Learning More About Baby Horses
A healthy foal grows rapidly, increasing in height, weight, and strength almost before your eyes. A young horse will reach 30% or more of its adult size by birth to age two, sometimes gaining as much as 3 pounds per day.
Orphan foals always need water and salt. After a few days of life, they should be offered grain, milk replacer pellets, and hay. However, the foal may not consume much solid food until it is about 1 month old
The foals do not get their nutrition from the mare’s milk until they are a few weeks old, at least.
How Foals Get Fed
The first step is a newborn foal’s mother eating grass, other forages, and similar things. After that, they begin to nibble on vegetation like grass and hay as well. By the time they are weaned at around six months old, foals should be eating mostly hay and grain.
A newborn foal is about the size of a large dog, standing approximately 18-22 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 80-100 pounds. By the time the foal is one year old, it will have grown to an average height of 14 hands (56 inches/142 cm) at the withers and weigh between 400-600 pounds. Male horses (known as colts) tend to be larger than females (fillies), but there is a great deal of variation in size within each gender. Some miniature horses stay small enough to be held in your arms throughout their lives.
Foals are born with long, floppy necks and legs that seem too big for their bodies. Their joints are soft and flexible, allowing them to lie down and get back up again easily. Within a few hours of being born