Mexico has its breed of donkey, the Mixteco donkey, thanks to the work of more than 40 enterprising Mexicans who seek to positively influence the breeding and treatment of this species.
"Let everyone know that Mexico now has its breed of donkey, a specific phenotype, a Mexican donkey breed after complying with all the protocols," engineer David Alonso, president of the Mexican Association of Donkeys and Mules, A.C. and who is also part of the team behind this genetic achievement, told Unotv.com. The main characteristics of the Mexican donkey are:
Good implantation of head to neck and neck to the trunk.
Wavy back, suitable for the saddle.
Fine limbs for agility and fine movement.
The Mixteco donkey is a new breed that joins the more than 60 already existing within the donkey species. The intention of creating this variant is to have specimens with the characteristics of the Creole donkey but larger.
"The idea is no longer to have that donkey that is very small, because it is only 1.20 meters long, but very lively, very happy and very sensitive, and to create a breed adapted to Mexican needs".
After identifying the needs required in Mexico, a team of breeders, together with experts from the University of Chihuahua, defined a series of phenotypic characteristics to develop "a new breed of a donkey that was aesthetically pleasing, had good rein skills and was not as small as the Criollo donkey but not as large as the mammoth donkey" bred in the United States.
"The Creole donkey is generally a pretty, small, harmonious donkey. While the mammoth donkey is big, coarse, big-headed. We wanted the Mixtec donkey to be harmonious," explains Alonso, who points out that it was necessary to carry out and present all the necessary protocols to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Three years after starting work on the development of this new breed of donkey, it was possible to obtain the registration of the first Mexican donkey, which was called "Zenturión".
To obtain such registration, a committee of five technicians recognized by the Mexican Association of Donkeys and Mules evaluates if the specimens meet the standards required for the new breed of donkeys. There are three categories in which donkeys can be registered:
Foundation donkey: for specimens that meet the standards.
Purity grades: for Mixteco donkeys that do not meet 100% of the requirements.
Purebred: specimens descended from two pure Mixteco.
So far about 30 verified animals are waiting only for the formal document that accredits their registration since due to the pandemic, the exhibition events had to be canceled, so the engineer hopes that this 2021 will be a good year to promote the Mexican donkey.
Alonso explains that nowadays donkeys are no longer used for zootechnical purposes, for cargo or the field, but as pleasure animals, for different activities such as horseback riding, for lazar, and even for the sport of charrería.
"We have also been trying to change the management methods because generally these animals were mistreated because they did not understand them, people beat them. Sometimes the donkey gets blocked and does not want to walk, but we do not understand that it is because it is afraid."
Now those in charge of developing the new breed of Mexican donkey will seek to have Mixtec mules, which would be the result of crossing a Mixtec donkey with a Quarter Horse mare.