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The donkey is a domesticated member of the horse family that has been used as a mount and as a work animal.  In their apperance, Donkeys have long ears, coarse mane, a tail covered with a short body hair and ending in a tasseled switch, and many coat colors.  Donkeys come in a diversity of sizes; some can be as small as 7 hands and can be as tall as 15 hands.  In captivity donkeys live on average to about 30 to 50 years.  Donkeys make a distinct sound known as braying that can be heard from three kilometers.
Donkeys are very industrious animals and in the past were used as mounts and pack animals to transport goods over rough terrain.  Today they are still used as work animals for their hardiness.  They have great pulling strength making them great work animals.  Donkeys can mingle well with other heard animals such as sheep and goats.   In fact female doneys or geldings can be used to pretect flocks of sheep from predators in place of a herd dog.  Donkeys can get along well with horses also and can be good stable companions.
Donkeys are related to horses.  This means that horses and donkeys can produce offspring together however the offspring is steril.  When a male donkey and a mare horse are bred they produce offspring that is called a mule. The mule is the most common cross breeding because it is more difficult to breed the female donkey to a male horse.  However a female donkey can be bred with a male horse to produce offspring which is referred to as a hinny.  Generally speaking, mules and hinneys are not distinguishable.

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