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Owned and operated by John C Cooley
Our Farm is located near the town of Wagram, in the Sandhills of Scotland County, North Carolina. We are located ten miles from Laurinburg, twenty miles south of Southern Pines, thirty miles Southwest of Fayetteville, and 20 miles north of the North Carolina/South Carolina State Line just off U.S. Highway 401. We are, approximately 100 miles from the North Carolina Coast, Raleigh, and Charlotte, N.C. We are easy to find, and visitors are welcome by appointment.
We are a breeding farm for top quality American Mammoth Jackstock. We only raise Mammoth Jackstock. Since 1998 John Cooley has looked far and wide and researched for specific foundation bloodlines and body types for selective breeding, to build one of the best American Mammoth Jackstock breeding programs anywhere. Our goal is to breed a well-mannered, sweet natured, intelligent, forward moving, athletic Mammoth with balanced conformation, height and good bone using valuable old foundation bloodlines throughout our herd. We want them to look like their earlier forefathers and stay true to what a Mammoth is supposed to look like. We have one of the largest gene pools for Mammoths anywhere, using some of the best foundation bloodlines to be found. Blood lines including sires such as Bainbridge’s Long Ear Acres Black Cole, Rancho La Burrada Walter, PCF’s Preacher, Bully Boy, Siemon’s Glen, 3 Jumps Big Louie, Old Hickory, Ole Mississippi, Old Sid, Bramoth’s Ol Sorry, Bostick’s John Boy, Jen Jack, Julio, AAA Tennessee Rebel, Lockard Farm Nanomi, Peerless, Bramoth’s Final Edition, Thomas’s TexAss, Townley’s Munroe, Romes Lot Boyd, Elliott's Circle E Samson Mel, and Huff’s Zeb, to name a few.
A heritage breed is a traditional livestock animal raised by our forefathers in the United States. The American Mammoth Jackstock is a unique heritage breed of large donkey going back to the late 1700’s. The Livestock Conservatory now has the American Mammoth Jackstock listed as an endangered breed. We know that Jackstock breeders selectively breeding for quality mammoths with foundation bloodlines are becoming just as rare. They say that there are less than three thousand Mammoths in the world.
For over 150 years Mules and Mammoths helped build this country. The American Mammoth Jackstock were developed in the United States from imported large European breeds mixed with our native stock left here by the earlier Spanish Explorers. The Mammoth was created to be used in the breeding of strong “superior mules”. Large jacks (male donkeys) were crossed with mares (horses) to create mules, a hybrid cross. Horses have 64 chromosomes and Mammoths have 62 chromosomes. Mules only has 63 chromosomes and are sterile.
The mammoths have a unique history that is fascinating and worth looking up. George Washington, Henry Clay, and many others contributed to the creation of the American Mammoth Jackstock Donkey. Around 1785, The King of Spain gifted Washington two large jacks. One died in transit over here on the ship and the other he named Royal Gift. Also, around 1785 the Marquis de Lafayette sent Washington a large jack from Malta with several jennies. These animals arrived by ship in 1786. Its worth looking up and reading their history.
Donkeys are not horses, there is a difference in how they are built and their eating habits and needs. Their Scientific classification is Equus Asinus - donkey and Equus Caballus - horse. Mammoths' skulls are different than a horse as it is much larger and thicker boned, especially the jawbone. You may have heard a reference in the bible to Samson using the "jawbone of an ass” to kill forty philistines; there was a reason. Mammoths have lower withers, and their sternum bone protrudes further out from their chest than a horses. Their pelvis is more triangular, being narrower and deeper than a horse. Many male mammoths have teats on their sheaths and their testicles are normally larger than a horse, partially due to larger blood vessels. Veterinarians should always ligate when castrating a donkey because of heavy bleeding. If not done properly a jack can bleed to death.
The Mammoth donkey is the largest breed of donkey and is known for being easy going, kind, extremely strong and deeply affectionate towards people. Most mammoths are not round and fat; they are angular, and some are raw boned and lean. You also have Donkey Mentality (thinking) versus Horse Mentality (reacting). A donkey and a mule are about self-preservation and survival.
