Today I continue my quest in creating and posting one block a day of the fabulous That Town And Country Quilt by the lovely Susan-Claire Mayfield. This is day three hundred and twenty-four of that project.
A mule is a cross between a donkey and a horse.
The most common cross is between a male donkey (jackass) and a female horse (mare). This produces a male or female mule. A cross between a stud horse and a donkey mare is called a hinny.
Mules can not reproduce because they have an uneven number of chromosomes. So all mules are a hybrid of a donkey and a horse. Even though they can not reproduce it is common practice to geld (castrate) the male mules to make them easier to manage.
The mule generally has a more independent nature than other equines. However, they have superior stamina and strength. While many people enjoy riding their mules, they are thought most useful in the pack animal department.
Many hunters. prospectors, and trail riders use mules to help carry provisions. Mules have been used in this way since 1040 BC.
George Washington was the first mule breeder in the United States and used 58 mules to work the land at Mount Vernon. He felt the mule was to be the backbone of agriculture in the new country.