Home Veterinary Remedies, as Recommended by 19th and 20th Century Vets and Animal Doctors!
Courtesy of www.VeterinaryAdviceAndInformation.com


The Peoples Horse, Cattle, Sheep and Swine book


The Farmers Practical Guide


and please share with your online friends.




Asses’ Milk........................... 303

Ass, the.............................. 202

Bad Name, an undeserved...........294

Breeding Mules...................... 205

Curious Fancy, a..................... 205

Darwin, See.......................... 202

Egypt and Syria, in.................. 203

Fancy, a Curious.................... 205

Feeding and Grooming.............. 205

History, the Mule in.. ..............  203

Hybridism...........................  202

Illogical Order, an...................  202

Improvable, the Ass.................  202

Keep your Temper...................  205

Kickers, Natural.....................  204

Longevity of the Mule...............  204

Milk, Asses’..........................  203

Mule in History, the.................  203

Natural Kickers......................  204

Temper, keep your...................  205

Training Mules......................  205

Undeserved Bad Name, an...........  204

United States To­day, in the........  204

Value, the Mule's Especial.........  204

Washington‘s Jacks..................  203

Why was it ?.........................  206

Wild Ass, the.......................  203

An Illogical Order.—Assuredly these names are
not printed in logical order. But the United
States Census seems right in putting the Mule
before the Ass. For the latter animal, like the
drone among the bees, derives his value, not
from the farm use to which he can be personally
put, but from his power, in union with a female
not of his own lineage, of producing offspring
that shall in certain respects surpass either of
its parents. The mule, like the worker-bee,
again, is an alien to the joys and sorrows of
parentage, his, her or its line always ending with
him, her or it. And unlike the worker-bee,
there is no stage of existence where any change
of cell or stimulus of food can make of him other
than he is. To be sure, the mule is apparently
of one or the other gender; but the appearance is
not a reality.

Hybridism.—The Latin word hybrida, or hibrida,
a hybrid or mongrel, is commonly derived from
a Greek word, hubros, an insult or outrage, with
special reference to lust. As a general rule,
plants and animals belonging to distinct species
are not able, when crossed with each other, to
produce offspring. There are, however, innume­
rable exceptions to this rule; and hybridism is
the word employed to denote those exceptions.
It is an abstract term which signifies the more
or less fertile crossing of distinct species. In
scientific usage the term “ hybrid” is exclusively
reserved to denote the result of a fertile cross
between two distinct species, while the term
“ mongrel “ is the one which is exclusively re­
served to denote the result of a fertile cross
between two varieties of the same species.

See Darwin.—Of late years the subject has
acquired a high degree of scientific interest in
relation to the theory of descent. On this
account it has been so carefully and thoroughly
treated by Mr. Charles Darwin, that any one
inclined and able to pursue this most interesting
line of investigation cannot do better than to study
his writings, and especially his two volumes,
Variations of Animals and Plants under Domes­
The hybrid produced by the union of
the male ass, or jack, and the mare, is called a

mule (Latin mulus); while that produced by the
union of a stallion with a she-ass, or jenny, is
called a hinny (Latin hinnus).

The Ass.—The domestic ass, Asinus vulgaris,
differs chiefly from the horse in its smaller size,
in the presence of long hair, forming a tuft, only
at the extremity of the tail, and in the absence
of warts on its hind legs. Its fur, usually of a
gray color, is characteristically marked with a
longitudinal dorsal streak of a darker hue, with
a similar streak across the shoulders: but white
and black varieties also occur. The ass has been
from time immemorial under the dominion of
man, and it is doubtful whether the original wild
stock is anywhere to be found at the present
day,—the specimens that have been described as
wild being probably the descendants of indi­
viduals escaped from the domestic state. A wild
variety of ass (Asinus tœniopus), found in Abys­
sinia, has the long acute ears and the bray pecu­
liar to the domestic kinds. It is said also to
have cross-bands on its legs, a feature occasion­
ally met with in our tame breeds; and this fact
has led Darwin and others to conclude that in
the wild ass of Abyssinia the original of the
domestic animal is to be found; the stripes
which occasionally appear on the legs of the
latter being regarded as instances of reversion to
the ancestral type. The marked aversion of the
domestic ass to cross the smallest streamlet, an
aversion which it shares with the camel, and the
evident delight with which it rolls itself in the
dust, seem to point to arid deserts as its original

