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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks
June 12, 2014
Published by: Wick Publications
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HORSES, DONKEYS, & MULES
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• Horses have 64 chromosomes; donkeys have 62. When mated they produce mules or hinnies that have 63 chromosomes. A mule is the offspring of a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). The offspring from male horses (stallion) and female donkeys (jinnets) are called hinnies. Most people just lump mules and hinnies together and call them mules. (We’ll call them mules in most of this article.)
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• Other names used for mules and hinnies are: Johns or Jacks (male) and Mollies or Jennys (female). Turn the page for more!
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Horses, donkeys, and mules are similar, related animals. The biggest differences are in their chromosomes. (Now, if you want to study the genetics, research it elsewhere, not in Tidbits!)
• Mules are hybrids, each having one donkey and one horse parent. They can be male or female but they can’t reproduce because of the odd number of chromosomes; they are sterile (99.9% sterile). Very rarely, 1 in 1 million, female mules have given birth but no male mule has ever been known to sire a little one. Male mules actually need to be gelded or castrated so they are more sociable, mild mannered and, hence, safer for their handlers.
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by Patricia L. Cook
Sharon Opdahl, Agent Sharon Opdahl 2534 17th Avenue South Grand Forks, ND 58201 Agent Bus: 701-746-0495
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"Horses, Donkeys & Mules," Rick Moranis" and "Hummingbirds"