Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price
A foal can be produced by a mare of average size weighing in at around 100 pounds (45 kgs) or 10% of her own weight. This foal is not the smallest or largest mammalian infant compared to its mother’s. On one side, female give birth to newborns that weigh between 25% and 35% of its own body weight. A female panda can give birth to a tiny, four-ounce infant weighing 0.1% of its mother’s body weight.
According to Clarissa Brown-Douglas (Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist), newborn Thoroughbred foals are 10% to 10% less than their mature weight. However, foals from draft horse mares may weigh as high as 13% for Shetland ponies. Pony foals mature earlier than larger horses.
Brown-Douglas stated that mares between 7 and 11 years old tend to produce larger foals if all other factors are equal.
At six months old, Thoroughbred foals are approximately 43% and 83% respectively of their mature weights. Foals born in the Winter are smaller than foals born later in spring. However, winter-born foals grow faster at three months than their later-born counterparts and catch up to their later-born peers within five months. Foals will be approximately 61% and 92% respectively when they reach 12 months.