The Ass Improvable.—That the ass possesses
qualities which, if developed by careful selection
and humane treatment, would make it a worthy
companion of the horse as the servant of man, is
seen in the two rare instances in which it has
received proper attention. In Southern Europe,
especially in Spain, Sicily and Malta, the ass is
carefully bred, and has been thus greatly im­
proved, a single animal sometimes bringing
$1000. In our own Southern States, where
mules are, as we have seen, greatly used, asses,
imported from the South of Europe, are reared



with scrupulous care, and with corresponding
results. But in the north of India, where it is
used by the lowest castes, the ass does not attain
a height greater than that of a Newfoundland

In Egypt and Syria.—It is, however, among the
southwestern nations of Asia and in Egypt that
the ass has received that attention usually be­
stowed in Great Britain and the United States
on the horse, and it is there to be seen in its
greatest perfection. The Arabs and Persians
know the pedigree of their asses, and by careful
selection and interbreeding they have formed
and perpetuated many useful races. Thus in
Syria, according to Darwin, there are four dis­
tinct breeds : “ a light and graceful animal with
agreeable gait used by ladies, an Arab breed
reserved exclusively for the saddle, a stouter
animal used for plowing and various purposes,
and the large Damascus breed—with peculiarly
long body and legs.”

The Wild Ass.—The koulan, or wild ass (Asinus
differs from the domestic species in its
shorter and more rounded ears, and in the
greater length and finer form of its limbs. Its
fur shows the dark streak along the back, but
the streak across the shoulders does not appear
to be a constant character. It is chiefly to be
met with in the plains of Mesopotamia, in Persia,
in Cutch, on the shores of the Indus, and in the
Punjab, congregating in herds under a leader,
and migrating southward on the approach of
winter. The adults are exceedingly shy, so that
it is difficult to get within rifle-range of them.
According to Layard, who had ample oppor­
tunity of observing them during his researches
around Nineveh, “ they equal the gazelle in fleet-
ness, and to match them is a feat which only one
or two of the most celebrated mares have been
known to accomplish.” In the same region,
over 2ooo years ago, Xenophon, during the
famous expedition of Cyrus, observed herds of
wild asses so “ fleet that the horsemen could only
take them by dividing themselves into relays,
and succeeding one another in the chase.” They
are hunted chiefly by the Arabs and Persians, by
whom their flesh is esteemed a delicacy. Their
food, according to Dr. Shaw, consists mainly of
saline or bitter and lactescent plants ; they are
also fond of salt or brackish water.

Asses’ Milk.—The milk of the ass, containing
more sugar and less caseine than that of the
cow, chiefly resembles woman‘s milk, and has
long been valued as a nutritious diet where the
digestive organs are weak. Its usefulness in
cases of consumption has been long known, and
it was often prescribed as a sort of specific when
that disease was treated on principles very differ­
ent from those which regulate its treatment now,

and when very nutritious food was not usually
prescribed for consumptive patients.

The sexual power of both the jack and the
jenny is great. In each of the hybrids produced
by the union of ass and horse, the ass nature
predominates. The mule is an ass modified by
the strain of a horse, and brays like its sire.

Washington’s Jacks.—Gen. Washington received
as a present some Spanish jacks, of which Mr.
Custis has written :

“ The Royal Gift and Knight of Malta were
sent to Gen. Washington about the year 1787—
the Gift with a jennet, a present from the King
of Spain ; and said to have been selected from
the royal stud. The Knight, I believe, was from
the Marquis de Lafayette, and shipped from
Marseilles. The Gift was a huge and ill-shapen
jack, near sixteen hands high, very large head,
clumsy limbs, and to all appearance little calcu­
lated for active service; he was of a gray color,
probably not young when imported, and died at
Mount Vernon but little valued for his mules,
which were unwieldy and dull. The Knight was
of a moderate size, clean-limbed, great activity,
the fire and ferocity of a tiger, a dark brown,
nearly black color, white belly and muzzle;
could only be managed by one groom, and that
always at considerable personal risk. He lived
to a great age, and was so infirm toward the last
as to require lifting. His mules were all active,
spirited and serviceable; and from stout mares
attained considerable size.

