MULE PRODUCTION 13
sunshine, both of which are enemies to germs that collect and thrive
in milk containers.
SPRING OR FALL FOALS
The climatic conditions and nature of the farm work determine
largely whether it is best to have the foals come in the spring or in the
The natural breeding season for mares is in the spring, which is the
generally accepted time, to have foals. There are, however, several
advantages of having fall foals, especially in the South. First, the
fall-born foal comes at a time when the mare can probably be more
easily spared from farm work and at a time when flies are not so
abundant. Another advantage is that the fall foal is weaned when
it can be turned on to pasture, and its development is not retarded at
this critical time. To raise fall foals successfully, where climatic
conditions are unfavorable, it is essential that housing facilities be
adequate to take care of the young stock during winter weather.
EDUCATING THE FOAL
The time to begin the education of the foal is early in its life. It
should be halter-broken and taught to lead when a few weeks old. The
more the foal is handled when young, the fewer will be the difficulties
encountered later when it is desired to put him to work.
Mules reach maturity at the age of 5 years, but they may be given
light work when 3 years old. Care should be taken, however, not to
overload young mules. Overtaxing the young animal not only tends
to check its development but also causes it to become unreliable as a
Figure 6.-Mule foals like companionship. A group of weanlings on pasture.
Figure 6.--Mule foals like companionship. A group of weanlings on pasture.
Williams, J. O. (John Oscar), 1885- & Speelman, S. R. (Sanford Reed), 1894-. Mule production.. Washington, D.C.. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1784/. Accessed May 4, 2015.