Mule Tips–A Special Feature From Minerva’s Garden

I spoke to my brother today, who happens to live on a ranch in Eastern Washington State.  (They have compost to die for over there, which is the only link to gardening that this post contains, but just bear with me, okay?)  He has a wide assortment of different animals on the farm, including some horses and a couple of mules.


We had an interesting conversation, and I thought it would make for an informative post the next time you happen to come across some mules and want to make a good impression on them.


We present . . .


Mule Tips!


These tips are tested tips.  The participants in this particular study are seen below:


Equine test subjects


The cute redhead on the left is Lady the mule.  The black mule beast center stage is Mulysses S. Grant, and the piebald to the right is Grady the horse (don’t let the shortness of the ear’s appearance on the mules fool you–it’s just the angle at which this photo was taken–trust me, the two on the left are indeed mules.)  Those conducting the research were my brother and my nephew, Charlie.


This is what they determined, after running several tests with this group of willing participants:


Mule Tip #1:  Mules like peanut butter sandwiches.  At least one of these tests was done using sourdough bread.  Is it the flavor of the flour grain, the peanut butter, or what that appealed to them?  Who knows–they’re not talkin’. They were not given any milk to wash the sandwiches down, either.


Mule Tip #2:  One out of two mules likes peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  This is apparently not a taste treat for every mule, but for those who enjoy it, it’s a winner.


Mule Tip #3:  One out of two mules likes blue Jolly Ranchers.  If it’s not blue, apparently it’s a deal breaker, but Lady the mule dined on these with apparent relish.


Mule Tip #4:  No mules like cheese.  If you want to disgust a mule, feed it cheese.  The test participants were lulled into thinking this was something they would like by the presence of bread in a cheese sandwich, but they became very disgruntled by the aftertaste of the cheese.  They stuck their upper lips into the sky, as well as their tongues to show their displeasure.  Maybe it wasn’t their preferred brand or type of cheese–further testing may need to be conducted, but it will apparently take a lot to convince these test subjects to give it a second try.


Grady the horse has a less discerning appetite than the mules.  He prefers green grass, with apples and carrots mixed in for treats now and then, and he’s good with that.


We may bring you other Mule Tips in the future, as well as feature certain others of my brother’s large barnyard menagerie.


Stay tuned, and put these mule tips to good use the next time you meet a mule in your travels.

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Till next time, 


I’m participating at:

Deborah Jean’s Dandelion House Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop


Tuesdays Cowgirl Up! at Cedar Hills Ranch

The Chicken Chick

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About AthenaMG

Athena McElrath is a Master Gardener with a love for gardening, decorating and cooking inexpensively. She enjoys working out in her urban garden in Southwest Washington State, watching the hummingbirds and other birds and insects, eating the wonderful vegetables, fruits and herbs that she produces from her garden, and just having a great time hanging out under the pergola with her family and friends (that is, whenever it stops raining long enough).
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16 Responses to Mule Tips–A Special Feature From Minerva’s Garden

  1. Donna Heber says:

    Hi Athena,

    I enjoyed reading your post about your brother’s mules. How cute that one of them likes chocolate chip cookies and the other Jolly Ranchers. I guess I have a lot in common with them! I’m looking forward to seeing more from his barnyard menagerie.

    • AthenaMG says:

      True–you can’t say that mules don’t have good taste! He has a lot more animals on his ranch, so I am sure they will be popping up in posts from time to time in the future.

  2. Poppy says:

    Such a fun post:) Loved reading these mule facts..especially the part that they hate cheese, that is so funny, their reaction to cheese! But I guess some may have a sweet tooth, since they are partial to jolly ranchers:)Thanks for sharing these mule tips and for your sweet comment on my beachy transformation. Have a wonderful week!Hugs,Poppy

    • AthenaMG says:

      Hi Poppy: Glad you enjoyed Mule Tips! Yes, each animal definitely has its own personality, like people. We’ll do some more farm animal posts starring my brother’s animals again in the future. And thank you–I plan to have a creative and productive week!

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  4. Buttons says:

    This is a great post I love the photo of the beautiful Mules. I will have to remember the peanut butter sandwich next time I come across some of the beautiful creatures. B

    • AthenaMG says:

      You are so welcome! Mulysses S. Grant is quite a character of the barnyard, that’s for sure. My brother uses him for packing sometimes.

  5. What cute post — and I’ve always loved mules — I think they are gorgeous!
    Look forward to more Mule Tips and thank you for sharing at Rural Thursdays.

    • AthenaMG says:

      So glad you liked Mule Tips–we will have more of my brother’s barnyard animals in upcoming posts! Thank you for stopping by today–it is appreciated.

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  7. Linda says:

    This is too funny! I’m glad I stopped by. I found you through the Chicken Chic’s blog. Take care, linda

  8. Anne Kimball says:

    Hi Athena, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm ( visiting from the Clever Chick’s blog hop.

    Love this post! Those are the horsiest-looking mules I have ever seen! I live in PA, in the thick of Amish country, and their mules are definitely more “muley” in appearance. Can’t speak to their food preferences!

    Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you. I hope you can pop over to my blog and say hi sometime if you get the chance.

  9. Thank you for linking up with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! I think it’s a riot that they each have their own treat preferences!

    I hope you’ll join us again next week!
    Kathy Shea Mormino,
    The Chicken Chick

  10. Looking for ward to more. We used to have mules and I love their personalities.