Every good engine needs maintenance, the same is true for our living engines– our mules. Unlike a typical engine, our two Percheron mules, Hank & George require much more than quarterly oil changes and weekly fills on their tanks. In fact, all things considered, we invest about $10,000 annually to make sure that our boys are taken care of. Hank & George make up the full force of the beloved Josiah White II mule-drawn canal boat. We need your help to keep our boys happy and healthy! Hank and George require a series of care to make that possible. Some examples include:
Good eats: Mules might be only be half horse, but they’re certainly not half as hungry. We spend about $250 a month to feed the mules. Yes, that’s A LOT of feed, hay and carrots.
Room & Board: A lesser known fact, the mules do not live on-site year round. They winter at a local farm and spend the working season at Hugh Moore Park.
Designer shoes: It costs about $150 to get each mule fitted with new shoes. It might sound like a really good pair of basketball shoes, but when you consider that Hank and George sport six pairs in a working season you quickly realize how they can blow through just about anyone’s shoe budget.
Wellness plan: It’s important that our mules have a quality of life and stay in tip-top shape. To be sure of this, they’re enrolled in a veterinary wellness plan and require additional medications and supplements, especially as they get older in age. These costs total roughly ~$1,000 annually per mule.
Not so pearly whites: Our mules are the only D&L employees with a dental plan. They require regular cleanings and care to ensure that they can bite down on their favorite snack, carrots, during our “Meet the Mule” visits!
Sundries: Like with any budget, our boys have a slew of extra expenses including training, specialist visits, grooming supplies and bug spray for those pesky days.
Our mules are a critical part of our ability to make history come to life for all of our visitors. Thank you for joining our community of mule-drivers as you contribute to health, happiness and mission-driven work of Hank & George!