Difference Between a Donkey and a Mule

Some even believe that the two animals are practically the same. The truth is, while they are similar and are related genetically, they are not the same by any means.

Weight and Height

Donkeys can weigh between 180 and 1,060 pounds, a large variance that depends on the type and breed.

Mules often weigh somewhere between 500 and 1,000 pounds but can stand as tall as the horse that helped create them.

Head and Ears

Donkeys have proportional-sized heads with broad shaped foreheads.

Mules often have wide heads like that of donkey but not as prominent.


The tail of a donkey is more cow-like, with a tuft of hair sprouting at the end of the tail.

The tail of a mule is like that of a horse, with hair flowing out at the base, all the way to the end.


Donkeys are fertile animals. Mules, on the other hand, are almost always sterile, meaning they are not fertile.