BOYLE COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) "When a mule foals" is a phrase to describe something that is almost impossible, but it actually happened on a farm in Boyle County.
Jerry and Teresa Smothers say that their mule, Peanut, is a part of their family. They’ve had her for 17 years.
Recently, Peanut added another member to their family.
— Tiffany Jackson (@TiffanyLEX18) August 17, 2018
"It was really a shock, a surprise and something that wasn’t supposed to happen," said Jerry.
Peanut had a baby, which left the Smothers family a bit confused because mules are supposed to be sterile since they have an odd number of chromosomes.
"It was a million to one shot," Jerry told LEX 18.
For more than a decade, Peanut has roamed fields with their neighbor Sam Beck’s donkeys and horses. When Beck found the baby, he was shocked as well.
"I called Jerry and told him we were going to have a custody battle and see who’s it was," said Beck.
"I said, ‘no Sam you’re confused’. I said, ‘mules don’t have babies’, and he said, ‘well, you should have told her that before she got pregnant’," said Jerry.
She’s not even a month old, but the tiny girl hasn’t had an easy start.
At first, Peanut wasn’t producing milk, so the baby’s liver and kidneys weren’t doing well.
"If we wanted to save her she needed to go to Parks Equine," said Jerry.
Jerry and Teresa credit their neighbor and the veterinarians at Park Equine Hospital with saving the baby’s life.
Since then, she’s been a hit around town and on social media. She is home and doing better every day. All they had to do was give her a name. Miracle.
University of Kentucky equine researchers are testing Peanut and Miracle’s DNA to verify the incredibly rare birth.