Poitous are a rare breed of donkey. Originally introduced to France by the Romans, these donkeys were raised in the Poitou region of France for breeding: crossing a male Poitou donkey with a female Poitou horse produced a really strong and resilient type of mule that for many centuries served as pack animals throughout the world. They have a larger, sturdier build than other types of donkey; the Andalucian is the only one that comes close to the size of the Poitou. Poitou donkeys have shaggy black, dark brown, or gray coats that, if left uncut, can become really matted and tangled. Their ears are much larger in proportion to a horse and sometimes flare out to the side.