Drum roll please…..

My final tip is on Owning a Zebra.  There was a lot of concern when 101 Dalmatians came out (the newer one) as people were giving dalmatians as a gift and then finding out that the animal didn’t fit in with their family.  This got me to thinking about the movie Racing Stripes

 ( picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racing_Stripes)

If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a Zebra who got left behind from his circus family and adopted by humans.  The zebra was then confused about who he was and wanted to be a race horse.  I thought to myself ….

So did this movie create the same issue?

Are there Zebras in the pound waiting for a home? 

Confused Zebras not knowing what kind of animal they are? 

If it did I, found this info helpful in case you did get a Zebra or want to:
(taken from http://www.geocities.com/zedonknzorse/wantzeb.html)    🙂

               So You Want A

Zebra

First
Know your zebras. Many people purchase zebras “for fun” at an auction, and have no idea what type (species/subspecies) of animal they have purchased. The types are easy to distinguish, and there is a vast amount of information about wild zebras available. However, 2 of the 3 species are threatened or endangered & Federal Law of ownership of these animals may come into play.

Second
Why do you want a zebra?  Having read about the behavior of the animals, how they act in a native habitat, what type of roaming / range they require -Are you wanting a novelty pet? Are you going to invest in a breeding program for the species preservation or are you attempting to raise hybrids for profit. If you answered a pet, then please reread your zebra information. Wild animals are not pets. Unless you intend to keep a family herd, trained enough to allow all members to be handled, in a native-similar setting, please do not get a zebra. A zebra without equine companionship is miserable. Equines are herd animals, and to deprive them of normal interactions is to promote depression, frustration & temperamental behavior.

Third
How much equine experience do you have? Never had a horse? A pony? A donkey or mule. We say with all sincerity
Do not endanger yourself and a zebra by owning one of these animals. It’s  not fair to them. Most of the bad reputation zebra ( and other wild / captive animals) have comes from bad experiences with people starting out uneducated in their task. Even if you have worked around equines – do you like warmblood temperaments or hotbloods? Do you understand about stallion mentality? Have you raised or trained Ponies – Arabs – Mustangs? If not, you still may not be ready to own a zebra.

Fourth
How old will this zebra be? Are you going to purchase a bottle-foal, a 2 month, a weanling? Have you raised foals before? Do you understand imprinting? How will you bond a bottle coat with other equines. If your head is reeling and you are asking why? At this point , please understand we really are trying to help you. We want to save you from getting yourself in a possible situation that could become dangerous. Having reached the point where you can say “I don’t want a pet .I do want to breed hybrids. I understand I may not see a true profit from raising zebra or hybrids. I realize th etie and training involved in a wild animal.” – then you can seriously move on. What kind of facilities will your zebra / hybrid be in?  We don’t want you to be angry or upset and say “These people don’t want me to own a zebra.” Thats not true.
We do want you to have a full understanding of what you will be dealing with – the animal itself. It’s mentality, needs and long term care. Would you be ready to  raise & care for a lion? A buffalo? You will be working with an 800 lb. Wild animal. Please stop and think about a worst case scenario. Zebras kept in captive situations should have sturdy fencing board or narrow-gapped pipe. A stud may need a 6 foot fence. A barbed wire enclosure will not do, neither will a small paddock. They need room to move and graze.here to access a list of some breeders of zebras in the US, get to know them & their stock. Talk with them, talk with several, get as many different viewpoints as you can before you take that very big step.Trained but Not Tame
What type of zorses or zebrass will you breed? Is there a market in your area? Can you evaluate bite & conformation? Can you work with the mares & their hybrid foals daily? Will your foals be dam-raised to weaning or pulled off as bottle babies? (Which is a whole ‘nuther can of worms.) Will you keep a stallion for live cover or A1? How does your vet feel about working with a zebra? Will you be able to give basic injections, float teeth, trim hooves? Yes, a lot of questions to answer but very necessary.
Zonies
The smallest of the zebra hybrids, the zony is usually a cross between a zebra stallion & pony mare (Shetland or Welsh type). The Grants zebra is most commonly used, being only about 11hh (44″ tall). While there have been the occasional “reciprocal crosses” (Zebret, Zebra hinny) where a pony horse or donkey has sired a foal on a zebra mare. They are uncommon and not recommended. The use of miniature horse mares for breeding exceptionally tiny “zonies” is a highly controversial subject. The height difference (with a very small mare & stallion longear by more than 2hh (8″) could cause serious problems for the mare. In addition – know the market.
Zorse
Any horse mare can become a zorse dam, but as with modern mules – don’t choose “throw away” mares to have your foals. In times past, if a mare was’t good enough to throw decent horse foals, she was sorted as “just a mule mare.” That got some ugly mule foals & more bad reputations for mules. Today’s saddle mule is refined & elegant, or stout & workable, with a quality dam, many with pedigrees. Give your zorse the same opportunity to be good and not ugly or mediocre.
Grevys Zebras
There are not only chromosomal differences between the different zebra species, but conformational ones as well. (We will talk only about the plains & Grevys zebra, as the Mountain zebra is endangered and there are none known to be available for hybrid breeding or private captive programs.
The Plains zebra are most common in zorse breeding (as in zonies), the conformation of the plains zebra is more conclusive to a good horse /cross hybrid. Many zorses very much resemble mules or horses, with the pattern being the most noticeable and out standing feature. Grevys zorses on the other hand are more widely varied and less consistent in conformation. While a few look quite nice, they seem to be the exception. The majority of Grevy / zorse photos all show conformation in common-large Roman – nosed heads, thin necks, high wither mounds, long backs, small legs. The one successful out- cross of a 1900’s breeding, “Juno” was considered so ugly (all of the bad and none of the good) that her conformation along with the percentage of failure in setting mares to zebra stallions brought the project crashing to a halt. Compare an assortment of plain’s cross  zebras/hybrids with Grant’s crosses below.Zebrass (Zedonk)
What will you do with your zebrass? Do you want to ride or drive? Again, miniature donkeys are not recommended (mini donkeys must be under 36″ at the withers. This puts a tremendous strain on such a small mare/jennet.) Standard donkeys (48-54″) or mammoth jennets (54.01″ and up) can all be used for breeding zebrass.Again, use jennets who themselves have good conformation. Yes, the hybrid offspring will be sterile & can’t pass faults along to offspring, but why breed for faults? ( or with faults in an animal).

***Ok, if that tip didn’t help you then try this one.  If you are going to the ZOO call ahead to see what time the animals, that you want to see, are most active.  Plan your day around that.  There is nothing worse then getting there are finding all the animals snoozing!***

The contest ends today.  Get your links to any of my A-Z tips on your blog and let me know today.  I will draw tomorrow for a winner.  Thanks everyone for playing along.

 Have a “Stripes” Day!  (Well not if that means getting arrested!)

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