Q:

How do you buy a mule?

A:

Quick Answer

Use Internet advertising, local classified ads and personal contacts to locate mules for sale. Once you have found one, visit it in person and spend some time riding and handling it to make sure it fits your needs. If it does, have a veterinarian examine it for soundness, then pay the seller and get a bill of sale.

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Full Answer

Before you begin your search, spend some time thinking about what characteristics you want in a mule and which ones you absolutely need. Mules are harder to buy than other types of livestock because they are less common, and they are more likely to be trained or handled improperly.

If possible, take a person who knows about mules with you when you try the animal out. Make sure you see the seller catch the mule in a field and saddle it up. Learn to recognize common signs of lameness and illness so you do not waste money on vet checks for mules with obvious problems. During the trial, make sure you test the mule for all intended uses. If you want a mule that rides and drives, make sure you observe it doing both.

During the vet check, make sure you get a Coggins test done. This tests for a fatal disease called equine infectious anemia. EIA-positive equines are required by law to be euthanized or quarantined for life.

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