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Mules require less food and have more stamina than horses of the same weight and height, making them resilient working animals in some of the harshest environments. Over the centuries, owners have experimented with crossbreeding different sizes and breeds of horses — from miniature horses to draft horses — to create different sizes and strengths of mule.

This makes mules a dependable option for owners who work outside in harsh weather and strong sunlight. Although SPANA vets still see a lot of injuries as a result of poorly fitting equipment, mules are slightly less sensitive to the elements.

What is a mule? 13 things you didn’t know

Although the average lifespan for mules is between 35 and 40 years, some mules have been known to live until 50, especially if well looked after. For many owners around the world who may not be able to regularly replace horseshoes, this means that mules are cheaper to keep. In addition to whinnying like a horse and braying like a donkey, mules make sounds that combine both calls and have even been known to whimper when excited or worried.

China breeds more than seven million mules each year where they are commonly used on small farms and for transport. Visit China and help our work by taking part in our Great Wall of China charity walk. Although mules are usually docile, an angry mule can kick both backwards and to the side.

Donate today to help SPANA provide the care and education needed to give mules across the world a better quality of life. What is a mule? Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About Mule 6 references found in Britannica articles Assorted References comparison with donkey In donkey gestation period In gestation importance in Africa In Africa: Animal resources importance to livestock farming In livestock farming: Donkeys and mules use in logistics In logistics: Transportation use of livestock shelters In farm building: Livestock barns and shelters.

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There was a problem with your submission. Please try again later. 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. 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.

The Mule () - Rotten Tomatoes

There are no documented cases involving fertile male mules. Long ears. Short, upright and thin mane. Hair only on the end of its tail. Tends to look more horse-like. May come in a variety of colors.

  • 2. Mules are 99.9% sterile.
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They are tough and elastic, non-chipping and can grow to long lengths when the animal is on soft ground and the hooves are left untrimmed. Long body with long, wiry muscles. Short and straight back. Lacks upstanding withers and is excellent for packing and weight bearing. Bone is dense and hard. Gestation is 12 months, whereas the gestation period for a horse is 11 months.

Usually has a white belly and muzzle, and circles around the eyes. Colors are much like that of a horse. They can come in more colors than a horse, even an Appaloosa. Mules inherit best traits from both its sire and its dam. Mules get their athletic ability from the horse, while strength and intelligence come from the donkey.

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Highly intelligent, alert, curious and affectionate, when not worn down by bad conditions i. Quick to learn. A well-trained mule is calm, tolerant, loyal, affectionate, obliging and patient. Has common sense and not prone to panic or carelessness. Can recognize danger. Social Media.

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