Our Cooley Mammoth Jackstock are registered with the AMJR (American Mammoth Jackstock Registry). This is the oldest registry for American Mammoth Jackstock being founded in 1888. One requirement to register a mammoth donkey with the AMJR is a mammoth jack must be at least 58"/14.2 hands at the withers (shoulder) and a mammoth jennet must measure at least 56" /14 hands for a jenny.
For those of you learning a male donkey is called a "jack". A female donkey is called a " jennet or jenny". A male mule is a " John" and a female mule is a "Molly". A Mare Jack is a Mammoth Jack that will breed mares. Not all jacks will breed a mare.
A “hand” is an old English measurement, 4 inches to a hand (distance across your palm). This is measured from the bottom of the front foot to top of the withers (shoulder). A 56” measurement is referred to as 14 hands, 58" would be 14.2 hands. It should go as 14, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 15 hands. There are no 14.4 or 14.5 hands.
A donkey's digestion system can break down and absorb ninety seven percent of its intake of food, unlike a horse. Because of this fact, they cannot tolerate high protein feed or hay. Don't make the mistake of trying to fatten up a poor fed donkey too fast, it takes time and is a slow process or you will probably founder or kill the donkey.
Your environment will affect how you feed your animals. There is more than one right way in which to do something. This is what we do, and it works for us here in North Carolina. Mammoths are not fed like the other donkey breeds. Here we feed our mammoths like the old mammoth breeders taught John. Mammoths need to eat roughage. Our jackstock are kept on Coastal Bermuda pastures 24/7. This type of grass has a low protein count. Free choice hay and minerals are kept out for them 24/7. That is all they need here. In the winter we plant the pastures with rye for winter graze. I can’t stress the importance of Minerals in their diet. Our area is low in selenium, so we feed minerals with that in mind. Selenium is important for muscle development and growth. Take a soil sample to your local extension office and have them test your soil to see what you may or may not have in minerals and then feed accordingly. I do know, when we started our mineral program, years ago, our jackstock's overall health improved and they quit eating the barn, literally.
Here in North Carolina, our mammas and babies are fed oats, straight out of our field. Jacks are fed oats during breeding season. That’s the only grain we feed and only to these two groups. Never feed sweet feed to a donkey. We worm every six months and, in some cases more, when needed. As John says, Dr. Tex Taylor told him, years ago, "don't get caught up in looking at the feed bucket look at the donkey". If you run your hand down the top crest of their neck and it feels like it's getting fat back off the feed, if you are seeing their ribs, they probably need a little more feed. Your environment, where you live, affects how you feed.
Anyone that thinks donkeys are slow, better think again they can run and are quick. They can scratch behind their ear with their back foot, which is a larger kicking range than a horse, and they can be highly accurate if needed. Mammoths are truly the gentle giants of the donkey world. Their gentleness is bred into them unlike other donkey breeds. A Mammoth is a breed of donkey not just a height. A large standard donkey is not a Mammoth because of its height; it is a different breed. There are roughly 173 different donkey breeds in this world.
Here at our farm, we have adult jackstock ranging from 14 to 16.2 hands and weighing between 900 and 1200 pounds. They’re as big as horses. Mammoths are slow growing and are not full grown until well into their fifth year. Our jackstock is still growing at three years and on into their fifth year. Some of ours have grown as much as six inches in their third year.
We do not ride our jackstock until they are four years old, nor do we breed our jennets until they are four years old. We allow time for their bones to harden from growing and they have a better mental maturity. Our breeding jacks are not started at breeding until two years old. Weanling jacks and jennies are weaned and separated at 6 months. Jacks are sepated from jennies, mainly due to Murphy's Law. An occasional young jack can be fertile in his first year.
Mammoths come in many colors black, roan, dapple gray and sorrels (red). Mammoths do not have dark crosses across their shoulders like other breeds and are not painted. Mammoths should have light highlights around their eyes, nose and underbelly and not be solid colors. Here at Cooley’s Mammoth Jackstock, we only breed black with white points, roans, and dapple grays. Mammoths can live to be in their thirties with some living to be in their forties.
Jacks are stallions and are very territorial. They will not tolerate another jack. Jacks will fight other jacks to the death. Our jacks have their own pastures away from each other. They will challenge one another if seen. They are kept separate from the jennies until breeding season. Some jacks will aggravate and harass a bred jenny until she aborts just so he can breed her.
