The short, smooth coat is a light grey to fawn colour, fading quickly to white on the undersides and legs. There is a slender, dark dorsal stripe in all subspecies , while in the Nubian wild ass E. The tail terminates with a black brush. The hooves are slender and approximately of the diameter as the legs. One of the oldest species is Equus simplicidens , described as zebra-like with a donkey-shaped head. The genus appears to have spread quickly into the Old World, with the similarly aged Equus livenzovensis documented from western Europe and Russia.
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In France, for example, only one breed, the Baudet de Poitou, was recognised prior to the early s; by , a further six donkey breeds had official recognition. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least years. After human labour, the donkey is the cheapest form of agricultural power. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels.
Donkeys may be pastured or stabled with horses and ponies, and are thought to have a calming effect on nervous horses. If a donkey is introduced to a mare and foal , the foal may turn to the donkey for support after it has been weaned from its mother. The niche markets for both milk and meat are expanding. Donkey-hide gelatin is produced by soaking and stewing the hide to make a traditional Chinese medicine product. As a result of the increase in demand, and the price that could be charged, Kenya opened three donkey abattoirs.
The Mountain Fusiliers each had a donkey to carry their gear, and in extreme circumstances the animal could be eaten. Regular clipping may be required; neglect can lead to permanent damage. Donkey shoes are similar to horseshoes , but usually smaller and without toe-clips. A donkey shoe with calkins Farriers shoeing a donkey in Cyprus in Nutrition Donkey eating apples from a trough In their native arid and semi-arid climates, donkeys spend more than half of each day foraging and feeding, often on poor quality scrub.
It needs less food than a horse or pony of comparable height and weight,  approximately 1. Donkeys obtain most of their energy from structural carbohydrates. Some suggest that a donkey needs to be fed only straw preferably barley straw , supplemented with controlled grazing in the summer or hay in the winter,  to get all the energy, protein, fat and vitamins it requires; others recommend some grain to be fed, particularly to working animals,  and others advise against feeding straw.
They can meet their nutritional needs on 6 to 7 hours of grazing per day on average dryland pasture that is not stressed by drought. If they are worked long hours or do not have access to pasture, they require hay or a similar dried forage, with no more than a ratio of legumes to grass. They also require salt and mineral supplements, and access to clean, fresh water. For other uses, see Burro disambiguation. Burro is the Spanish word for donkey.
Burro is the Spanish and Portuguese word for donkey. In the United States, "burro" is used as a loan word by English speakers to describe any small donkey used primarily as a pack animal, as well as to describe the feral donkeys that live in Arizona , California , Oregon , Utah , Texas and Nevada. The average age of the burros in the study was 6. Mexican burros tend to be smaller than their counterparts in the US, which are both larger and more robust. To strengthen their bloodstock, in May , the state of Jalisco imported 11 male and female donkeys from Kentucky.
They may compete with livestock and native animals for resources, spread weeds and diseases, foul or damage watering holes and cause erosion. The African wild ass , Equus africanus, has two subspecies, the Somali wild ass , Equus africanus somaliensis, and the Nubian wild ass , Equus africanus africanus,  the principal ancestor of the domestic donkey.
Donkey hybrids A male donkey jack can be crossed with a female horse to produce a mule. A male horse can be crossed with a female donkey jenny to produce a hinny. Horse-donkey hybrids are almost always sterile because horses have 64 chromosomes whereas donkeys have 62, producing offspring with 63 chromosomes. Mules are much more common than hinnies. This is believed to be caused by two factors, the first being proven in cat hybrids, that when the chromosome count of the male is the higher, fertility rates drop.
In addition, there are reasons not directly related to reproductive biology. Due to different mating behavior, jacks are often more willing to cover mares than stallions are to breed jennies. Further, mares are usually larger than jennies and thus have more room for the ensuing foal to grow in the womb, resulting in a larger animal at birth.
It is commonly believed that mules are more easily handled and also physically stronger than hinnies, making them more desirable for breeders to produce. The foregoing terms generally refer to hybrids produced by breeding a male zebra to a female donkey. Zebra hinny, zebret and zebrinny all refer to the cross of a female zebra with a male donkey.
Zebrinnies are rarer than zedonkies because female zebras in captivity are most valuable when used to produce full-blooded zebras. See also.
African wild ass
Equus africanus asinus