Definition of foal

The notion of foal is used to refer to horse still did not reach three years of life. The term is the diminutive of foalwhich alludes to the juvenile equine.

According to the dictionary of Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), foal refers specifically to the horse from birth until it changes its milk teeth, which usually takes place when it has four and a half years. This means that, from birth to three years, the animal can be called foal or foal.

Expressed another way, all foals are also foals. However, not all foals are foals: the three-and-a-half-year-old or four-year-old colt falls under the definition of a foal, but no longer in what is meant by a foal.

It is important to mention that horses are herbivorous mammals that belong to the species whose scientific name is Equus ferus caballus. They are perissodactyls (their extremities end in hooves, with an odd number of fingers and the central finger with greater development than the rest) and are characterized by their extensive neck and their size.

From the time the mare becomes pregnant until the foal is born, about eleven months pass. In general, one foal is born at a time, being infrequent pregnancies multiple.

It is estimated that the foal can stand one hour after his birth. In fact, at birth, their legs are already 90% of the length they will reach as adults. About two hours after delivery, the foal can even run.

Another of the traits considered normal for the foal during its first hours outside its mother’s womb is that it must have begun to feed before the four hours are up. It is essential that you drink colostrum (the first milk produced by your mother after giving birth) immediately; If this is not possible, for different reasons, then the person in charge of the mare must milk her and place the milk in a sterilized container to feed the foal with the help of a bottle. If the time between delivery and the first food exceeds eight hours, an infection may occur.

If the mare re-enters gestation, weaning takes place after ten months; otherwise, the term can reach twenty months. It goes without saying that all these cares respond to the raising of foals by human beings: animals know perfectly well how to proceed in nature since they are prepared to go through all their experiences without the intervention of our species. An infection, for example, may not be so serious for the foal in its natural habitat, but in the case of livestock, the interest is in the owner’s money and not in the genuine welfare of the animal.

The foals that are born in a farm They must get used to being tied up from a young age. For this, the so-called halter, a rope that is attached to the neck or head with the purpose of leading the horse or leaving it tied to a post so that it does not move away. It is recommended to use a knot that can be easily undone in an emergency.

The pen in which the foal will be placed must be secure; for example, your fences They should not be spaced out and there should be no gaps large enough for the animal to injure or get stuck. Experts often use an enclosure with wire mesh or railings and posts. This space should also protect you from inclement weather, particularly if the weather is extreme.


Authors: Juan Pérez Bernan and Marían Merino. Published: 2010. Updated: 2022 Definition of foal


Leave a Reply