Baudet du Poitou – The Donkey That Grows Dreadlocks

Poitou, or Baudet du Poitou is a French donkey breed known primarily for their large size and their distinctive coat which, if left ungroomed for long periods of time, will form dreadlocks.

Originally bred in the Poitou region of France, Baudet du Poitou was once highly sought after all over the world, because of its size and strength. Before the industrial revolution, Poitou donkeys were raised to be used in breeding large mules known as Poitevin, once “regarded as the finest and strongest in France”, and exported to various countries for the development of other donkey and mule breeds. In the former province of Poitou, donkey breeders would ┬átraditionally leave the animals’ coats ungroomed, causing their long locks to form shaggy lumps known as ‘cadenettes’ or dreadlocks. These would sometimes grow so long that they reached the ground.

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