Donkey Breeds

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Donkey Breeds

Post by khandairies on Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:19 pm

Donkey
The donkey, Equus africanus asinus,is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family, and an odd-toed ungulate. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild asss, E. africanus. Traditionally, the scientific name for the donkey is Equus asinus asinus based on the principle of priority used for scientific names of animals.
A male donkey or asss is called a jack, a female a jenny, and offspring less than one year old, a foal (male: colt, female filly).

Some of the common breeds are :-

Abyssinian Donkey

Also Known As: Ethiopian

This breed is found throughout Ethiopia. They are usually slate-gray but are occasionally found in chestnut-brown. The breed is similar to Sudanese Pack donkey.


Anatolia Donkey
Found throughout Turkey this donkey is found in both black and gray varieties.


Large Standard
Size 48" up to 56"


Mammoth Jack Stock

54" and up for jennets
56" and up for jacks



Mary Donkey

Also Known As: Maryiskaya, Merv


Mary and Ashkhabad regions of Turkmenia breed the Mary breed of large donkeys. The height of individual specimens reach 130 - 142cm. Their origin and economic features are similar to the Iranian Hamadan whose descendants can also be encountered in Azerbaijan. In regions where Mary donkeys are bred large typical specimens (male height at withers 119-120cm, female 116-118cm) coexist with smaller ones, hardly different from the Uzbek variety.

The hybridization experiments of the National Horse Breeding Research Institute involved these animals and heavy draft mares to produced draft-pack and pack-transport mules. The latter type (out of dams of the Lokai breed) were successfully tested in Tajikistan. Along a difficult 90-km route up to an altitude of 3000m the speed of the animals was 6.3 km per hour. Practical mule breeding showed that the pack mule should not be vary large, as in the mountains balance and efficient movement are of the utmost importance. A short pace reduces the swinging of the pack and provides for a steady movement on poor paths. In the Nagorny Karabakh autonomous regions of the Azerbaijan, mules with a live weight of nearly 300 kg carry packs of 70-125 kg.

The Mary breed and a number of local variety occupy a rather limited area and comprises discrete "island" populations of diminishing number. The stock is declining due to low profitability of donkey breeding and the related mule production. Expeditions and mountain rescue parties require only a small number of animals.

Miniature


Size: up to 36" tall
Miniature donkeys are native to the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia. They are identified as either Sicilian or Sardinian donkeys according to their ancestry, although the two types do not differ. They have been extensively bred with each other and with animals of unidentified ancestry in the United States to produce a distinctively American breed of donkeys, which we call the Miniature Mediterranean Donkey. According to all information that can be acquired these donkeys are nearly extinct in the land of their origin and have been brought to their current state of being an excellent breed by breeders in the United States who have bred for years for size, disposition and conformation.
There are probably about 10,000 of these donkeys in the United States today but there is not an accurate account of them because they are not all registered. A registry was established in 1958 by Danby Farm in Nebraska and is now a part of the American Donkey and Mule Society in Denton, Texas. Approximately 15,000 of these donkeys have been registered since the inception of the registry but many more exist in unregistered herds. The breed is defined by size. The adult miniature donkey must not be more than 36 inches tall when mature, measured from the highest point of the withers to the ground.

Characteristics

The Miniature Mediterranean Donkey is by nature one of the friendliest and most affectionate animals of its type. They are very tame and gentle. They are also easier to manage in everyday life than some donkeys simply because they are smaller. They love their owners and seek attention. They do this with friendly nudges and brays and funny little sounds designed to get you to pay attention to them. The miniature donkey is extremely intelligent and docile and is easily trained. Geldings or jennets make the best pets. Jacks enjoy braying and may become excited in the presence of the females.

The size of these donkeys varies from 26 inches, which is considered extraordinarily small, to 36 inches at the withers. An average height would be about 33-34 inches. In general the smaller the donkey the more valuable it is accounted to be. Other things that make a donkey valuable are good body and leg conformation and one of the more unusual colors such as spotted, white, sorrel, "chocolate" (dark brown) or black. Gray-dun, the various shades of gray with the dorsal stripe and cross is the most common color of these donkeys.

Conformation of the animals is supposed to be that of a small, compact, well rounded animal standing on four straight strong legs with all parts in symmetry and balance. The average donkey will weigh from 250 to 450 pounds with most animals being in the lower weight ranges. The hair ranges from flat to curly to long and shaggy and in texture from smooth to wiry. The hair coat is shed out much later in the summer than that of the horse and serves to protect the donkey from the weather and the flies. Almost all of these donkeys will have a "cross". The cross is a dorsal stripe of darker hair down the length of the back crossed by a shoulder stripe across the top of the body at the withers and showing down the shoulders. Most of the donkeys will have darker markings on the ears, the tip of the tail and around the feet. Some have "Garters" or stripes ringing the legs as well. A few of the donkeys have "collar button" markings, which are dots of black hair on the neck just below the place where the head joins the neck. The registry calls a donkey the color of the body and assumes a lighter colored nose, belly and inside of the legs. If the animal has a dark nose and/or belly that is noted on the registration certificate. A dark nose is called "dark muzzle" and if no parts of the body show the light "points" the donkey is said to have "no light points". The dark points are found in all donkeys but are not too common, the light points being the norm.

Life expectancy for well cared for miniature donkeys is around 30-35 years so they are truly a lifetime pet.

Poitou
Also Known by: baudet de Poitou, Poitevin, French

The origins of the Poitou, as with many ancient breeds, is a bit vague. It is said that the donkey and the practice of mule breeding was introduced to the Poitou region of France by the Romans. The two breeds, Poitou (donkey) and Mulassier (horse) seemed to have been developed side by side for the sole purpose of producing mules of exceptional quality. It is not known when the people of Poitou began selecting for the type of mule-sire which we know today as the Poitou, but evidence shows that the breed was already well established by 1717 when a memoirs of the king's advisor described the donkeys of Poitou thus: "There is found, in northern Poitou, donkeys which are as tall as large mules. They are almost completely covered in hair a half-foot long with legs and joints as large as a those of a carriage horse."

Up until the years following World War II, the Poitou played an important roll in supplying quality mules to France and the rest of Europe. It is said that the mule resulting from the union of a Poitou and a Mulassiere is the finest working mule in the world. Whether this is indisputably true, we can not say, but a Poitou mule, more often than not, fetches a higher price than any other. It has been estimated that in the heyday of the industry, the Poitou region produced as many as 30,000 mules per year.

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