Baby Talk

Baby Talk

A new baby is exciting no matter what species it is! It is always a joyful event to greet a new addition to a four-legged family when a mare gives birth. How much do you know about foals?

Here are 10 interesting facts about these cute new family members!

  1. It takes around 11 months for a foal to fully develop inside of the mare. Some foals can be several weeks late or early.

  2. Foals can stand, walk, and trot a very short time after birth. Ideally, a foal should be up and nursing within two hours of birth, and galloping after 24 hours

  3. The first milk a foal gets from its mother is called colostrum. This milk boosts the foal's own immune system since it is born with little protection

  4. Mares and foals bond very quickly through silent communication. Much of it is almost imperceptible to the human eye

  5. Because the foal has no immune system of its own, an infection can set in very rapidly

  6. Many foals are born with oddly bowed legs called "windswept" and is common to large foals born to smaller mares. Because their ligaments and tendons are immature, they may also walk with their fetlocks almost touching the ground

  7. Foals are most often born at night, and birth often happens very quickly

  8. A foal will start to taste grass after they are about a week old

  9. A foal's legs are almost the length they will be when they reach adulthood. One way breeders determine the height a foal will "finish" at is to do a “string test”

  10. Foals can be weaned as early as three months, but are generally left with their mothers longer

Megan Overfelt