How Long Does It Take For A Horse To Give Birth?

Giving birth is a difficult and intensive process for a horse, and it often takes place very quickly. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to witness a horse giving birth, you will understand what a miraculous thing this is! But how long does it take for a horse to give birth?


How Long Does It Take For A Horse To Give Birth?

The pregnancy of a horse normally lasts for 330 and 345 days, which is around 11 months.

Do Horses Give Birth Standing Up?

Horses have naturally evolved to many things standing up, including sleeping and giving birth. 

Pregnant Horse Giving Birth – What To Look For

When you have a pregnant mare, it is vital to know when they are due to give birth. 

Changes In Body Shape

In the weeks leading up to the birth, some of the ligaments around the uterus will start to stretch in preparation.

Behavioral Changes

If your mare lives as part of a herd, she will separate herself from the rest of the horses. 

Mammary Gland Changes

The mammary glands, or udders, of the mare, will become swollen as they start to fill with milk. Two or three days before foaling the mare may develop waxy secretions from her teats.

What Are The Signs Of Labor In Horses?

So, we know that the horse has three stages of labor. Let’s take a look at what you will see during each stage of foaling:

Stage 1 – Preparation

The first stage of foaling, which lasts 1-4 hours, is where the mare will first show signs of giving birth.

Stage 2 – The Birth

When stage two of foaling begins, it all happens very quickly! The mare will lay down and heavy abdominal contractions will start. 

Stage 3 – The Afterbirth

Within 3-4 hours of birth, the mare should then pass the afterbirth, also called the placenta. If you have a mare who is due to foal, it is a good idea to watch some videos on foaling or see a real-life foaling to help you understand what to expect.

So, as we’ve learned, it will take a mare up to 8 hours to go through all the stages of foaling. Timing these stages is very important, as you will need to get veterinary help if the mare is having difficulties. 


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