A mule is not a horse, nor is it a donkey. It is actually closer to a large dog or dog-like animal. They are usually referred to as a pack animal because they work well in a team setting. There are many uses for mules including pulling carts and heavy loads, being ridden as a working horse, or just helping give you some needed push!
The cost of buying a mule can range anywhere from very expensive to affordable. The average price tag is around 5,000 dollars which makes them more expensive than most horses but less expensive than most donkeys.
However, there are ways to get a great deal on a mule if you look at it right! In this article, we will talk about some things that may help you downsize your new companion.
Mules are more expensive than horses
While not as popular or widespread, mules are much less expensive to own than horses. This is due to them requiring only half as many calories per day to survive as a horse does!
A typical mule needs about one third the feed of a horse to thrive and be healthy. This can save you money in the long run because you do not have to buy as much food for it!
Another reason why mules cost less than horses is that they are typically bred later in life. Since mules require two strong stallions to breed with, most don’t get bought until they are five years old and up.
These older males are usually past their breeding prime, so farmers will sell them instead of buying newer young ones.
Mules need more feed and water
Mules are not expensive to keep as owners claim. They require much less food and water than horses do, which is one of their major costs. However, this can be problematic if you want to run certain exercises like riding or show jumping because mules will not accept regular amounts of hay and water unless they are given an exercise session.
Another cost that most people don’t consider when buying a mule is transportation. Because mules are not herd animals, they cannot be tied up in a trailer or car while being transported, so professional buyers own special trailers just for transporting mules. This additional expense can add up very quickly!
If you read our article about reasons why owning a horse is too costly, then you know that feeding and watering your horse is a large chunk of money every month. The same goes for transportation, but with a lower price tag! Make sure to look into these expenses before investing in a mule.
Mules are not as strong as horses
Mules are known to be less powerful than horses, which is why they have stayed around for centuries! They are much cheaper though, typically costing between $1,000 and $2,500 depending on how active you want the mule to be.
There are two major reasons that mules remain such popular beasts of burden. First, they will work just as hard when asked to do so. Second, they are very trainable and can be worked with easily.
You would need to know what kind of job the mule could potentially pull before buying one, but don’t worry – most owners start out easy by pulling only light loads and working them slowly.
Mules are not as fast as horses
While they may be less expensive than horse races, mules cost more to maintain. Because they are large animals that grow at their own pace, buying a cheap one is expensive in maintenance costs!
Most of what you will pay for a new mule goes towards medical bills and veterinary care. This includes regular checkups with your vet, x-rays, treatments and surgeries.
Maintaining a healthy mule can add up quickly and it is important to know how much money this takes before investing.
There are many things that contribute to health problems in a mule including nutritional issues, parasite infections, and physical stressors like heavy work.
Mules are large animals that require a lot of space
The cost of owning a mule can be expensive, even if you live in an area with plentiful grassy pastures to let them roam in.
Mules eat just about anything, so they must have adequate food to survive. This includes green plants as well as other types of vegetation and meat. Because mules are grazing mammals, they need plenty of greenery to satisfy their basic needs.
They also produce waste matter which requires proper disposal. In some cases this is done by taking you behind closed doors or outside to allow your natural surroundings to take care of it. More frequently however, owners hire professionals to dispose of the feces and/or urine.
These costs will vary depending on whether you own a horse farm or not and how much land you have for the mule to play around in.
Mules are difficult to handle
Even though they cost less than horses, mules can be very expensive to keep. They require more food and water than horses do, so you will have to invest in supplies for that. Also, there are no facilities like barns or stalls where you can put them when they need to rest or shelter from strong weather.
They are also notorious travelers. Because of this, it is hard to find someone willing to give one as a gift unless you plan on taking care of him/her yourself. This could easily cost you money if you don’t already own equipment needed to take care of your new friend.
All these things add up, making muling quite the expense. The average price of a donkey at auction is around 2-3 thousand dollars.
Mules are very unpredictable
Even though they seem like an expensive stable option, mules can be quite costly to own! Due to their unpredictability as working animals, buying or renting a donkey or mule is one of the most expensive decisions you will ever make as a horse owner.
If you want to keep your horses at a quiet walk or slow trot then a non-working animal such as a pony or gelding is more cost effective than investing in a workhorse that needs to be trained for professional use.
There are many things that could go wrong when owning a mule including health issues, socialization problems, and lack of training facilities. Because of this, it is important to know what kind of costs are associated with owning a mule so that you do not get ripped off or overcharged.
Can You Train As An Owner?
Most people think that being able to train your dog or cat means being able to teach them tricks or giving them lessons at puppy or kitten classes but few realize that only some dogs and cats can be trained as puppies or kittens.
Some breeds are naturally obedient and learn basic commands early on while others take longer. Most older dogs and cats cannot be taught new behaviors unless they are motivated to learn them. This is why there are many unadopted pets roaming shelters and waiting to find homes where owners have run out of options.
Mules are very strong
Mules are not usually trained to do heavy work, but they are known to be extremely powerful. This is what makes them so attractive as working animals. They can typically pull heavier loads than horses due to their sturdy frame and solid muscles.
A mule’s strength comes from both its body and its mind. The mind of the mule becomes attached to things such as carts and trailers that it works with, making it more likely to keep pulling until you get the job done.
The physical strength of a mule comes from all four of its legs being able to work together efficiently. Each leg has separate muscle groups that aid in pushing, kicking, or dragging depending on the task at hand.
Overall, mules are quite intelligent and trainable. Because they are naturally curious, they will try new things and learn how to handle them quickly.