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Åsnan (Equus africanus) är ett hästdjur. Manen är kort och inte hängande. Endast svansens nedre del är försedd med längre hår. Öronen är mycket längre än hos de föregående. Färgen oftast grå med ett svart streck längs ryggen och ett annat tvärs över skuldrorna. Åsnan har varit tam längre än hästen, i Afrika och Asien, varifrån den införts till Europa. Det är en i Nubiens och Sennars öknar levande vildåsna som lämnat huvuddelen av tamåsnans gener. Denna vildform överensstämmer med tamåsnans kännemärken. Men i Orienten (Syrien, Mesopotamien, Persien, Arabien etc.) påträffas utom den ovannämnda också en mera uppskattad, ädlare åsneras, vilken är större, enfärgat vit eller isabellfärgad och på grund av sin godmodighet och lydighet ofta används som riddjur. Eftersom åsnan är ömtåligare för köld än hästen, fick den inte någon vidsträckt användning i norra Europa. Åsnan utmärks av uthållighet och anspråkslöshet med avseende på födan. Den kan uppnå betydligt högre ålder än hästen. Det finns exempel på åsnor som varit i bruk i 55 år. Delar av denna artikel utgörs av bearbetad text ur Nordisk familjebok, utgiven 1904-1926. (Not) Åsnor indelas i arter med underarter: afrikansk vildåsna (Equus africanus) stamform för tamåsnan Nubisk vildåsna, (Equus africanus africanus) Somalisk vildåsna, (Equus africanus somaliensis) Equus africanus atlanticus utdöd, eventuellt utrotad. Åsna tamåsna, (Equus africanus asinus) [redigera] Kända fiktiva åsnor I-or i Nalle Puh Åsnan i Bamse Åsnan i reklamen för Karlssons klister Den här artikeln är hämtad från http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%85snor What Can a Donkey Do? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Basic information about donkeys and things they can do from the American Donkey and Mule Society and The Robinson Ranch: Many people like to own these fine animals for their wonderful personalities and their fine pet qualities. There is probably no more adorable baby in the animal world than the little donkey with its long ears and long legs and sweet face and fuzzy coat. However, there are many uses for donkeys. Here are some of them for your information: SHEEP (OR GOAT) PROTECTION. A single donkey, usually a jennet, sometimes a gelding (jacks rarely work because they can be too aggressive with lambs) is introduced to the herd and undergoes a bonding stage. After it has bonded with the sheep, it will protect them against canine predators (fox, coyote, dogs) as it would one of its own. This is extremely beneficial in areas where the sheep have many acres to graze. The advantage of the donkey over the guard dog is that they can eat the same food as the sheep so they don't have to be fed separately. The donkey will also bed down with the sheep at night. Given a strange sound it will voice a warning to the flock which alerts them to danger. Then the donkey will chase and often trample the predator. Miniature donkeys are not usually large enough to handle the coyotes, and mammoth donkeys are usually too slow. HALTER BREAKING. The standard size donkey is also very adept at halter breaking young calves (polled or dehorned) and yearling horses. The donkey wears a collar that is connected to the halter of the animal that is being taught to lead. The animals are then turned loose in an enclosure, always under supervision. Where the donkey wants to go, it will go. The colt or calf has no option but to follow. By allowing the donkey to perform the unpleasant task of lead training, the "trainee" doesn't associate people with this particular stressful situation. In fact, when you release the colt or calf from the donkey, they are usually very willing to follow you. Articles are available on this particular form of halter training from the American Donkey and Mule Society. COMPANIONSHIP. The donkey is a wonderful companion to foals at weaning time. The donkey is allowed to run with the mare and foal prior to weaning, then kept with the foal when weaning takes place. The foal has a calm, steadying influence from the donkey and looks to it for support. This calmness is transferred to the foal and the trauma of separation from the dam is reduced. As most donkeys readily come up to people this behavior is duplicated by the foal. Not only have you reduced foal stress, but you have instilled in the foal a friendly attitude toward people. STABLE COMPANION. This is very similar to the foal companion, only in this case the donkey takes on the responsibility of another animal's well-being. Nervous horses have been known to calm down with a donkey companion as a stall or pasture mate. With horses recovering from surgery or injury or with nervous horses such as race or show horses, the donkey seems to have a calming effect. Almost as if the donkey is saying "It's O.K., we'll get through this together". The miniature is often used for this purpose since it does not take up much room in the stall of a race horse or injured horse. HANDICAPPED RIDING PROGRAMS. The donkey has shown time and time again how wonderful it is with children and handicapped people. In many areas, especially England, the donkey is used extensively in riding and animal companion programs for the physically and mentally handicapped. Their small stature, slow and thoughtful nature and affectionate disposition make them ideal for this purpose when properly selected and trained. Both the person and the donkey know they are special together, and the bond that develops between the two is quite unexplainable. BABY SITTER. The donkey naturally loves children. While there are a few exceptions, the donkey is not usually a biter or kicker. They have the patience of Job and therefore are ideally suited to being around children. For use around children, the handicapped and for most uses (except jacks kept for breeding) a jennet or gelding is the preferred animal. WORKING DONKEY. The donkey is used all over the world for an infinite variety of jobs. Here in this country, some common uses are recreational riding; recreational driving, both single and in teams; packing, many backpackers use a donkey (which they often call a burro), to carry the heavy load since the animals walk at about a human's foot pace and are such enjoyable companions on the trail; skidding or pulling things on the homestead such as firewood, trash, etc.; pulling a sledge, travois or wheeled cart to carry things for