bred from various types of pony mares or Miniature Horse mares.  50" at the withers is considered the cut-off height for miniature mules.

Saddle Mule: Bred from mares of riding horse breeding.  These vary in size from small (over 50")to very large (in excess of 17 hands) but have riding type conformation and looks.

Pack/Work Mules: Bred from mares with some draft blood or of heavy work types rather than for saddle type conformation.

Draft Mules: These are the largest mules and are bred from various Draft mares.  Belgian mules are the most common, valued for their bright sorrel color, but mules from Percheron, Clydesdale, Shire and other draft breeds are also seen.  The larger and heavier the better with these mules, but refinement is desired as well.

Gaited Mules:  Bred from the Saddle-Gaited horses including Tennessee Walker, Saddlebred, Foxtrotter, Paso Fino, and Peruvian Paso.  A jack exhibiting a smooth singlefoot type gait is desirable as the sire of these mules.  Gaited mules have their own registry in the American Gaited Mule Association, which requires qualification testing of the animal to show gait, as well as video evaluation of the sire and dam.  These mules may also be registered in the American Mule Registry (ADMS) as Saddle Mules of gaited breeding.  (unless a mule has a certificate with AGA, it must be listed with ADMS as Saddle Mule of Gaited Breeding)

Mule markings:  The donkey usually passes the light points on to the mule, although they may appear brown or tan instead of off-white or pale gray like in the donkey.  Many mules will have crosses and legs stripes as well.  The crosses of mules usually differ from those on donkeys, with the shoulder stripe being very wide, or faded, as in shadow. 


Mule:  The hybrid animal produced when a male ass (Jack) is crossed with a female horse.  The mule is sterile hybrid, meaning it cannot reproduce.  Mules come in both male and female. A tiny percentage of female mules have had foals, but this is considered a freak genetic accident.  Mules are a combination of the traits of our parents with the most obvious donkey traits being long ears, narrower body and  smaller hooves.  The horse contributes size, speed, and muscle.  Other characteristics such as the head and voice (an odd combination  of the bray that ends as a whinny) are a blend of the parent features.  You can always tell a donkey from a mule by the fact that a donkey has a tail in essence like a lion or a cow (long tail with a tassel) and the mule has a tail like a horse (short tail bone with long hair).  No other characteristic s such as ear size, animal size, or color.  It takes experience to be able to immediately tell the differences in body shape and conformation, but experts will be able to tell doneys from mules at a glance.

Hinny:  This is the term used for the hybrid animal produced when the female ass (jennet) is mated to the male horse (stallion) to produce a foal.  There are both male hinnies and females.  The genetic inheritance of the hinny is exactly the same as the mule.  Scientists think that differences in hinnies and mules may be from the result of maternal influences on the fetus, and in the upbringing of the foal.  Some hinnies tend to look like horses with long ears, but most cannot be told apart from mules.  Untraced animals can not be verified as hinnies - the parents must be known in order to be absolutely sure the animal is a hinny and not the more normal cross of jack x mare.

For all purposes, hinnies are classified with mules.  Hinnies do not differ from mules in endurance, or other useful traits, but are bred more rarely because the donkey dam tends to make the offspring smaller.  Donkeys do not as readily conceive to horse stallion as to donkeys.  The equine hybrid is easier to obtain when the lower chromosome ount (the donkey) is in the male.  Therefore breeding for hinnies is more hit-and-miss than breeding for mules.

Horse Mule: The proper term for the male mule.  All male mules should be gelded, since stallion mules (stud mules) are very sexually active, even though they are sterile.  Many people refer to a male mule as a john mule, but the term is informal.

Mare Mule:  the proper term for the female mule.  The common informal term for the female mule is Molly mule, and this is frequently used. 

Mare Hinny or Horse Hinny: the terminology for the hinny follows that of the mule for clarity.

Mule Colt or Mule Filly:  the young male or female mule under the age of three.  When show classes are listed they are frequently listed as "Mare Mule under One year of age" etc.  This is of course correct but more difficult to use in speech.

Colors:  Mules come in all horse and donkey colors as well as a few odd mixtures and unique patterns all their own.  Donkeys come in some variants of horse colors, but not all.  Their color range is more limited.  However, donkeys do come in shades of sorrel, bay, roan, white, spotted, black, a type of gray, "grulla" (gray-dun), and brown, but not palomino, buckskin (or any horse-cream dilutes) , horse patterned aging gray, true tobiano or overo, or appaloosa spotted.  Most dun donkeys are known as gray-dun since most people see them as a visual shade of gray, but nearly all donkeys have the dun's dorsal stripe and a shoulder stripe.

FAQ (frequently asked Questions/Trivia)
Includes info on FERTILE MULES, twins, speed of mules/donkeys, etc

Breeding Questions

About Jacks

VHOF (Versitility Hall of Fame)

Lingo (Terminology)

Diseases in Longears


What Can you Do w/Longears?

Clubs and Organizations

Books ( Our "Hee Haw Book Service")

Member Photos

Links (Breeders and Farms)

Measuring Equines

Tail-less Donkeys?

On Gelding (Castration)

Buyers Checklist (BEFORE you purchase!)

SPOTTING PIX (pinto-spotted donkeys)

Dear John Henry (advise from a Mule)


One tough Mule/Bad-ass Mule


FEES for ADMS Services

Microchipping Notice Sheet
(to inform ADMS of added chip #s for your animals)  New 6-6-08

Found a lost or strayed Longear with a Microchip?

Need literature?
Visit  Hee Haw Books


Measuring for Dwarfism in Donkeys

Registered Farm Names

Prefixes MAIN
(Farm names added 8-20/21-08)
Prefix/Name Rules (see Rules)
Brown and white spotted standard donkey.  The spotting pattern is similar to horse overo, but the genetics are not identical.