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Donkeys - Young Explorers, is aimed at young children who like to look at pictures, but like to find out simple things about their world. This book contains the.
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In Greece donkeys were found to be ideal animals for working on the narrow paths between the vines. Their use for cultivation in vineyards spread through the Mediterranean countries to Spain, whose coast at the southern tip is separated from North Africa by only a few miles - possibly another entry route for the African wild ass. The Roman Army was responsible for the movement of donkeys into Northern Europe. Donkeys were used in agriculture and as pack animals. The Romans used donkeys in their new vineyards, some planted as far north as France and Germany.

However, donkeys were still not commonly documented in the UK until after the s. After the midth Century, Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Ireland saw an influx of donkeys being used to bear the labours of war. Following this, large numbers of donkeys were introduced to the country for the first time - opening opportunities for poorer and agricultural Irish communities to keep a cheap, working draft animal. From the earlyth Century until the First World War, donkeys picked up the shortfall in work while horses were used in war. At the beginning of the war, the British Army owned just 25, horses but within a few weeks they purchased or conscripted another , Sadly, the horses did not fare well in the beginning of the war: hundreds of thousands lost their lives.

At home, it was up to donkeys to sustain labouring industries in Great Britain in the absence of their equine friends that had been drafted into war; at battle, the British turned to the mule in order to carry out the work of war horses that had either perished or were temperamentally unsuited to the rigours of the front line. Breeds and cross-breeds.

Knowledge and advice for owners and professionals. Donkey breeds and cross-breeds Thanks to tenacious work carried out by The Donkey Sanctuary we have been provided with a sound base on which to further investigate the 17 breeds of donkeys currently known in Europe. Filly : A filly is a young female donkey which is less than four years of age.

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Foal : A foal is a baby male or female donkey up to one year old. Gelding : A castrated male donkey. Mare : A female donkey. Rig : A rig is an entire male donkey with no signs of external testicles. Stallion : A stallion is a male donkey that has not been gelded castrated. Donkey terms Asino : An asino is the Italian word for "donkey". Ass : An ass is either a male or female donkey.

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Burro : A burro is the Spanish word for "donkey". Jack : A jack is a term for a male donkey. Jenny : A jenny or jennet is a term for a female donkey. Moke : A moke is a British term for a donkey. On both hinnies and mules, the hooves should be trimmed more upright and the heels should be left longer than the hooves of the horse.

The hinny will also eat a variety of different kinds of shrubs and bushes to sustain himself, where a mule will be more selective, again because of the influence of the female parent. This makes the hinny more desirable to those people living in remote mountain areas with little vegetation.

Both the mule and the hinny have more endurance by far than the horse, and are more resistant to parasites and disease, require less feed for good health, have tougher hooves than the horse, and have an incredible sense of self preservation that keeps them safe, which is often mistaken for stubbornness.

The horse has a flight reflex when startled and the donkey has a freeze reflex; mules and hinnies can exhibit both the freeze and flight reflexes, depending on their own unique personalities and the situation at hand. When breeding for mules, since the jacks are generally smaller and of slighter build than a horse, mule foals are generally smaller than horse foals and the mare has very little problem foaling.

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When breeding for hinnies, one needs to be cautious, as the jennets are smaller and of a slighter build than mares. A large stallion could produce a foal that would be too large and difficult for the jennet to easily foal. Matching the size of the parents is much more important with hinnies. It is more difficult for a jennet to settle after being bred to a stallion than it is for a mare to settle after being bred by a jack, so breeding for hinnies can take significantly longer. Adult hinny, photo courtesy Criadero Villa Luz. A hinny resembles a horse more than it does an ass.

It looks more like a horse with long ears and looks very much like a mule. The hinny has been used as a saddle animal from antiquity and is more difficult to produce than the mule, because the jennet does not conceive well with the stallion. Although hybrids are typically sterile, two documented cases of fertility do exist. She was bred a second time to a jack and produced the jule, or donkule Kate.

