NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE ON EQUINES
(Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
To thee, Oh
my master, I offer my prayer
My life and health I give to your safe keeping
From you I ask food and water
Shelter in winter and summer
A kind hand and a quiet voice
And when I am old And have served you well
Pray, Oh my master
Do not sell me to slavery and a cruel end
The mules are most useful pack and transport animals as they play important role, both in the military establishments as well as in civilian occupations particularly in hills. The mule combines some of the superior qualities of both horses and donkeys. It has size, speed strength and spirit of the horse, along with the surefooted-ness, lack of excitability, endurance and ability to thrive on poor feed.
The production of mules involve three steps: the breeding of jack stock for use as stallion, breeding of mares and crossing of jack with mare. One of the biggest difficulties in mule production is to locate a fertile jack that can quickly serve. The most common practice however, is to tease mares with a stallion and allow the jack to serve a properly restrained mare so that she will stand for the jack. Only sound broodmares of good quality should be selected for providing high-grade mules. Breeders of work horses usually take particular care in choosing good mares for breeding purposes but ordinarily mule breeders make no consistent effort in selecting mares for production of mules. Mares used in mule production are of no fixed breed and vary in size and temperament. The mules are usually produced for draft purposes.
The draft mules measure 155 to 172 cm in height and weigh from 450 to 650 Kg. An ideal draft mule has long ears, broad forehead, broad deep chest, well filled heart girth, short and strong back, broad, heavily muscled and smooth hips and deep body. The neck is heavily muscled, fits neatly at the shoulder and has slight crest. The legs are squarely placed. The pastern shows moderate length, strength and a desirable slope. The feet are durable, wide and high at the heels, with concave soles. The horn of the hoof is smooth, dense and sound.
Breeding Tract of Horses in
Distribution of Donkeys in