Baby Horse: Facts and Pictures
What is a Baby Horse Called
A baby horse that is younger than one year old is called a ‘foal’, (pronunciation: FOHL) whereas a young horse which is 1-2 years old is called a ‘yearling’.
What is a Colt and How is It Different from a Foal
A young male horse less than 3 or 4 years old is called a ‘colt’ while a young female under 3 or 4 years old is called a ‘filly’.
Development and Maturity of Foals
How long does a Horse Carry her Baby
A mare usually carries her foal for about 340 days (11 months), during which the baby horse develops fully. Since the horse is a prey animal, birth happens quickly, and the foals are mostly born at night. After birth they grow quickly, with a healthy foal putting on about three pounds of weight per day.
When is a Foal Weaned
By 4 months, mother’s milk is no longer enough for a foal to get the required amount of nutrition. In a domestic environment, they are typically weaned between 4-6 months of age. But in the wild, nursing can occur for up to the next year till the mother conceives again.
Although horses become fully matured at 4 or 5 years of age, they are capable of reproduction before full maturity.
- A matured horse with height under 14.2 hands is called a ‘pony’ and is often confused with a foal. The latter is differentiated by their small, slim trunk, larger eyes, higher foreheads, and long, lean legs.
- Healthy foals can stand up and nurse within a couple of hours of birth. They can even run after a day.
- Like humans, the first milk (colostrum) received by a foal from its mother helps boost its immunity.
- They bond quickly with their mother and communicate silently.
- Some foals have windswept legs, a deformity that causes their legs to bend to one side. It commonly occurs in taller and heavier foals born to smaller horses.