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  1. #1
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Question Do Mules Bray or Whinny?

    Strange questions pop into your mind sometimes when pulling second shift at work. I have heard donkeys occasionally. I have heard horses frequently. All mules I have ever encountered were at least momentarily silent. What do they do?



  2. #2
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    It's neither, to be quite honest! Henry makes his own special mule sound, that, once heard, can be mistaken for nothing else!


    He has a whole bunch of unique sounds that he can make, but the one that he uses when he actually wants to be heard starts off sort of like a horse whinny, and then morphs into a donkey-like bray....if he's gotten a big enough lungful of air, it can even have the "hee haw" going. Most of the time it's just a big, loud "HAAAwWwwwwwww!"

    He CAN nicker, however. It doesn't sound exactly like a horse nicker, but it's surely produced by the same principles, as it sounds the same, just tinted with his muleness. :biggrin:



  3. #3
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    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Manchester, CT
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    The one I worked with kind of had a combo platter!! It started out sounding like a whinny, but finished like a bray. Scared the bejeesus out of me when I first heard it! I turned to the girl showing me the ropes and asked who was killing that horse?!?!?! She just laughed and said "That's just Dolly...you'll get used to her!" HA! My 18h draft cross never quite trusted her, though...



  4. #4
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    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    We bought a young mule, 2months old. Owners wanted this accidental foal GONE because they were embarassed mare had gotten bred by the neighborhood donkey who was always loose.

    She never did the heehaw thing. Just had the heeEEEEEEEE going, for a VERY LONG time. Sounded like a woman being killed out in the field!! Really got us jumping the first few times, ran right out there to see what was going on. We were kind of lucky that she only sounded off once in a long time. Our rather suburban neighbors would NOT have appreciated that noise at dawn as many donkeys do.

    We had her a couple years, never heard the hee haw from her. She did have some quiet noises in her throat she talked to you with, talked to the horses she lived with, just not many screams.

    Most of the mules we know do a honky noise as they inhale, with the haw as the exhale.



  5. #5
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    Jun. 20, 2005
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    B.F. Idaho
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    We have several mules in our field and they all make different sounds. It's neither a whinny or a bray, that much I can tell you.
    One molly sounds like she's laughing all the time. A real hearty belly laugh...
    DON'T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE!!! - God



  6. #6
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    Yep, I'd say it's somewhere between the two, with a smattering of something else entirely! When I first moved here (to the farm where I have my horses), there was another boarder with 6-8 mules. At least one had the EERIEST sound! Sent shivers.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  7. #7
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Everyone else seems to be saying it is neither a whinny or bray, but I kind of think of it as both. To me, it starts kind of like a whinny and ends with the hee haw donkey braying sound. I have a mini mule, and the first time anyone hears her, they can't help but bust up laughing. She's not much of a talker, however, but she does call out when one of us feed-bearers is headed to the barn. Mostly, I think, to call her buddies in for food.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 21, 2008
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    They certainly do nicker- well kinda of-more like a mulie nicker. Then they make a strange nosie-it sounds like a shrill woman who should never be allowed to sing grabbing the mike to sing karaoke. My mare before she moved had two mules as her neighbours. Very adorable. Somehow when they nicker for treats, they are almost so dog like-just the expression on their face and the way they do it-very endearing. I like them..



  9. #9
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Cascade Foothills
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    The mules I've met shriek like a flotilla of Italian tenors being slain in the courtyard of a nunnery. Shrieking women included.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  10. #10
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    May. 12, 2000
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    NE TN, USA
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    The best description I've heard is an asthmatic airhorn. Kinda like this.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  11. #11
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    May. 28, 2006
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    Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    We bought a young mule, 2months old. Owners wanted this accidental foal GONE because they were embarassed mare had gotten bred by the neighborhood donkey who was always loose.

    She never did the heehaw thing. Just had the heeEEEEEEEE going, for a VERY LONG time. Sounded like a woman being killed out in the field!! Really got us jumping the first few times, ran right out there to see what was going on. We were kind of lucky that she only sounded off once in a long time. Our rather suburban neighbors would NOT have appreciated that noise at dawn as many donkeys do.

    We had her a couple years, never heard the hee haw from her. She did have some quiet noises in her throat she talked to you with, talked to the horses she lived with, just not many screams.

    Most of the mules we know do a honky noise as they inhale, with the haw as the exhale.

    Thanks for the morning laugh I can just picture that...



  12. #12
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    Feb. 27, 2003
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    Mine makes an odd sound. It starts like a bray, ends like a whinney. The reaction from people hearing it for the first time is hilarious. "WTF is THAT?! And is it alright, or do we need the vet?" is the typical reaction. He does nicker for his food when he sees me leave the house.

    Poor Burrito. Not only is he a mini with a horrible name, but he gets no respect no matter how loud he yells.



  13. #13
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    Aug. 1, 2007
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    West Palm Beach, FL
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    So....a "Brinny?" "Whray?"
    I find that a ducks opinion of me is very much influenced over whether or not I have bread. Ducks love bread but they do not have the capability to buy a loaf. Thats the biggest joke on the duck ever.



  14. #14
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    Aug. 7, 2005
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    Georgia
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    Mine always started with a whinny and it ended with a bray. My boy has been gone five months now and I think I still hear him sometimes. Miss ya, John.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
    Poor Burrito. Not only is he a mini with a horrible name, but he gets no respect no matter how loud he yells.
    Burrito the mini mule!!!
    Poor guy-does anyone ever take him seriously!



  16. #16
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post
    The mules I've met shriek like a flotilla of Italian tenors being slain in the courtyard of a nunnery. Shrieking women included.


    Thanks for the chuckle!
    View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com



  17. #17
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    Oct. 7, 2006
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    on and off the bit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    The best description I've heard is an asthmatic airhorn. Kinda like this.

    Talking of equine sounds--that video made me snort! (trying not to laugh out loud at work).

    Thanks for posting the link--that is great!



  18. #18
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    Feb. 27, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkhawk View Post
    Burrito the mini mule!!!
    Poor guy-does anyone ever take him seriously!
    Nope. Never. I broke him to drive this winter. His harness is shiny patent leather, with a fluffy pink pad on the saddle part. My farrier has Clydesdales...remember the Budweiser commercial where the Donkey had Feather extensions to be a part of their hitch team? I'm so mean to him.



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