Maybe someone has heard of the bardotto but it does not focus on exactly what kind of animal it is. It is an animal that is not difficult to mistake for a donkey but it is not, even if some relationship between the two cannot be denied. Let's get to know this quadruped better by clarifying the classifications of species and subspecies.
In fact, it may happen that there are apparently very similar animals that then appear to belong to different classes and, on the contrary, animals that at the sight seem to have nothing to do, on paper they are very close, almost cousins. What happens in the case of the bardotto and the donkey? Let's go find out.
This animal, more common than it seems, being often confused with a donkey, is in fact a hybrid. It arises from the coupling of a horse with a female domestic donkey and generally it results infertile even if in fact the females born from this crossing can occasionally be fertile.
A time this hybrid it had an important role and enjoyed greater economic significance, now that the world has changed, it is less essential and has been a bit sidelined. This is explained by the fact that a robust creature, in every sense, like this one, was used as a pack animal and for towing, but not only. During the period of world conflicts it also found use in the military ranks for heavy transport, especially weapons, ammunition and provisioning.
Its competitor has always been the mule, however: the two animals are able to perform the same tasks and with the same effectiveness, but the bardotto is difficult to breed due to the low fertility rate of the horse-donkey crossing and of the widespread opinion that it is less robust than the mule. Here then is that the farms dedicated to bardotti are rarer to find and those few that resist are mostly aimed at the production of meat. In Italy, one of the regions where the bardotto is still quite widespread is the Sicily. Outside our borders, the countries that used it are Spain and Portugal and even there something still remains. For those interested in this type of activity, the breeding rules do not differ particularly from those of the mule.
Inheriting both the physical characteristics of the stallion and those of the donkey that generated it, the bardotto is a robust animal, a hard worker. Compared to the mule, it has more similarities to a horse thanks to its slightly rounded body and a rump that is even more so at the end. The ears are also more horse-like, as they are shorter than in the mule, although longer than in the horse. Compared to the mule the bardotto it also has straighter legs. Moving on to the coat, that of the bardotti can take on all possible color combinations even if most of the time it is light shades, tending to white. The only cloak that is impossible to see on a bardotto is the dappled tobiano one because this hybrid it cannot inherit the complete genetic set corresponding to this color, generally ending up with four high frills and a white tail.
Even in its communication, the bardotto it recalls the horse because its verse is more a neigh than a bray, it is a curious mix and not always easy to interpret.
Bardotto and mule
The mule is, to immediately clarify the ideas, the fruit of the cross between a male donkey and a mare, so it is a "vice versa". In fact, the result is that the bardotto it bears a greater resemblance to the horse and has a thicker mane than the mule, small ears and how the horse neighs, unlike the braying mule. This is just to start observing the differences between the two intersections and learn to recognize one and the other.
Bardotto and donkey
It is not easy to orient yourself among mules, donkeys and bardotti and I bet that if you don't pay attention, you end up calling everyone donkeys, without going into it. In truth, if we look closely, these three animals have differences that make them unique and that have marked their destiny in past centuries.
When we talk about donkey, donkey and donkey, we are referring to the same animal species, which in Latin is called Equus asinus and which belongs to the family of Equidae just like zebras and horses. There is therefore no difference between donkey, donkey and donkey as there are between donkey, mule and bardotto, as we have seen by illustrating the crosses from which the last two emerge.
When we talk about mules we are not referring to an Equus asinus but to the fruit of the cross between a male donkey and a mare, or a female horse. When we talk about bardotto we refer to the cross between a male horse and a female donkey, a much rarer mating. That is why mules are more popular than bardotti.
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