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Know Your Donkeys - new book advance information

Front cover KY Donkeys Know Your Donkeys, Jack Byard. Paperback 104 x 155 mm, 76 pages including 35 photographs. ISBN 978-1-906853-31-0. Now in stock at Old Pond at £4.99.

Although donkeys – also known as asses – are members of the horse family, they are genetically different from horses themselves. The donkey genus includes many distinctive breeds. The 34 examples in this book cover some of those native to Europe, America, the Far East and the Middle East, a collection which shows the diversity of this remarkable animal. They range from the miniature to the mammoth, and the author also includes a couple of mules.

Kiang- 15x10 (Jan Morse) These sturdy, adaptable creatures have found a home in almost every corner of the world including the less hospitable regions of deserts and mountains. Whether they pulled a farmer’s plough, carried the equipment for wars, were ridden or driven as transport or were simply kept for their milk, it is difficult to imagine where we might have been without them.

Sadly, mechanisation in the 20th century reduced the need for working donkeys. Today a number of traditional breeds are verging on extinction although breeders and governments are setting up programmes to reverse this trend. Ever versatile, the donkey has now found new vocations in the tourist industry and as valuable support in animal-assisted therapies.

Poitou - Nestor 15x10 (Annie Pollock -Norley Farm) The breeds included in this book are: Abyssinian - American Mammoth - American Spotted - American Wild Burro - Amiata - Andalusian - Asinara - Balear - Bourbonnais - Catalan - Cotentin - Cypriot - Encartaciones - Grand Noir du Berry - Irish - Kiang - Majorera - Martina Franca - Mary/Maryiskaya - Mediterranean Miniature - Normandy - Onager - Pantelleria - Poitou - Provence - Pyrenees - Ragusano - Romagnolo - Sardinian - Somali Wild Ass - Zamorano Leones - Zedonk/Zonkey - Saddle Mule - Belgian Draught Mule.

In each case, Jack Byard gives a full-page picture opposite which is a concise text which tells where the breed is a native and how widely it is distributed now. Jack gives the distinguishing features of the breed, talks about its history and how the domesticated animal has been used.

Somali Wild Ass 15x10 (Marwell Wildlife)This is the seventh title that Yorkshireman Jack Byard has created for the 'Know Your ...' series.


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