“Gen. Washington bred a favorite jack called
Compound, from the cross of Spanish and Mal­
tese—the Knight upon the imported Spanish
Jennet. This jack was a very superior animal:
very long-bodied, well set, with all the qualities
of the Knight and the weight of the Spanish.
He was the sire of some of the finest mules at
Mount Vernon, and died from accident. The
General bred mules from the best of his coach
mares, and found the value of the mule to bear
a just proportion to the value of the dam. Four
mules sold, at the sale of his effects, for upward
of $800; and two more pairs at upward of $400
each pair; one pair of those mules were nearly
sixteen hands high. From these jacks a com­
pound breed were produced, that when bred to
large mares, were unexcelled for size and ac­

The Mule in History.—The Levitical law pre­
scribed : “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender
with a diverse kind.” But as through the Old
Testament are scattered allusions to the presence
of mules, back to the 35th chapter of Genesis,
where we read of “ Anah that found the mules
in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon
his father;" it seems plain, either that this Leviti-
cal precept was not as old as Anah, that the

204                                                    THE FRIEND OF ALL.

seed of Abraham disregarded it, or that them­
selves not violating the rule, they got hold of
mules bred by men who were not “under the
law.” So that at a very early period, judging
from sacred history, the crossing of the ass and
the horse must have been practiced. Mules are
mentioned also in profane history, having been
introduced in chariot-races five centuries before
Christ. Pliny records that a Roman senator
paid 400,000 sesterces (about $1o,ooo) for one;
and that the best she-asses were worth a like
sum, to breed sires from. In ancient times the
sons of kings rode on mules, and they were
yoked in chariots.

In the United States To­day.It is sometimes a
serted that since the abolition of slavery, the
mule industry has languished. But a glance at
the census of mules and asses exhibited in the
Table on p. 207, will show that although this
statement seemed justified by the census of 1870,
that of 1880 negatived it. The number 559,331
in 1850 rose to 1,151,148 in 1860, or about doubled-
and fell back to 1,125,415 in 1870. But in the
great revival of industry and business in the ex-
slave States which set in about 1876, this depart­
ment shared ; and the number of mules and
asses had again risen in 1880 to 1,812,808. The
common impression that the mule's usefulness is
to be found south of 400 of latitude, is borne out
by the facts as recorded in the Tenth Census;
where of the 1,812,808, only about 100,000 are
found in States north of that parallel. It is not
improbable that the next census may show a
still greater proportionate increase in the number
of these comparatively humble helpers. The
Poiteau ass is the one which stands in the high­
est estimation for mule-production.

The Mule's Longevity.One of the stock maxims
said to be derived from the experience of the
civil war, is that “ mules never died.” That
may do as a figure of speech to rank with the
nine lives of a cat. In a record kept of Mules
Received, Died, and Shot, at the Depot in Wash­
ington, D. C, for about three years beginning
with February 1863, out of 119,968 received,
2733 were reported as having died, and 3931 as
having been shot; and as often the same animals
must have gone out and come back, the 120,000
is probably greatly in excess of the number of
animals. But there seems no doubt that the
average longevity of a mule largely exceeds that
of a horse.

His Especial Value.—In addition to the much
longer period for which the labor of a mule may
be used, there are other peculiarities in which
he excels the horse. In intense heat the mule
will stretch himself out and bask in the sun,
where a horse would need and seek shelter. He
is not of so sensitive a nature as the horse, and

will bear pain, or at least what we suppose will
produce pain, without showing it in lameness.
This same lack of sensitiveness also enables the
mule to keep about his business, where a horse
will fret, take fright, and try to run. Nor is the
mule liable to contract the habit of running
away, as the horse may. He will get frightened,
and he will run away, but he will not lose all his
senses as the horse does. “ Bring a mule back
after he has run away, and in most cases he will
not want to do it again. Their sluggish nature
does not incline them to such tricks.”

