20 FARMERS' BULLETIN 1341
Mules purchased on the market for farm work in the Middle Western
States are known as "farm mules." There is more variation in
quality and type in this class than in aly other class, as the demand
for a specific type is not so well defined (figs. 11, 12, 13, and 14).
Mules in this class may be plain draft mules or cotton mules that
lack finish and condition, as the farmer often likes to buy mules with
a prospect of developing them into more valuable animals. Many
of them are worked for a season and then fitted for the market, where
they are placed in one of the other specific classes, such as "drafters,"
'sugar mules," or "cotton mules."
Sugar mules are those which are purchased for shipment to the
sugar plantations of the South. This class of mules is somewhat
rangy in type and should have good quality, style, and finish. The
mules in this class are heavier and more compact than cotton mules,
but are not so heavy as draft mules. The range in weight is from
1,150 to 1,300 pounds. In selecting sugar mules special attention
should be given to quality and adaptability to the work. The feet
should be large and well-shaped. Mare mules are preferred for the
sugar trade (figs. 15, 16, and 17).
As the name implies, cotton mules are purchased for work on cotton
plantations. The typical cotton mule (figs. 18, 19, and 20) is
somewhat lighter and more angular than the sugar or surface-mining
mule but is heavier than the pit mule. While there is a considerable
gradation of quality and age in this market class, the planters of the
South are becoming more and more inclined to favor increased weight
and quality in their mules than prevailed a few years ago. A Choice
cotton mule weighs about 1,150 pounds and is alert and active, but
most mules in this class range from 750 to 1,100 pounds. The age
limits within this class are variable. Mules from 5 to 7 years old are
preferred, however, for this trade and bring the best prices.
There is a wide range in weigllt among mining mules, varying
from 600-pound pit mules to 1,350-pound surface mules (figs. 21, 22.
23, and 24). Good feet and freedom from blemishes are requirements
for mules that qualify for top prices for the mining trade.
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 March 6, 2015.