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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is an odd question, but can someone help me ID whether I have a donkey or a mule?


I got 3 donkeys, a mule and a mini pony from a rescue and they told me which was which but I've forgotten.


Here she is:
 

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Looks like a donkey to me...
From the internet googled..."what is the difference between donkeys & a mule?"
Donkey is a domesticated hoofed mammal, which is related to the horse. But a Donkey is smaller than a horse with long ears, short hair on the tail, short mane and a dark stripe along the back. A Mule is a hybrid animal from crossing a jack (male Donkey) and a mare (female horse)


From my own experiences..

Mules resemble more a horse in body shape, what their coat looks like, proportion and size...with loong ears.
Donkeys, well are a special to themselves delight.
To me, your picture is a donkey.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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That one is a donkey and a cute one too.
 
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The second one is a mule, smaller ears than a donkey and the tail is more horse-like. It has a finer looking head as opposed to a donkey head.
 

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Second one is a bit harder. Picture of him standing would be better.

The one thing very apparent with both is that their feet need serious attention ASAP
You need to call a professional farrier and get him to trim their feet. They are causing them terrible problems. I am surprised that the rescue would release them before getting this problem addressed. If you are new at this, you will find out that hoof care is necessary on a regular basis.

You can get the name and number of a farrier in your area from someone who rides horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't believe how hard it is to find a farrier.


I've reach out to everyone I can find and all are too far or too busy.


It's not about money -- I'm willing to pay whatever it costs and very eager to take care of these animals.


I'm continuing to look but getting nervous.


Thank you all!
 

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Contact the rescue the animals came from and ask who does their animals at the rescue...
Ask your vet for a reference.
Go to your local feed store and ask for names and read the bulletin board of local professionals.
Saddle clubs, riding clubs, go to a local horse show and look around...
If there are horses in the area there are farriers too...some better than others but there are usually more around than most realize.
Giving us members a state and county location may also provide you with some local names as this forum is membership around the world and near every state and in many areas in many states...




As for what that animal is...a picture of it standing up would be far easier to see telltale markings of distinction.
The legs is a clue, so is the mane and tail and what they appear as, striped spine...so many things to decipher besides just ear length as I've seen mules with huge ears and mules with smaller ears but a mule all the same...you need to see the entire animal clearly.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Second pic is the mule. I wouldn't be surprised if it's lying down because it hurts the poor thing to stand! Its feet(hinds at least) are in a REALLY bad way. Donkey's left fore at least is also terrible. Can tell very little from these pics tho. Ditto to others that you need to get a good equine vet involved as well as a farrier, urgently. They are suffering. This is a prob that horses/donks are still commonly put down for.

How long have you had them? How much do you know about management & feeding of donkeys properly generally? How about training? I'm not at all knocking you for not knowing better, but assuming from this thread you don't know much at all(?).

You can learn a fair bit here, but esp considering the steep and urgent 'learning curve' I'd suggest some serious study, and hands on instruction, if at all possible, starting immediately, if you haven't been already. It's a big commitment to take on 4 equines & keep them well, let alone being totally new to them, let alone that they are in a very bad, long neglected way & need intensive care before you started...

Along with needing a good farrier... Many many months ago, you need to get them off any rich grass or feed immediately. Donkeys/mules suffer way more from IR/obesity than horses even. You need to do research on how to manage & feed them well & also on laminitis/founder, as the 2 pictured are both founder cases.

I would highly recommend you also get onto ECIRhorse.com and also get the book 'The Pony That Did Not Die' by Andrew Bowe - a great resource about laminitis rehab. I will PM you with more suggestions.

Unfortunately I'm not surprised the 'rescue' let these guys remain in & go to you in such a state - Unfortunately people who start 'rescues' are commonly bleeding hearts without much clue or sense of reality themself, so they 'rescue' animals & then continue to neglect or otherwise let them suffer, then let them be taken by just anyone.

Yes, I would believe how hard it is to find a farrier. Especially as you have donkeys, especially if they aren't well trained(& even if they are, I'm betting these guys would be difficult for hoof handling due to pain). Especially as they have come from a 'rescue' and have been chronically neglected with deformed feet. It's a hard, dangerous job anyway, and donkeys think/act ...kick differently to horses, and are renowned for being kept as pets and not being trained.

If you have stocks, so a farrier can do the job safely regardless, that would help. Then you can also line the area with thick closed cell foam or such, for the donks comfort and rig up a sling, so they don't need to put more weight on one foot while lifting another.
 

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OP, if you have t found a farrier yet, click on this link. It is the farrier page on new horse.

Then click on the blue button on the left that says “region”. Find your state and look for farrier’s or trimmers in your area- farrier’s will often travel.

https://www.newhorse.com/page/farrier/b.2001.html?page=1

Given the condition of their hooves, you may be better off calling a vet first. The vet may be able to recommend a farrier and it’s also a possibility they might need sedated to be trimmed.

It’s deplorable they came from a rescue place with their hooves looking like they do:(

Best wishes on finding someone:(
 

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Great news! I'd love to see some 'after shots' of their first trims. But do also get a vet to come check them out & advise. To have gotten in that shape, they are bound to have some internal damage which will likely need special care. Best find out now, to hopefully stave off further suffering for your beasties!
 
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