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She was bred to a jack twice and foaled first with Blue Moon, and then with White Lightning. More numerous cases have emerged with the new technology and better national and international communication. Today, donkeys and mules are registered with several different registries, the largest being the American Donkey and Mule Society. Is training a mule different from training a horse? Sometimes, horse training techniques will work on mules and donkeys that are of a certain mellow personality type, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Most mules require a kind, polite, sensible, logical and sequential way of training with consideration, consistency and respect for the animal.

They are far too intelligent to simply be forced or coerced into behaving. Training Longears is easy if you just slow down, take your time and break things down into logical, sequential and doable steps that address not only what you want to do, but how to build and condition his body properly so he can do what you want more easily through the training process. Longears comply when it feels good and is safe to do so.

If you are thorough in the early stages of training and take your time, the later stages of training will go much faster. There is a lot we can learn about ourselves and the way we communicate with others through interaction with animals in general and with equines in particular. For instance, their uses in therapeutic riding programs for the disabled generate amazing results and enhance the lives of people who might otherwise give up on life. There are measured physical improvements that take place as well as mental and emotional changes. This is why they are also helpful in teaching young people how to interact in a positive and engaging way in their families and communities.

The therapeutic riding program, Hearts and Horses that I strongly support here in Colorado has expanded their program for the disabled to also include at-risk kids, the autistic, wounded warriors and kids in general through an equine summer camp. Mules and donkeys are able to carry more weight proportionately than can a horse of the same size. Where side walkers are needed in the case of larger people during therapy, smaller mules and donkeys are a better choice than a taller horse that would put the rider in a position that is harder to reach by the side walkers.

Horses and other equines particularly mules and donkeys that are used in these types of programs truly give people a full and rewarding life. Exposure to equines inspires people about life and exotic hybrids bred from mules and donkeys command even more attention to these types of animals and the lifestyle they represent.

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Photo courtesy The Donkey Sanctuary. Many people make the mistake of sending their mule to trainers who use abbreviated training methods. These people most often wind up with problems. Mules and donkeys do much better when they are trained in a logical and sequential fashion, taking the right approach and being willing to allow adequate time at each phase of training. The training should be done by the owner and only guided by the trainer for the best results. Training should start with mules and donkeys the day they are born and should continue through their lives as a day to day routine…much like raising children.

Mules and donkeys can carry proportionately more weight than a horse of the same size. However, you do need to be careful about making broad generalizations. Obviously, a horse, or mule, who is out of condition is not going to be able to carry as much weight as one who is conditioned properly, so it is all relative to the situation.

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The maximum weight a horse or mule can carry will depend on a lot of variables. Generally speaking, a mule, or donkey, can carry more weight than a horse because of the unique muscle structure of the animal. However, an equine that is not conditioned properly will not be able to efficiently carry as much weight as one who is.

Also, the rider with better balance and riding ability is going to be easier for the equine to carry than one who is not balanced regardless of the difference in actual weight. The size of the equine and the proportion of the equine to the rider will also affect balance and carrying ability. If he is fit, he will be able to carry more than those who are not, but conformational abnormalities will also have an effect. If he has any deviations in his bone structure i. The easiest way to test for weight tolerance is to watch the way the animal moves.

If he is halted and seems to be have difficulty moving, the weight is obviously too heavy. If he is unable to trot, or is resistant to trotting, the weight is too heavy. This would be the same in harness.

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If he cannot move freely, the load is too heavy. There have never been any real in depth studies on this issue, so the statistics you hear about are not exact, only speculation. Be careful about generalizations because there are always hidden variables to be considered. In addition, fitting saddles can become an issue as your equine changes shape with conditioning, so it is best to fit the saddle when your equine is in good condition. Mule Facts. What makes a mule different from a horse?

Certain breeds of mares do not conceive as well with the jack as other breeds. Mules are also used in the equine industry for embryo transplants. There are no documented cases involving fertile male mules.