What is foal?

What Does foal Mean

The notion of foal is used to refer to the horse that has not yet reached three years of life . The term is the diminutive of colt , which refers to the juvenile equine.

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ), the foal specifically refers to the horse from its birth until it changes its milk teeth, which usually occurs when it is four and a half years old . This means that, from birth to three years, the animal can be called a foal or foal.
In other words, all foals are foals too . However, not all foals are foals: the three-and-a-half-year-old or four-year-old specimen enters the definition of a foal, but no longer in what is understood as 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 toe with greater development than the rest) and are characterized by their extensive neck and bearing.
From the time the mare becomes pregnant until the foal is born, about eleven months pass. Usually one foal is born at a time, and multiple pregnancies are rare .
It is estimated that the foal can stand one hour after its birth . In fact, at birth, their legs are already 90% of the length they will reach in adulthood. 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 four hours have passed. It is essential that you drink colostrum (the first milk your mother produces after giving birth) immediately; If this is not possible, for different reasons, then the person in charge of the mare should 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 meal exceeds eight hours, an infection can occur.
If the mare re-enters gestation , weaning takes place after ten months; otherwise, the term may be as long as twenty months. It goes without saying that all these cares respond to the raising of foals by humans: animals know perfectly how to proceed in nature since they come 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 money of the owner and not in the welfare of the animal in a genuine way.

Foals born on a farm must get used to being tied up from a young age. For this, the so-called halter is used , 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 safe; for example, your fences should not be spaced or gaps large enough for the animal to get hurt or get stuck. Experts usually use an enclosure closed with a wire mesh or with railings and posts. This space should also protect you from inclement weather, particularly if the weather is extreme.

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