Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS)

Baudet du Poitou



Donkeys from the Poitou region in west of France have been famous since the XVIIth century for the production of mules. Because of its large size, the Baudet du Poitou was used for intraspecies crossbreeding too, in order to improve other donkey breeds. Nowadays, it is used not only to produce mules but also for farm work, leisure activities and maintenance of public spaces. The studbook was implemented in 1884. This donkey is tall, with long hairs and wide open ears.

Status DAD – IS (FAO)

The Baudet du Poitou is a local breed considered as endangered-maintained. According to its most recent report in 2014, there are about 515 breeding females.

Interventions of conservation programs

The main actions applied trough the conservation programs are as follows. A rotational mating scheme is in place since 2001. The ex situ conservation, linked to the in situ, is carried out by CREGENE, which manages administrative, technical and financial supports for UPRA and SABAUD, the breeders’ associations. The breed benefits from European Union support for endangered breeds, which are paid per head of productive animal that is registered to the breed.


Over the 1996-2015 period, the number of registrations per four year-period has increased from 438 to 614 animals, with a peak around the 2008-2011 period (808 registrations). In the same time, the effective population size considering the two last generations (NeCiR), as an indicator of genetic variability, has increased from 63 to 135, showing the efficiency of conservation measures.

Sources: Mémoire de fin d’études. Bonnin C. (2011). Gestion de la variabilité génétique chez le cheval de trait Poitevin mulassier et le baudet du Poitou.