South Carolina State Heritage Work Animal



Mules; photo by Paul Chenoweth on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).


South Carolina designated the mule as the official state heritage work animal in 2010. 

What is a Mule?

Mules are hybrids, the offspring of a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). The reverse (the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey) is called a hinny. Mules and hinnies are almost always sterile because the two species have a different number of chromosomes (donkeys have 62 chromosomes, horses have 64).

Types of Mules

Today mules are usually divided into two types: “draft mules” and “saddle mules” (there used to be more categories like “sugar mule,” “cotton mule,” etc....but these names disappeared after the early part of the 20th century). Most people now identify a mule by the mother, ie: “Quarter horse mule,” "Tennessee Walking mule,” “Percheron mule,” etc.

South Carolina


Mules; photo from Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission).


Young mules in morning light; photo by Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Young mules

Percheron mule with only one foot on the ground – this is called a "single-footed" mule (they have a very smooth glide and a four beat lateral gait); photo by Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission). 

Percheron mule


MMCO the Best in Gaited Mules: Missouri Mule Co