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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2019 Dec;35(3):607-642. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.014.

Key Aspects of Donkey and Mule Reproduction.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61802, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Pisa 56122, Italy.
Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Donkeys are nonseasonal, polyestrous, territorial, and nonharem breeders. Although there are many similarities between horses and donkeys, there are also reproductive features that differ, from the longer cervix in the jenny to spermatogenic efficiency in the jack. Mules display reproductive cyclic activity but are rarely fertile. Frozen donkey semen has high pregnancy rates in mares, but lower rates in jennies. This article reviews key aspects of donkey and mule reproductive physiology, reproductive medicine, and assisted reproductive techniques that are useful for practitioners offering assisted reproductive techniques, and also for practitioners with the occasional client with a basic reproductive question.


Asinine; Assisted reproductive techniques; Equid reproduction; Equus asinus; Equus mulus; Mules; Reproductive pathology; Reproductive physiology

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