the small farm such as barb wire for fencing, trash, or anything that needs to be moved; the donkey can also carry such items on its back in panniers if that is more convenient than pulling it; showing, many adults and children enjoy showing their animals in the donkey and mule shows around the country; the different kinds of work your animal can do to help you are limited only by your imagination. MULE BREEDING. All sizes of donkeys are used to breed mules. Large mammoth jacks up to 16 hands in height are used to breed draft mules. Medium sized mammoth and large standard jacks are used to breed saddle and pack mules. Standard jacks are often used to breed miniature mules in the larger size ranges which are used in teams for pulling wagons and for children to ride and use. Miniature jacks are mated with miniature horse mares or Shetland ponies to produce very tiny mules for pets, single driving and just for fun. Donkeys, zebras and mules all differ somewhat from horses in conformation. The most noticeable difference is of course the ears. Donkeys ears are MUCH longer in proportion to their size than a horse’s. The necks are characteristically straighter in the longears, and most donkeys and all zebras lack a true wither. The croup and rump are also a different shape in the donkey and it’s hybrids, lacking the double-curve muscled haunch. The back is straighter due to the lack of withers. Dipped or swayed backs are a conformation fault, unless in old animals or brood jennies who have produced many foals, and not due to genetic factors. The mane and tail in the donkey are coarse. The mane is still and upright, rarely laying over, and the tail is more like a cow's, covered with short body hair for most of the length, and ending in a tasseled switch. Donkeys do not have a true forelock, although sometimes the mane grows long enough to comb down between the ears toward the eyes. Because the mane is stiff and sometimes flyaway, many donkeys, especially show stock, wear their manes clipped short or shaved close to the neck. Hoof shape varies as well, donkey hooves are smaller and rounder, with more upright pasterns. The legs should have good bone, but many donkeys of common breeding may appear to have long thin legs with tiny feet. Larger Asses such as the Poitou or Andalusian types may appear opposite, with huge, heavy shaggy legs and large round feet. Good legs and feet are essential for breeding Mules, as a good foot is much preferable to a large body on tiny stick legs and feet. The vocal qualities are the frequently remembered differences in the long-ears. The donkey’s voice is a raspy, brassy Bray, the characteristic Aw-EE, Aw-EE sound. Jacks especially seem to enjoy braying, and will "sound off" at any opportunity. Although many donkeys are the familiar gray-dun color, there are many other coat shades. Most donkeys, regardless of coat color, will have dorsal stripes and shoulder crosses, dark ear marks, as well as the "Light Points" -- white muzzle and eye rings, and a white belly and inner leg. Leg barring ("garters" or "zebra stripes" may be present as well. Small dark spots right at the throatlatch, called "collar buttons" are a good identifying marking and occur occasionally. These typical donkey markings may be passed on in part or in whole to Mule or Hinny offspring. Colors in the donkey range from the gray shades of gray-dun to brown, a rare bay, black, light-faced roan (both red and gray), variants of sorrel, albino-white (also called cream or white-phase), Few-spot white, and a unique Spotted pattern. True horse pinto, horse aging gray, horse Appaloosa, palomino and buckskin do not occur in the donkey. The more unusual colors are the Dappled Roan, where the face and legs are light and the body is marked with "reverse" dapples (dark spots on a light background, as opposed to the horse dapple where the dapples themselves are light on dark), frosted gray (with light faces and legs and some white hairs in the coat) the pink-skinned, blue-eyed albino white, and the few-spot white. The few-spot white is off of spotted lines, and can throw either more Few-spots or true spotted colts. The animals are best defined as a spotted animal where the skin is spotted but the color does not necessarily show through on the coat. Few-spots can be identified from albino white by checking the skin around the eyes and muzzle. Albino/creams will have blue eyes and true pink skin, while few-spots will have dark eyes, dark "eyeliner" and dark spotting on the skin. Another unusual variant of the spotting line is the "tyger spot" pattern. These donkeys vary from the typical large spots over the ears, eyes, and topline. The body will be covered with small round spots resembling the Appaloosa type. Donkeys come in a variety of sizes from the Miniature Mediterranean (under 36 inches) to the elegant Mammoth Jackstock (14 hands and up). The rare French Poitou donkey, characterized by it’s huge head and ears, and very thick, shaggy, curled black coat, can stand 14 to 15 hands high. (There are fewer than 200 purebred Poitous left in the world today.) The types of donkeys are labeled by their sizes: 36" and under, Miniature Mediterranean; 36.01-48", Standard; 48.01" to 54 (jennets) or 56 (jacks), Large Standard; and 54/56" and over, Mammoth Stock. Donkeys are healthy, hardy animals but should receive the same vaccinations and wormings as a horse. Their hooves also need periodic trimming. They often live for 25 or more years. Donkeys can be used just like horses under saddle and in harness, although donkeys are more laid back and self-preserving in nature. They prefer to do what is good for the donkey, which is not always what the human thinks is best (especially when it comes to getting their feet wet.). They are very friendly, and their nature makes them excellent for children. Donkeys can perform all the gaits horses or mules do (yes, some are even "gaited", exhibiting a single-foot gait), but galloping is usually not on the program unless dinner is being served. Donkeys can also make wonderful guard animals -- a donkey gelding or jennet will take care of an entire herd of cattle, sheep or goats -- the natural aversion to predators will inspire the donkey to severely discourage any canine attacks on the herd. Dogs and donkeys usually don’t mix, although they can be trained to leave the house or farm dog alone! KÖP EN OSNA PA http://www.tejaslonghorn.com/