Natural Kickers.However a mule may be bred,
as soon as he can stand up, if you put your
hand on him, he will kick. It is his natural
means of defense, and he resorts to it through
sheer instinct. Riley says “ they will all kick,
especially if well fed and rested. And we can ex­
cuse even this vice in consideration of the fact
that the mule is not a natural animal, but only
an invention of man. Some persons are inclined
to think that, when a mule is a kicker, he has not
been properly broken. I doubt if you can break
a mule so that he will not kick a stranger at
sight, especially if he be under six years old. The
only way to keep a mule from kicking you is to
handle it a great deal when young, and accustom
it to the ways and actions of men. You must
through kindness convince it that you are not
going to harm or abuse it; and you can do that
best by taking hold of it in a gentle manner every
time it appears to be frightened. Such treatment
I have always found more effective than all the
beating and bruising you can apply.”

A Bad Name, Undeserved.The notion that a
mule is not totally depraved, and that he will an­
swer to humane treatment and kindness, will
probably provoke an incredulous smile in the
average reader. Nevertheless, the idea of his in­
nate and ineradicable viciousness is only one of
the hallucinations which hang around the mule.
On the average, according to all intelligent and
instructed testimony, he will treat you very much
as you treat him. We cannot do better than to
quote again from “ The Mule: a Treatise on the
Breeding, Training and Uses to which he may
be put.
By Harvey Riley, Superintendent of the
Government Corral, Washington, D. C. New
York: Dick & Fitzgerald,”—a book full of in­
terest and instruction, written by a gentleman
whose opportunities for acquaintance have been
exceptionally good, and as exceptionally well
used. He says:

“ Probably no animal has been the subject of
more cruel and brutal treatment than the mule,
and it is safe to say that no animal ever per­
formed his part better, not even the horse. In
breaking the mule, most persons are apt to get
put of patience with him, I have got out of pa



tience with him myself. But patience is the I
great essential in breaking, and in the use of it
you will find that you will get along much better.
The mule is an unnatural animal, and hence more
timid of man than the horse ; and yet he is trac­
table, and capable of being taught to understand
what you want him to do. And when he under­
stands what you want, and has gained your con­
fidence, you will, if you treat him kindly, have
little trouble in making him perform his duty.”
And again: “ He is, I admit, what may be called j
a tricky animal; for experiment‘s sake, just play
one or two tricks with him, and he will show you
by his action that he understands them well. In­
deed, he knows a great deal more than he gene­
rally gets credit for, and few animals are more
capable of appreciating proper treatment.”

A Curious Fancy.Mr. Riley: “ Mules of all
kinds seem to have a peculiar fancy for white
mares and horses, and when this attachment is
once formed, it is almost impossible to separate
them. If you want to drive a herd of 500 mules
any distance, turn a white or gray mare in among
them for two or three days, and they will become
so attached to her that you may turn them out,
and they will follow her anywhere. Just let a
man lead the mare, and with two men mounted
you can manage the whole herd almost as well
as if they were in a team. Another way to lead
mules is to put a bell on the mare's neck. The
mules will listen for that bell like a lot of school­
children, and will follow its tinkling with the
same instinct.”

Breeding,The same author disagrees with
much of the usual advice about the selection of
mares from which to get mules. He does not
favor large animals, either dam or offspring:
" Of all the number we had in the army, I never
saw six of these large, overgrown mules that
were of much service. Indeed, I have yet to see
the value in any animal that runs or rushes to
an overgrowth. The same is true with man,
beast or vegetable. I will get the average size
of either of them, and you will acknowledge the
superiority. The only advantage large mares may
give to the mule is in the size of the feet and
bone that they may impart. The heavier you can
get the bone and feet, the better. And yet you
can rarely get even this, for the mare, in nineteen
cases out of twenty, breeds closely after the
jack, more especially in the feet and legs. It
makes little difference how you cross mares and
jacks, the result is almost certain to be a horse's
body, jack's legs and feet, a jack's ears, and,
in most cases, a jack's marks.” He prefers to
breed from sound, serviceable, compact and
spirited mares. And yet, apropos of the last
adjective he says: " I have seen frequent in­
stances where one of the very best jacks in the

country had been put to mares of good quality
and spirit. Putting them to such contemptible
animals seemed to degrade them, to destroy their
natural will and temper. The result was a sort
of bastard mule, a small-legged, small-footed
cowardly animal, inheriting all the vices of the
mule and none of the horse's virtues—the very
meanest of his kind.” This looks as though the
mare felt the force of what the Greek root of the
word Hybridism expresses.