Our guys are well mannered for the most part and easy to work with because we interact with them all the time. Yes, we hug on them and show them love which they return, But, if there is a four legged hot to trot female equine close by, you are a gnat to them. Do we turn our backs on them; no, we do not. We respect them. They are studs, no matter how loving he is, he can snap and become a danger.
Inexperienced people do not need Jacks! Their strength is tremendous. They were put on this earth to procreate and that is always top priority in their mind. Only quality jacks should be used for breeding. There are too many jacks and jennets that aren't breeding quality, being used for breeding and this is weakening the breed.
We pasture breed our jennies to our jacks. Again, there is more than one right way to breed. This is what works for us. The jennies are brought to the jacks. We have found that for us we have a higher conception rate than when hand breeding. We have two breeding seasons per year, Spring (March through May) and Fall (September through October). Mainly since we don’t want babies born during extreme cold or heat.
Gestation for a horse is eleven to twelve months and for a jenny it can be twelve to fourteen months. Old Rita has the record here with thirteen and a half months. We bring full term jennies up to the main barn where they can be watched. When a jenny shows signs of being close to delivering, she is kept in the maternity paddock or if weather is bad, she is brought into the barn. When its foaling time one of us stays with the jenny. Our live birth rate has improved ninety nine percent since we started staying for the birth. We choose to make this commitment and sacrifice for our mammoths because we love them.
Mammoths are the strongest animals I have ever worked with, much stronger than a horse. Their strength and gentle nature are amazing. They are used in many ways: companionship, trail riding, driving, and we run some with our cattle.
Not all mammoths are good guardians, it depends on the individual. There should always be more than one in a pasture as guardians. For one, they’re herd animals and need like companionship. Secondly, one donkey alone can be maimed or killed by a pack of coyotes or dogs. Two stand a much better chance of defending. Jacks do not make good guardians; they are too territorial against anything new in their pasture, including new babies. Note: If a donkey should eat cattle feed containing Urea or Monensin additives, it will kill a donkey. Don't think you will just turn them out with the other animals in a pasture and forget them.
Donkeys need their feet trimmed every six to eight weeks. A donkey's hoof is different from a horse, their foot is smaller and more oval shaped than a horse with a concave sole. They should be trimmed at a more upright, forty-five-degree angle (more heel), compared to a horse's lower, fifty-degree angle and flatter sole.
Mammoths tend to not like canines, especially coyotes and most are very protective of their area. They do not know the difference between a dog and a coyote. It is possible to have dogs as we do, and they can exist together.
Not much goes on around their pasture that those ears don’t pick up on. Those long ears can hear for great distances. Mammoths tend not to run in fright as horses do, they freeze and try to think through the situation before deciding to run or fight. When a donkey freezes up and won't lead, they are usually scared or trying to think through the situation, they are not necessarily being stubborn. Donkeys are mental thinkers; they will teach you patience!
The key to working with mammoths is having their trust. You must give them time to know you. Once you have a mammoth’s trust, he or she will do anything to please you. You will never come home unannounced again, as they will bray at your arrival. Their bray can be heard up to a mile or more away. When a baby is born here on the farm, the whole herd begins relaying the news by braying across the farm, no matter the time. It's the coolest thing.
Mammoths are special and extremely addictive. As you spend time with them, they will fascinate you with their sweet disposition, intelligence, mischievous humor, and personalities. It is amazing how Mammoths are so in tune and sensitive to humans. They have a unique ability to communicate their thoughts, wants, and needs and are very sensitive to your needs - if you allow yourself to listen to what you are seeing. Mammoths love to be loved on and they give just as much affection back to you. They hug you with their bodies and rest their heads on your shoulder. Their eyes tell you of their intelligence as they look you in the eye. You can go spend time with them and they are the best stress relievers around. They can put your world back in balance and bring calmness back to your inner self. Plus, you gotta love their long ears and then there is the “Bray” … there is not another sound like it!
If you are interested in one or more of our mammoths, please contact us and we will be glad to answer your questions. Visitors are welcome by appointment.
For sales information you may contact us at Cooleysmammothjackstock@gmail.com
Facebook Pages - Cooley’s Mammoth Jackstock and J Cooley Mammoth
Or call John Cooley (910) 318-2700, between 6 and 9PM (EST)
Beth Cooley Newton (910) 384-4870, 8AM to 9PM (EST).