Poitou Donkey Equus asinus

Poitou Donkey in clover
Poitou Donkey
The Poitou Donkey from western France is one of the largest breeds and one of the oldest recorded breeds of domestic donkey. Males (Jacks) can reach over 15 hands (1.5 metres) at the withers (shoulder) and females (Jennies) a hand (4"/10cm) less. It has especially long ears, a big head and a long, curly, brown (or black) coat which grows like dreadlocks if ungroomed.
Poitou Donkey
Poitou Donkey foal
Poitou Donkey
For over 1000 years its strength was a mainstay of French agriculture, both directly and by crossing with horses for strong mules, until replaced by tractors. By the late 1970s it was nearly extinct, with some 25 remaining.
Poitou Donkey
Poitou Donkey
After conservation breeding, today (2017) there more than 600 pure-bred Poitous.