You may ask why we chose to raise these gentle giants. The answer is simple, we fell in LOVE with them!
Donkey Meadows is a small farm located in beautiful Western Loudoun County, in Purcellville, Virginia, where we raise the American Mammoth Jackstock. We have over 15 years of experience in raising, training and caring for these wonderful creatures and are passionate about sharing and educating people about them.
That passion has led us to try to do more! Donkey Meadows is excited to announce our newly achieved 501c3, non-profit status! Our goals are to be able to educate as many people as possible about the historical, heritage breed specifically; the American Mammoth Jackstock. We also plan to hold events where the public can interact with the donkeys and experience their calm, gentle spirits. Our final goal is to raise awareness of the endangered state of the breed, therefore, hopefully helping to keep the breed from becoming extinct!
The Livestock Conservancy is an organization that keeps track of the numbers of all the Heritage Breeds. Their “mission is to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction.” Livestockconservancy.org
The American Mammoth Jackstock is on the Livestock Conservancy’s “Conservation Priority List” and their status is currently CRITICAL. Please read on to learn a little about the history of the breed.
The American Mammoth Jackstock, an integral part of American agricultural history, was developed in the early days of the United States. George Washington, a main agriculture innovator also was interested in improving the livestock. He desired to develop an American donkey breed that could be used to produce strong work mules. Washington, along with some others, purchased and were gifted a small number of jacks and jennies from Europe. This was in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s. Some of these donkeys were the Andalusian (from Spain), Maltese (from Malta), the Catalonian (from Spain), the Poitou (from France), the Majorcan (from Majorca), and some others from Italy. These were then blended together, selected for the offspring to be of large size, soundness, and strength. Thus, the American Mammoth Jackstock breed was created.
Breeders and farmers all across the United States used these massive donkeys to make the draft mules they would use to work their fields by mating a Mammoth jack with a mare of a draft breed. In the late 1800’s a registry of American Mammoth Jackstock was established and another in 1908. In 1923, these two registries merged to become the American Mammoth Jackstock Registry, which continues today. In 1920, the population of American Mammoth Jackstock peaked, with an estimated five million in the national herd!
Then, the tractor was invented.
By 1950, the herd population had dramatically declined, due to animals being sent to slaughter since they were no longer needed to make mules. Today, the breed is listed as critical, meaning there are less then 200 registrations annually in the United States and an estimated global population of less than 500.
The American Mammoth Jackstock function, historically, has been to produce draft and riding mules. Today, mules are used primarily for recreation and a few still for agriculture.
This is where I come in. I use the American Mammoth Jackstock for recreational purposes as do more and more folks across the country. My passion is to help you fall in love with this incredibly loyal, safe animal and use them as your recreation vehicle as well. In the meantime, together maybe we can save this beautiful creature from extinction, because that would be a terrible shame.