Foals Nursing and What They Eat

Who doesn’t love cute baby horses? Foals are beloved by people almost as much as human babies! It’s hard to resist their adorable faces, small feet, and cute short tails.  Like other infants, foal nursing need specialized care in order to stay healthy.


Foal Nursing

Foals nursing from their mothers is the most natural diet for these baby horses.  Traditionally, the mare will give birth, and the foal will be standing and eating within a few hours.  Just like cows, mares have udders from which the foal can nurse.

Mares and Rejected Foals

When dealing with horses, and especially baby horses, it is rare that all goes according to plan. 

When a mare rejects a foal, she simply will not let it nurse.  She will ignore it, not realizing it needs her to eat. 

Concentrates or Forages

Studies have shown that foals who are exposed to forages such as grass and hay early on in their lives are easier to wean from their mothers. 

When To Wean A Foal

But, exposure to other foods will help with the weaning process down the road.  

In Europe, it is more common for horses to eat oats or a “sweet feed,” which is a mixed feed that can contain oats, grain, corn, and more.  

I hope this article has helped you better understand foals and what they eat! Taking care of a foal can be much more complicated than taking care of a mature horse, and it is important to understand their needs and habits before one is placed into your care.


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