What Are Some Features of a Belgian Draft Mule?

Belgian Draft mules, like most draft mules, are large and are used for farm work in much the same way as their mare mothers. They are the result of a crossbreed between a Belgian Draft horse mare and a donkey jack.

Belgian Draft mules are named after their mare mothers, as most mules are named after the breed of horse that produced them, according to the Farm at Walnut Creek’s page. Since Belgian horses are used to draw carts and plows, their mule descendants can do the same thing. Belgian horses are subject to some genetic health problems, including a common disorder called JEB, says Wikipedia. However, Belgian Draft mules avoid this problem because their donkey jack fathers do not carry the gene for the disease.

Belgian Drafts carry a reputation of having great stamina and intelligence, which is a feature of mules in general. Their physical features, however, including their large size, can cause problems for owners. Cost of feed, cost of harnesses and equipment like plows, and extreme manure production can discourage owners from keeping these animals; East of Eden farms, summarizing the problems, notes that they eventually had to get rid of their Belgian Draft mules.

For farmers and other owners who already have their own equipment, however, and for those who can afford the food and use the manure, this will not be a drawback. Due to their parents, size and endurance, Belgian Draft mules can make extremely useful animals on a farm or in a similar environment.