Poitou Donkey Facts size Diet and Images

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Poitou Donkey About

Poitou donkeys are a large French breed of donkey with a shaggy rough  coat and long ears. They nearly became extinct when war II once motor cars began to require over and therefore the mule demand folded. In 1980 fewer than eighty Poitous were still living. In France, the French region donkey has been under conservation watch since the late twentieth century.

The Poitou Donkey, otherwise known as the Mammoth Donkey, is a very interesting creature, being extremely “friendly, affectionate and docile” and its the oldest approved breed in France. However, it is also the least-known and rarest.

Poitou Donkey Classifications

  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Perissodactyla
  • Family: Equidae
  • Genus: Equus
  • Species: asinus
  • Domestic breed: Poitou donkey
  • English name Poitou donkey
  • Latin name
  • Equus africanus f. Asians
  • Systematics
  • Odd-toed ungulates, horse family
  • Habitat: domestic animal
  • Distribution: main breeding area in S.W. France, in the Poitou region
  • Diet: grass, hay, very little nutritious fodder
  • Reproduction: one young one, gestation 12 – 13 months
  • Social structure: the males in territories, females and foals in groups
  • Population: very much endangered, only 400 animals left worldwide
  • At Wilhelma: at the Demonstration Farm
  • Special features: largest race of domestic donkey; up to 155 cm. Shoulder height

Donkey Habited

Equus asinus asinus poitou. The Poitou (pronounced Pwa-too) donkey is immediately distinguishable from other donkeys because of its great height, which is often more than 1.4 meters and because of its dark, shaggy coat.

Weight approximately 1,200 pounds

Height  4.4 to five feet

Poitou Donkey Diet

Various grasses and hays.


The gestation period of French region donkeys is eleven to fourteen months, leading to one foal. Twins are rare.

Poitou Donkey Behavior:

Temperament is delineated  as “friendly and docile.”


Habitat: Domesticated.

Range: Originally native to France. Exported throughout the world.


  • France has considered Poitou donkeys as a national treasure.
  • Typically the attribute Mulassiere horse is bred with these mules as it’s the initial dam breed (the same breed because the Poitou’s mother; this horse is additionally critically vulnerable.
  • In France, this breed is mentioned as Baudet du Poitou-Charentes. “Baudet” means “sire of mules.”
  • This breed was developed in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. Mule breeding has been documented for over 1,000 years.


Coarseness, roman nose; short rounded ears; lop ears; head ill proportioned to the rest of the animal; parrot mouth (overshot) or monkey mouth (undershot) jaws.


Ewe neck, fallen crest; Too short.

Poitou Donkey Body

Long weak back, too straight back or roach back; narrow chest and rump; flat ribs, light in the girth, wasp waist; goose rumps or narrow rumps; peaked rump (rafter hips); weak coupling.

Poitou Donkey Limbs

Cow hocks, sickle hocks; over or back at the knee; insufficient bone to be in proportion with the animal; toe out or in.


Malformed hooves; cracked or broken hooves; long, weak pasterns (coon footed).


Crooked action, winging or interfering; plaiting or rope walking

Image by Jasmin777 from Pixabay

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