Foal Care

At birth, a Thoroughbred foal usually weighs between 100 and 125 pounds, roughly 10 percent the weight of its mother.
A foal can stand as soon as 30 minutes after its birth. It is important for a foal to learn to stand quickly so it can nurse.
Foals typically learn to walk and then gallop within the first 24 hours of their lives. In the wild, escaping predators and keeping up with the herd are critical skills for foals.
Foals are born with legs at 80 to 90 percent the length of their adult legs. Long legs give foals an advantage in the wild, helping them travel long distances and stay safe with their herd.
Foals start eating grass or hay between one and two weeks old. They grow quickly and can gain between two and four pounds a day.
Check out our recent Education Blog posts below throughout the season for information about foaling and foal care, and select “Read More” below to see all our Foal Care posts.

Education Blogs

After a foal is born, farm staff work hard to ensure the mare and foal are healthy. A healthy foal should stand within an hour of delivery and nurse within a few hours. In the first 18 to 24 hours, the newborn foal ingests immunity-building colostrum from the mare. Farms often have a veterinarian do a post-foaling exam to monitor the new foal and to ensure it is nursing well, with good suckling and latching to the mare. The veterinarian may also draw a blood sample within the first 12 to 24 hours of life. Some farms also give the foal a neonatal booster to assist in building immunity. 

Foals are typically weighed, measured, and cared for as the mare and baby bond. This video from Season 1 provides a glimpse into the process at Chanteclair Farm.

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