Behavioural profiles of maintenance and social behaviours were studied in Martina Franca breed female donkey (jennies) during the period in which they had suckling foals (1 week to 6 months after foaling). The animals were reared in Southern Italy (408370N latitude) and were managed in husbandry conditions, with free access to a natural scrub area and sown pasture all year round. A total of 10 adult, pluriparous jennies, which had a similar foaling date were used. The behavioural observations in the jennies were performed in presence of their foals, for 120 daylight hours. A total of 14 activities were recorded using focal animal sampling (5 min intervals), including maintenance behaviours such as feeding, drinking, walking, resting, and a whole range of less conspicuous activities relative to eliminative and social behaviour such as olfactory communication, grooming, play and vocalisations. Meterological data were also recorded throughout the study. The results indicated that maintenance behaviours differed significantly as a function of the time since foaling (0.05 > P < 0.01). The effect of a.m. or p.m. hours of day were also significant (0.05 > P < 0.01), except for standing. All the activities included in maintenance behaviours were markedly influenced by the individual (P < 0.01). Among the social ativities considered, the jennies showed a constant proportion of time spent grooming and there was a tendency for an increase in play between dams and their foals by the end of suckling period (4th–5th month).