Donkeys and Mules

Celebrating America's Favorite Farm Animals with Donkey and Mules

by Dani Yokhna
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All About Donkeys & Mules
Misdiagnosed as “stubborn” and “ornery,” donkeys and mules have earned a bad rap over the years; however, they still stand as sentries in fields across the country and around the world.

These animals—overcoming abuses and misconceptions—have served to elevate mankind and our lifestyles to the world as we know it. Yet, in many cases these magnificent animals have been relegated to the lower ranks of society. Learn more about why these animals deserve a place on your farm and in your heart.
“Traveling around and about, my husband, daughter and I have been lucky enough to encounter many remarkable creatures … Oddly enough, however, some of our most memorable meetings have involved an animal that is neither wild nor a potential people-eater, but one that has lived amicably with and assisted humans for over 5,000 years. Indeed, this familiar barnyard denizen continues to serve and amuse us in spite of its name having been corrupted to profanity, which has also had the unfortunate result of making the animal itself the … er … butt of bad jokes. I’m talking, of course, about one of the most irresistibly loveable creatures in the world: the domestic ass (Equus asinus), more commonly—and politely—called the donkey.”—Cherie Langlois
The Popular Farming Series: Donkeys & Mules has everything you need to know to start raising donkeys and mules or to embark on a new adventure with your equine companion. With beautiful photos and in-depth articles, Donkeys & Mules is a must for any equine enthusiast’s or small farmer’s library.
What You’ll Find
The Popular Farming® Series is a collection of magabooks™ that covers farming topics of interest to small farmers today. The series provides valuable information to those who already have a small farm as well as those who are pondering the big move to the country.
This all-encompassing guide to raising donkeys and mules gives you helpful and interesting information about all aspects of donkey breeds, breeding, daily chores, protection from inclement weather, and even some advice on how to understand their behavior in “In a Mule’s (or Donkey’s) Mind’s Eye.”
“A primary difference between donkeys, mules, and horses is that donkeys and mules are cautious in the extreme. A donkey or mule won’t put life or limb in danger, so he thinks things over before he acts.”Sue Weaver
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They’ll Get a Kick Out of This!
Predators are a constant nuisance on the farm: They’ll take any chance they can get to swipe a tasty morsel off your back 40. Good fencing and guard dogs can help a lot, but each has their weaknesses. Using donkeys to donkeys to guard your livestock can make all the difference in the world. If trained properly, they bond with your other animals and treat them as family—protecting them with life and limb.
“Donkeys like Franny can be fiercely protective of their pasture mates and extremely aggressive toward intruders, which make them a very popular choice for predator control. With a built-in dislike and distrust of dogs, coyotes and other canines, they’ll stand their ground by braying, biting, kicking and chasing off any intruder that may threaten their domain.”Barbara Sheridan
You’ll Get Many How-Tos
Taking care of these unique equines is also imperative. Donkeys & Mules delivers:
  • Detailed plans on how to construct an equine shelter that will keep your donkeys and mules happy, healthy and safe from bad weather
  • A veterinarian’s advice on how to recognize signs of illness as well as how to treat and prevent disease in your four-legged friends in “Healthy as a Horse … or Donkey.”

“Today’s horse owner need only do an Internet search for ‘horse health’ and they’ll be presented with a multitude of references for dealing with any number of horse ailments. Since donkeys and mules are close cousins of the horse, it stands to reason that much of this information would be useful for these animals. There are, however, some unique considerations for donkeys. One can expect the mule to share health characteristics with both the horse and the donkey–this is certainly true for the mule’s behavior–but there’s still a lot to learn about health considerations that are unique to the mule.”Dianne Hellwig, PhD, DVM
Find out how to care for, breed and train your donkeys and mules, plus much, much more in Donkeys & Mules.
A Little Farm Fun
When you think of ways to have fun with your donkeys and mules, look beyond the obvious (riding) and get creative!
  • Show off your fitness as well as your donkey’s with a good, old-fashioned pack-burro race.
  • If you live to travel abroad and a slower pace is more your style, investigate donkey trekking.
  • See the grand canyon from one of the best seats in the park: astride a Grand Canyon mule.
  • Discover the many ways to enjoy all things donkey and mule—whether they’re faded ephemera or sweat-inducing adventures!
There’s a lot to know about these interesting member of the equine family; and Popular Farming’s Donkeys & Mules is loaded with information from equine lingo to breeder resources and associations to breeders and tack & supply houses—it’s an essential resource for anyone interested in raising donkeys and mules.

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Equine Evolution
Donkeys and mules have played a significant role in human history; it’s hard to say where we’d be today without them. Follow their journey through history.

Interested in Adopting a Donkey? 
Read all about donkey adoptions in our online exclusive, Adopt a Donkey: The Donkey Adoption Option, by Sue Weaver.

By Sue Weaver

Distinctive Donks
Take a tour through the world of donkeys and their hybrid offspring. Who knows, you may discover some you can’t live without!
By Cherie Langlois
Breeding Basics 101
How do you get a mule? A hinny? A zedonk? Discover what’s involved in breeding equines and if it’s right for your foal goals.
By Debra J. Hagstrom
In Your Charge
Learn what skills and practices you need to keep your farm’s donkeys and mules in good condition.
By Audrey Pavia
Healthy as a Horse … or Donkey
Donkeys and mules share many attributes with horses, including illnesses and prevention. Here’s expert advice on safeguarding your equine pals.
By Dianne Hellwig, PhD, DVM
In a Mule’s Mind’s Eye
Don’t get mad; get smart! Learn to understand your equine’s behavior and use it to your advantage.
By Sue Weaver
Take Cover
Donkeys and mules are hardy animals, but they do require shelter from inclement weather. Check out these design ideas for building a shelter on your farm.
By Stephanie Staton
Get a Grip
Improve your handling skills with training tips from an expert.
By Meredith Hodges
Safety With Long Ears
Take our equine-safety quiz to see how you score.
By Sue Weaver
Making Horse Sense of the Donkey and Mule Business
Starting a donkey or mule business can be tough. Minimize risks with a business plan and proper foresight.
By Barbara Sheridan
Guard Donkeys Report for Duty
Teach predators a lesson they won’t soon forget: Place a guard donkey between them and your farm stock.
By Barbara Sheridan
Beyond the Barn
Riding isn’t the only fun to be had with donks and mules. From racing to showing, learn about other activities to enjoy with your equine companion.
By Sue Weaver
Everything from breeders to tack and supplies to help you add donkeys and mules to your menagerie.
Why We Love them …

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