Embryo development in a mare

Written by mary schimenz hopkins
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Embryo development in a mare
Foals really are big babies. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Monica Arellano-Ongpin)

A normal equine pregnancy lasts almost a year. Generally 340 days is the average length of gestation but foals may be carried 3 to 4 weeks longer. Colt foals are typically carried longer than fillies. A foal delivered after 310 days is considered premature.

Early Days

At 1 month, the equine foetus is 3 inches, or the size of a hen egg. One month later the foetus has grown to a length of 5 inches, the size of an orange.

Three Months

At 12 weeks, the unborn foal weighs up to 113gr and is already the size of a football. The sex of the foal is now visible. At day 150, the foetus is the size of a rabbit and gaining more than one pound every 10 days.

Six Months

Between the fifth and sixth month of gestation, the foetus develops hair on its lips, nose, eyelids and eyebrows. At 8 months, the foetus is the size of a small lamb and weighs between 19 and 33 pounds. It is between 20 and 32 inches and is beginning to form hair on its mane and tail.

Ready To Go

At 11 months, the foetus weighs up to 59 Kilogram and is between 30 to 58 inches. The lungs are developed and it has a normal hair coat.

Fun Facts

A new foals legs can support its considerable weight upon birth. The new baby is about the size of a German shepherd.

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