Training.Here the same general principles
apply as in the training of the horse. At an
early age confidence must be established between
the man and the animal, and the latter be shown
and led to do what is required of him. In either
case the pupil must learn obedience, and that
obedience must be enforced. The whip will
hardly be more necessary with the young mule
than with the young horse, and is in either case
as much as possible to be avoided. “ When the
colt is six months old, put a halter on him and
let the strap hang loose. Let your strap be about
four feet long, so that it will drag on the ground.
The animal will soon accustom himself to this;
and when he has, take up the end and lead him
to the place where you have been accustomed to
feed him. This will make him familiar with you,
and increase his confidence. Handle his ears at
times, but don‘t squeeze them, for the ear is the
most sensitive part of this animal. As soon as he
lets you handle his ears familiarly, put a loose
bridle on him. Put it on and take it off fre­
quently. In this way you will secure the colt‘s
confidence, and he will retain it until you need
him for work.”

Keep your Temper.—“ Don't fight or abuse him.
After you have harnessed him, and he proves to
be refractory, keep your own temper, slack your
reins, push him round, backward and forward,
not roughly ; and if he will not go, and do what
you want, tie him to a post and let him stand
there a day or so without food or water. Take
care, also, that he does not lie down, and be
careful to have a person to guard him, so that he
does not foul in the harness. If he will not go,
after a day or two of this sort of treatment, give
him one or two more of it, and my word for it, he
will come to his senses and do anything you want
from that time forward.”

Feeding and Grooming.“The mule, properly
taken care of, requires nearly as much forage as
the horse, and should be groomed and cared for
just the same. . . . When I find animals in the
Government possession, that cannot eat the
amount necessary to sustain them and give them
proper strength, I invariably throw them out, to
be nursed until they will eat their rations. Ani­
mals, to be kept in good condition, and fit for
proper service, should eat their ten and twelve

206                                                    THE FRIEND OF ALL.

quarts of grain per head per day, with hay in
proportion—say, twelve pounds.”

A Conundrum.Although we have borrowed so
freely from Mr. Riley‘s book, two more of his
paragraphs cannot be spared: ‘The mule seems
to have been used by the ancients in a great
variety of ways; but what should have
prompted his production must forever remain
a mystery. That they early discovered his
great usefulness in making long journeys,
climbing mountains, and crossing deserts of
burning sand, when subsistence and water
were scarce, and horses would have perished,
is well established. That he would soon re­
cover from the severe effects of these long
and trying journeys must also have been of
great value in their eyes. But however much
they valued him for his usefulness, they seem
not to have had the slightest veneration for
him, as they had for some other animals. I
am led to believe, then, that it was his great
usefulness in crossing the sandy deserts that
led to his production. It is a proof, also, that
where the ass was at hand there was also the
horse, or the mule could not have been pro­
duced. Any people with sufficient knowledge
to produce the mule would also have had suf­
ficient knowledge to discover the difference
between him and the horse, and would have
given the preference to the horse in all service
except that I have just described. And yet, in
the early history of the world, we find men of
rank, and even rulers, using them on state and
similar occasions; and this when it might have
been supposed that the horse, being the nobler
animal, would have made more display.

Why was it?“The Scriptures tell us that
Absalom, when he led the rebel hosts against
his father David, rode on a mule, that he rode
under an oak, and hung himself by the hair of
his head. Then, again, we hear of the mule
at the inauguration of King Solomon. It is
but reasonable to suppose that the horse
would have been used on that great occasion,
had he been present. On the other hand, it
is not reasonable to suppose that the ass, or
anything pertaining to him, was held in high
esteem by a nation that believed they were
commanded by God, through their prophet
Moses, not to work the ox and the ass to­
gether. It must be inferred from this that the
ass was not held in very high esteem, and that
the prohibition was for the purpose of not de­
grading the ox, he being of that family of
which the perfect males were used for sac­
rifice. The ass, of course, was never allowed
to appear on the sacred altar. And yet He
who came to save our fallen race, and open
the gates of heaven, and fulfill the words of
the prophet, rode a female of this apparently
degraded race of animals when he made his

triumphal march into the city of the temple
of the living God.”

