Mules and donkeys have served mankind as beast of burdens for thousands of years. They have worked and lived in some of the harshest environments and still survived. Today, you can still find donkeys and mules working in such conditions and serving some of the world’s poorest people. Interestingly, the same issues of poor nutrition and endless amount of work still plague these animals yet the opposite is true in industrial countries. In industrial countries they are faced with little to no work and endless amounts of energy rich nutrition. Proper management that promotes healthy longears is an area of concern for owners on a global level. Many times mules and donkeys are treated as horses with big ears but this webcast focus will focus on some of the similarities and differences of feeding and properly caring for mules and donkeys.
Dr. Amy McLean is an Equine Lecturer and Equine Extension Specialist for the University of Wyoming. She teaches equine science courses, coaches the collegiate horse judging team, and serves as an advisor for the UW Collegiate Horsemen’s Association and the UW Polo Team. Dr. McLean earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in the area of equine science focused on donkey training, management and welfare. Her Ph.D. research looked at evaluating learning theory in donkeys, methods to improve nutrition for donkeys as well as looking at improved working conditions for donkeys in Mali, West Africa. Her studies in Mali were focused on heart rate variability associated with different training methods, pressure associated with different types of harness and cart systems and how to improve donkey husbandry and management education among paraprofessionals.
Dr. McLean has worked with donkeys and mules for years. She actively participates in the industry showing all around mules at national shows including Bishop Mule Days, Bishop, CA, The Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show, Shelbyville, TN and the Houston Livestock Show Mule and Donkey Show, Houston, Tx. She has shown and ridden many world and national champion mules. She also remains active in the industry by serving as a board of director for several national and regional mule and donkey organizations.
Watch the recorded webcast below!