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Frequently Asked Questions

Breeding

     

Q7) When should my newborn foal ... ? 

The most clear and concise guide we've found to answer this question comes from Lon Lewis' Feeding and Care of the Horse. While every foal is different, most go through these stages after foaling. 

First Day in the Life of a Foal

From Feeding and Care of the Horse by Lon D. Lewis

Behavior Usual Time of Occurrence
Foal lifts and shakes head 30 sec to 3 min. after birth
Foal sits up, i.e., rolls from side onto sternum 1 to 10 min. after birth
Umbilical cord breaks 3 to 13 min. after birth
Foal sucks fingers placed in its mouth 2 to 20 min. after birth
Pupils respond to light and startle reaction to light flash* 10 min. after birth
Foal moves ears and head, following sound 10 to 40 min. after birth
Mare stands (3-10 % don't lie down to foal) 5 to 25 (average 10) min. after foaling
Placenta passed 15 to 90 min. after foaling
Foal stands 15 to 180 min. after foaling (fillies average 40, colts 65)
Foal walks well 3 to 9 min. after standing
Foal seeks care, approaches and follows mare 10 to 20 min. after standing
Foal nurses mare and passes meconium (first stool) 1/2 to 6 hours and usually 1 to 2 hours after birth, or 30 to 90 min. after standing
Continued defecation by foal Once in 10 hours, increasing to 3 to 5 times per day
Foal lies down 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours after nursing
Foal drowsy and sleeps, usually on its side 80 to 100 min. after nursing
Foal stretches, trots, gallops and grooms itself 4 hours after birth
Foal first urinates 3 to 15 hours after birth; average 6 for colts, 10 for fillies

* An anxious, excited foal may not exhibit these reactions.

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