Hassawi donkey represents one of the most common, native breed in Saudi Arabia originated from the Eastern Province, more particularly in Al-Hasa city. Little is known about the morphological parameters of Hassawi donkey, therefore, this study aimed to describe the general physical characterizations of this breed based on the recommendations of the FAO Experts consultation. Twenty-eight Hassawi donkeys including 12 male and 16 female were enrolled in this study. Twenty-Two morphological parameters and eight indices were analyzed for each animal. Descriptive statistical analysis was done for each parameter as well as correlation between parameters was also evaluated. Results revealed that most of the measured parameters showed normal distribution, while the highest degree of variation was observed in chest width and depth. Moreover, the lowest degree of variation was detected in parameters related to animal height. The measurement of the height at withers indicated that this breed can be categorized as large donkey breed. Thirteen of the twenty-two studied parameters revealed significant sex differences, including five height, three extremities, two length measures, two chest measures and face width, where the values were significantly higher for males than females. Furthermore, only the weight index from the eight indices was significantly higher in males than females. Finally, a moderate to higher degree of correlation was detected between parameters measuring animal height. It can be concluded that the morphological parameters analyzed in this study can be considered as a basis for further studies on the Hassawi donkey breed.
Key words: donkey, Hassawi, morphological measures, breeds