This text aims to highlight the benefits of using the donkey in the tropics, as a draught animal, pack animal and for riding. It covers donkey physiology, nutrition, feeding, husbandry and management, with a special chapter on the mule and the hinney.
Part 1 Donkeys in the world: introducing the donkey; zoological classification; domestication and history; numbers, distribution and trends; major uses of donkeys in the tropics; other uses of donkeys; donkey products other than power; donkeys compared to other draught animals; socio-cultural aspects. Part 2 Physiology, nutrition and feeding: adaptive physiology; importance of nutrition; anatomy of the digestive system; nutrient requirements; feeding in practice; monitoring feeding through changes in live weight. Part 3 Husbandry and management: donkey behaviour; physiological parameters; buying a donkey; selection for breeding; shelter; security; management of reproduction; management and rearing of the newly weaned foal; routine tasks; estimating the age of donkeys; work and welfare. Part 4 Working donkeys, harnessing, equipment and use: power and work output; selecting a donkey for work; training; harnessing; types and component parts of harness; hitching arrangements for transport; transport equipment; cultivation; cultivation equipment; stationary engines. Part 5 Health and disease: introduction routine health care; common diseases of donkeys; zoonotic diseases; work-related diseases and injuries; first aid; ten point health care checklist for working donkeys. Part 6 Mules and hinnies: importance and distribution; characteristics of mules and hinnies; husbandry; the future. Part 7 Communication, training and facilitation: introduction; training; donkey competitions; the donkey - four-leg drive rural power.