On the opposite page is a table showing the
mule industry the last three decades.

Horses.The number of horses has risen
from 4,336,719 in 1850 to 19,731,000 in 1910:
a gain of 14,394,281, or more than .331 per
cent, in the sixty years. In 1880 Illinois headed
the list with 1,023,082; in 1890, Illinois again,
with 1,335,000; in 1900 Iowa had gone to the
front with 1,392,573; and at the front she re­
mained in 1910 with 2,224,771. It is a curious
commentary on the old fear that railways
would destroy the market for horses, that their
number has most increased where railways
have been most developed.

The number of horses reported in 1910 was
about four and three-fourths times as great as
the number of mules, whereas in 1900 there
were about five and one-half times as many
horses as mules.

Of the total number of horses, mules, and
asses and burros, considered together, in 1910,

31.2   per cent were reported from the West
North Central division, 19.3 per cent from
the East North Central, and 15.2 per cent
from the West South Central, these three
divisions together containing about two-thirds
of the entire number. The North reported

57.3  per cent of the total, the South 31.9 per
cent, and the West 10.8 per cent. The geo­
graphic distribution of horses is quite differ­
ent from that of mules. Although the use of
mules is rapidly increasing in the North, it is
in the South that they have been found par­
ticularly useful. In the North there were
more than twelve times as many horses as
mules in 1910, but in the South only about
one and one-half times as many.

The average number of horses, mules, and
asses and burros combined, in 1910, to each
1,000 acres of land in farms in the country
as a whole was 27, and the average number to
each 1,000 acres of improved land was 50.
The East North Central division shows the
largest number (40) per 1,000 acres of all
land in farms, and the New England and
South Atlantic divisions stand lowest, with 18
in each case. The number per 1,000 acres of
improved land ranged from 94 in the Mountain
division to 38 in the South Atlantic.

It would be interesting and instructive to
learn the average value of each animal in
1850 and in 1880. Undoubtedly the common
horse of to­day is a great deal better animal,
and will sell for much more money, than his
predecessor a human generation ago. Prob­
ably that increase is one-third to one-half.
The deep and widespread interest in running
and trotting for their own sakes, as well as the
efforts purposely made to improve horse stock,

MULES AND ASSES.                                                      207


Showing the number of Horses, and of Mules and Asses, in the United States and Territories, ac­
cording to the Seventh, Tenth, Twelfth and Thirteenth Census: with the area in square miles,
and the total population of each State and Territory, according to the Thirteenth Census.

* The United States with its outlying possessions not mentioned in above table now comprises a gross area of 3,743,3o6
square miles.

† Including the population of Philippine Islands as enumerated by the Census of 1903, 7,635,426, and adding estimates
for the islands of Guam and Samoa and the Canal Zone, the total population of the United States and possessions is about

have combined in yielding large and very
gratifying results.

Mules and Asses.—Their number has risen from
559,331 in 1850 to 1,904,7c7 in 1910, a gain of
1,345,376, or about 231 per cent, in the sixty
years. In 1850 Tennessee headed the list with
75,303; in 1880, Missouri, with 192,027; in 1900,
Texas, with 523,690; and in 1910 Texas again
led with 695,966. Of the States each possessing
more than loo,ooo mules and their fathers in

1910, Alabama had 248,418; Arkansas, 225,-
307; Georgia, 296,113; Illinois, 150,696; Kan­
sas, 213,369; Kentucky, 229,720; Louisiana,
132,085; Mississippi, 257,553; Missouri, 355,-
577; North Carolina, 175,728; Oklahoma,
262,789; South Carolina, 155,872; Tennessee,
283,844; and Texas 695,966.

Looking at Rhode Island in the year 1850,
one is irresistibly tempted to ask, What was
his name?

But first, if you want to come back to this web site again, just add it to your bookmarks or favorites now! Then you'll find it easy!

Also, please consider sharing our helpful website with your online friends.








Copyright © 2000-present Donald Urquhart. All Rights Reserved. All universal rights reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our legal disclaimer. | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | About Us