The Rare and Rastafarian Poitou Donkey

poitou donkeyimage credit:

poitou donkeyimage credit: iPhotograph

poitou donkeyimage credit: BlaM4c

poitou donkeyimage credit:

poitou donkeyimage credit:

poitou donkeyimage credit:
Habitat: Poitou region of France
Status: Domesticated, but rare breed.

The Poitou Donkey, otherwise known as the Mammoth Donkey, is an 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.

There may be only around 180 purebred Poitou in existence and it is placed on The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list. It is instantly recognizable by a number of strange characteristics but mostly by this: ” Its shaggy coat, called a “cadanette“, hangs in “long cords or shaggy hanks” when ungroomed because the hair is longer and softer than that of other breeds of donkey. Animals with great cadanettes of matted and tangled hair were most highly valued.” (via Wikipedia)

In the Middle Ages, owning a Poitou Donkey may have been a status symbol among the local French nobility.

To me they just look like Rastafarian donkeys. Or hippie donkeys. Either way, I love them.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Want incredible creatures delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter packed with fascinating fun. We will never sell your info.

  • Anonymous

    You’re site makes me so happy. I was having the worst day ever, but this pony made me smile =)

  • janscutter

    the reason this is a rare breed is that it is mostly used to create a mule breed.

  • ksherwood

    What a beautiful donkey! Lewis Mill Farm should look into getting one of these!

  • Michelle

    Soft, shaggy hair…
    You don’t suppose that these donkeys can be sheared, like really big alpacas?

  • Lesley Scott

    THe first Potiou brought into the US was because Henry Clay and George Washington bargained with him for almost a year. He is the founder of the donkey breed known as Mammoth. All American Mammoth donkeys can trace their ancestory back to this jack.
    Also, I was one of the ones on the committee to talk France into letting a couple who were both veterinarians buy Sonnet, a six month old jenny. So for years, she was the only donkey of her breed outside of France.
    Now, look! My how people can change things!
    I have a number of longeared stories in my portfolio: One of my stories was how George Washington was not only the father of our country but is well know by the longeared lovers and the Father of American Jackstock.
    Lesley Scott