Let's geek out about the largest Longear.
The American Mammoth Jackstock is one of the largest breeds of Donkeys in the world. For those who love long ears these donkeys are eye candy.
When donkeys are exposed to the public the question of what does one do with a mammoth donkey is often asked. Here’s the short list. Because of their genteel nature and individual personalities Mammoth Jennets and Geldings make truly wonderful pets and are especially suited to being around children. Their protective natures make them useful as livestock guardians or foal and stable companions. Recreational trail riders are discovering Mammoth donkeys can make excellent mounts when trained. Handicapped riding programs for the physically and mentally disabled are finding mammoth donkeys develop special bonds that are quite unexplainable. Others are discovering the enjoyment of how easily they adapt to driving. Across the country breed shows have been established to promote their versatility and beauty. Audiences find these shows extremely entertaining, as donkeys have been known to cut loose and do their own thing on occasion. On line chat groups, such as the pet groups at www.yahoogroups.com, have been established to help first time donkey owners face challenges that are unique to the breed. Answering questions like, “What do I feed my donkey” will generate a host of responses.
The Ass which is the correct term for donkey, burro or Jackstock has its own branch on the equine family tree. There are many differences between donkeys and their horse cousins. Their vocal qualities for instance, that base tone Aw-EE, Aw-EE bray is one of several forms of communication. The length of the ear on a Mammoth can reach almost two feet is an easily recognized characteristic trait. Their massive head blends into a strong neck. Lacking a true wither donkeys have a straighter back and a little different shape to the croup and rump, minus the heavy muscling found in a horse. The tail has a tasseled switch on the end and shorter hair. The mane’s are often clipped short as the hair is too stiff and upright to lie over. Mammoth Donkeys need good bone to their legs and will have more of an upright pastern angle with enough hoof to stay in a good relationship with their body. When looking at the conformation of a Mammoth Donkey you should be able to see a balance with good proportion of leg and neck to back and body.
Several Breed Registries are available in the United States. The popular ADMS, American Donkey and Mule Society, was established in 1967 as a National Breed Society and have successfully recorded the pedigree history of the breed and a database of information. They publish, The Brayer, a bi monthly magazine and maintain a catalog available to the public of long ear books and reference material. You will find www.lovelongears.com is an excellent source of information regarding Donkeys, Mules and Zebras.
The records indicate Mammoth Jacks were imported from Spain and other European countries to the United States as early as 1785 to produce working draft mules. Today you'll find some larger donkeys have developed a lighter bone quality especially useful in breeding mules that are quickly gaining in popularity. Once in awhile you will even find Mammoth Donkeys that have a single foot gaiting action being bred to gaited horses for outstanding riding mules. Mammoth Jacks not being used in a managed breeding program should be gelded and allowed to become productive members of society as they are NOT suitable as pets and can become dangerous.
Why a Mammoth Donkey? Why NOT! They have tons of personality are terrific hard working animals and LOVE attention! Your investment is likely to turn into a lifelong friend. Beware! When stuck with Donkey-Fever watch out... You'll soon be in the market for a second one!