One of The Largest of the Donkey Breeds
One of the largest of the donkey types is the Mammoth Jackstock. The correct name is American Standard but the donkey is more commonly known as 'Mammoth'. The jacks must be 14 hands or higher and jennies 13.2hh or more. There are two types. Mammoths may be a heavy-boned draft type or a lighter riding type. Mammoths should be large and well proportioned. All donkeys, from miniatures through small standards to mammoths, should have good conformation.
Mammoth jackstock may be as large as draft horses and just as strong. By crossing the jacks with draft mares, strong, draft mules are produced. Mules are sterile and were used for all types of agricultural work. These large mules played a large role in the early development of the United States. Nowadays, Belgian or Percheron mares are most commonly used to produce mules.
Today the Mammoth donkey is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Their docile, calm temperament makes them ideally suited for trail riding establishments. They are intelligent, kind and friendly. Being large and strong, they are capable of carrying adult riders who might be quite heavy and/or inexperienced. They are also safe mounts for the young and those with physical challenges.
The Mammoth has a straight or slightly convex profile. The ears should be long and carried in an erect manner. The head should be well balanced and the eyes large and open. The jaws should meet well, being neither undershot nor overshot.
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Jacks should have a heavily muscled neck. Ewe necks are a definite fault. The chest is wide and deep and the ribs well sprung. The back and loin should be straight and strong. There should be heavy muscling through the chest, forearm and gaskin.
The bones and joints should be large, clean and flat. Draft type mammoths should have cannons of 10 inches or more while riding types have 8 to 9 inches. The legs should be straight and strong without faults such as cow- or sickle-hocks. The feet should be round and large. The hooves should point straight ahead without toeing out or in. The pasterns should not be long or weak. While some Mammoths are rather sluggish, the action should be straight and level.
Mammoths come in all colours but rarely have dorsal and shoulder stripes. Zebra stripes on the legs are sometimes seen. All donkey sizes should display balance, symmetry and refinement.
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The mammoth was developed from a mix of the largest European donkey breeds. Maltese, Poitou, Andalusia and Catalonian donkeys were crossed with native American and Mexican donkeys.
The American Mammoth Jackstock registry was set up in 1888. The prime focus of breeders was to produce large, strong jacks which could be used for breeding mules. By 1915, the large American donkeys had an excellent reputation.
Donkeys are used for various purpose. They are sometimes used as protection for mobs of sheep or goats and will defend their charges against predators. Larger donkeys are sometimes used to begin the halter-breaking process of show cattle and/or young horses. The animal is tied to the donkey for short intervals and learns to respect the pull of the rope.
The Mammoth Jackstock has a faithful following and it looks like his future is assured.