Difference Between Donkey and Mule

When you look at Donkey & Mule, they both are four-legged, have big ears, long back, & tails in their end. When it comes to appearances, they both look the same. Even the voices they make are also similar. One who doesn’t know much about Donkey & mule won’t find much difference between the two. But by looking into details, observing just a few features can make us understand the differences between them.

Donkey vs Mule

The main difference between Donkey and Mule is that donkeys can give birth to young ones, but mules cannot. Mule is a hybrid offspring of male donkey & female horses while donkey is related to the family of the horse but much smaller with long ears & short hairs on the tail.

Donkey vs Mule

Donkeys & Mule looks more or less same because they belong the same family of the horse. Donkey although have a lot of features like a horse but is smaller than him, Mule, on the other hand, is stronger than the horse, since it is an offspring of Male Donkey & Female Horse. Therefore Mule has all the qualities of Horse & Donkey but is also stronger than the horse & Docile than a donkey.

Comparison Table Between Donkey and Mule

Parameters of Comparison Donkey Mule
AppearanceDonkeys have bigger ears, long back, short hairs on the tail, bigger mouths & thinner limbs. Donkeys have a lot of features of horses but are smaller, of course. Mules also have the same features as donkey’s but smaller ears and are longer, larger & stronger than donkeys. They also have got features like a steady body, stronger teeth from their horse parent.
BehaviourDonkey’s despite the fact, is known to be intelligent creatures, but they lack patience & get easily irritated. Mules are intelligent & patient animals with all the other qualities they acquired from horses & donkeys, as they are offsprings of donkey & horse.
Reproduction Capacity Donkeys have the capacity to give birth to young children as many as they want in a season. Mules, although are very fertile they don’t have enough chromosomes. This makes it difficult to reproduce even if they want to.
Food Habits Food like bread, processed food, food containing protein should be fed moderately to the donkeys as they could catch foot disease, which can be deadly & can also make them lame. Mules do have the food interest inherited by the horse parent, though they like eating roughage, bread & leaves.
Life SpanThe Life Span of Donkey generally depended on the kind of work they do. Usually, it is 30- 40 years, but in poorer countries where they do a lot of hard work, they live less than 15 years. Mules have the same life as a donkey, but they also have characteristics of horses, which makes them stronger than donkeys. They generally live by 30-40 years and maybe more if treated nicely.

What is Donkey?

Donkeys, Asses or whatever you call them, are domesticated by the sheepherders, farmers, hill people & travellers. They carry heavyweights for the men who domesticated them. Despite the saying, Donkeys are actually intelligent animals who understand their human behaviour & act accordingly. They can be friendly if treated nicely. Just like any other domesticated animal, they are easy to be fed & taken care of. They also like to bond with their own kind & if not they can bond with horses too.

What are Mules?

On the other hand, Mules have all the abilities that a donkey plus the horses, as mules inherit all the features of their parents. They are sturdy as a horse, eat less and live much longer than the horses. They can work in the drier areas & the mountainous areas too. They are adored for their smartness & docile nature, their skin is less sensitive & have much more resistance for the sun rays makes them even more precious.

Main Differences Between Donkey and Mule

  1. Despite of being a lot of physical similarities, Donkey are little smaller than Mules. Mules are very much intelligent & docile in nature as comapre to the donkey’s are they are known for their quite a temper.
  2. Donkeys & Mules both domisticating animals, but mules are much more efficinet because of their inherrited properties. They are much stronger & intelligent, patient can deal with any kind of weather.
  3. Donkeys has a lesser life span as they are body are not made for such hard work, generally they live upto 15 to 20 yeras while a Mule becasue its its body type, resistance to sunlight, their docile nature, increases ther life span to about 40-50 years.
  4. Donkeys are mammals which means that they breed acoording to their breeding season but despite being fertile the femle mule cannot breed young ones becasue of the difference of chomosoes they have. The chromosomes makes it inconvient to make a offspring at all.
  5. Another difference that can spooted through the colour of their coat. Donkeys generally have grey coats or or dark brown but mules can be of different colours like black, grey, more colours of coal, palomino etc. These caots keep them warmer & protect them with heat.
  6. Donkeys can be very stubborn when it comes their choices, but Mules are very are very docile & very much understanding. This is why people likes to domesticate Mule.
Difference Between Donkey and Mule


Donkey, Mule both have a lot of similarities as they belong to the same atmosphere. Donkeys may look like horses sometimes. Even the Mule looks like horses, but they have their own features too. Of course, Mule is a little better than donkey & even the horse since it has inherited most of their characteristics. Donkeys & Mule both are domesticated by many people because of their usefulness, but hearing these animals may hurt them.

People who keep them for their purpose but are not kind, over-burden these animals, do not take good care of them are endangering these lovely creatures. These beautiful animals have served humanity for ages, & by taking good care of them, we have to play our part too. This is the only way we can live with harmony in this world where everyone is cruel to one another, especially these childlike harmless creatures.

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