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October 24, 2007

On the Donkey page: Colors in the Donkey

By Leah Patton
Office Manager, ADMS

Colors in the donkey range from the gray shades of gray-dun to brown, a rare bay (though not as red-toned as in horses) , black, light-faced roan (both red and gray), variants of sorrel (Registry term - RED), the blue-eyed Ivory (also called cream or white-phase), Frosted/spotted White, and a unique Spotted pattern. True horse pinto, horse aging gray, horse appaloosa, palomino and buckskin do not occur in the donkey.
The more unusual colors are the Dappled Roan, where the face and legs are light and the body is marked with "reverse" dapples (dark spots on a light background, as opposed to the horse dapple where the dapples themselves are light on dark), frosted gray (with light faces and legs and some white hairs in the coat) the pink-skinned, blue-eyed Ivory white, and the frosted spotted white. The frosted spotted is an apparent combination of a graying or roan with the spotted pattern, and can throw either more FSW, spotted, or frosty roan colts. The animals are best defined as a spotted animal where the skin is spotted but the color does not necessarily show through on the coat (it has roaned or "grayed"; out) . Frosted spotted white (FSW) can be identified from Ivory white by checking the skin around the eyes and muzzle. Ivory (creams) will have blue eyes and true pink skin, while FSW will have dark eyes, dark "eyeliner" and dark spotting on the skin.

Another unusual variant of the spotting line is the "tyger spot" pattern. These donkeys vary from the typical large spots over the ears, eyes, and topline. The body will be covered with small round spots resembling the appaloosa type.


Registry color terms

Gray-dun
Brown/Gray-dun
Brown
Dk Brown
Very Dark Brown
Black w/Cross
Black
Red
Red/Brown
Red/Gray-dun
White * (FSW or BEW)
+ Spotted (ie, Gray and white spotted, Brown and white Spotted, Red/Gray and white spotted).

Note - no Mammoth donkey are ever recorded as having been Blue Eyed White (Ivory).

Russet is a descriptive term only, until such time that there is a genetic determination of the workings of russet. They are listed as Red (Frosty roan, black trim, russet pattern) or Brown (red tones in coat, frosty roan, black trim, russet pattern).

Posted by Tanya Tourjee at October 24, 2007 08:35 PM

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