Foals – adorable and by far the best entertainment on a farm. Can you think of how your horse was when they were just a newborn kiddo? As if we don’t get baby fever enough (horse babies, that is), here are some of our favorite pictures of foals and foal facts!
A “foal bun” cooks for almost a year!
The gestation period for mares typically runs for 11 months. Many breeders will schedule the breeding so the mare gives birth during spring or summer, allowing the new foal to become familiar with grass instead of snow.
Foals are eager to get on their feet
Within two hours of meeting their mothers, foals are already on their feet and nursing! By the time they are only 24 hours old, they can run.
When a foal is born, they do not have much of an immune system
Another reason nursing is so important and foals are nursing within a couple of hours is the fact that the mother’s milk supplies colostrum, which is full of antibodies that are vital to building the newborn's immunity.
Most foals are born at night
Aren't these pictures of foals beautiful?
Foals are really “all legs”
Ever wonder what it means when a foal is all legs? They will probably be pretty tall! In fact, the legs of a foal don’t actually grow much and are close to the length they will be by the time the foals grow into an adult.
You can help ensure a foal will be easier to handle if you are present during birth
The process is called imprinting. You help the foal learn right away that humans are not a danger. Also, having the placenta scent on your skin helps form a bond with the foal.
Forage is on the menu in a week
By the time they are one week old, foals will start to nibble and eat grass and hay but will also continue to nurse.
Early bird gets the worm
It’s never too early to start teaching a foal. Just keep in mind that their attention span is short! They will just not be able to withstand weight until they are full grown.
A foal’s baby teeth arrive shortly after they do
A foal’s first deciduous, or baby teeth, start showing up within a week of birth. By the time they are 9 months old, they have 24 teeth, and then their adult teeth start coming in.
Foals should be vaccinated when they reach 6 months
By the time they are 6 months old, foals are usually being weaned so they are not receiving antibodies from the mare’s milk. Vaccines help the foal produce their own antibodies. Mares should also be vaccinated before giving birth.
Foals grow their mane and tail months before the mare gives birth
At about 6 months into gestation, in the second trimester, the unborn foal grows their mane and tail and is about the size of a groundhog.
Foals may just be the cutest baby on the planet! Wouldn’t you agree? Do you some of your own pictures of foals you'd like to share?
About the Author
Dani Buckley is a small-town resident in Montana. She is a veterinary technician manager and mom of eight four-legged kids – 5 dogs, 1 cat, and 2 horses. When she moved back home to Montana, her horses and her dogs moved with her (Carbon and Milo). The pack grew by three when she moved in with her boyfriend, Cody. Altogether there is a German Shepard (Lupay), a Border Collie (Missy), a Blue Heeler (Taz) and her two adorable mutts.
Her horses are her free time passion – Squaw and Tulsa. Dani has owned Squaw for 17 years and this mare has made 2 trips across the country with Dani! Squaw is a retired rodeo and cow horse. Her other mare, Tulsa, is an upcoming ranch horse. The girls have an unmatched personality and bond with Dani. She has been around horses her entire life and rodeoed throughout highschool and beyond. Now, she enjoys riding on the ranch, working cattle and trail riding.