FAQ Horse Care Tips

Foal Math: How Many Babies Can a Mare Have?

Horse babies
Written by Natalie Gasper

Even Horses Have Their Limits

Mares can not produce nearly as many foals as stallions can sire, but both have had some impressive results.

Stallions can sire an average of fifty horses a year, whereas a mare can only produce one. A mare will be pregnant for 11 to 12 months before giving birth to a foal. Stallions can be bred between 2 and 20 years of age, whereas mares can be bred from 5 to 20 years of age. Twins, or even triplets, are possible, but both are rare and can pose serious health risks to the mare.

Equine Breeding 101

There are a few basic things to know about breeding.

Breeding Terminology

  • Stallion: An uncastrated male horse four years or older that can reproduce.
  • Mare: A female horse four or older (all mares, barring health issues, can reproduce).
  • Foal: A baby horse.

Photo Cred: Canva

Gestation Period

On average, a mare is pregnant for 11 to 12 months, or about 330 to 370 days.

Average Horse Ages and Reproductive Years

A mare can start breeding at five and should have her first foal before 15, which is when fertility starts to decline.

Stallions aren’t bred until they are at least two, and they start to lose fertility at twenty (but can be bred until they are thirty).

Breeding Basics

Mares, overwhelmingly, have one foal at a time, though multiple foals are possible.

Multiple foals pose a significant health risk to the mare.

Number of Foals

The typical mare has one foal at a time.

  • Probability of Twins: Twins are a rare occurrence, about 1 in 10,000.
  • Probability of Triplets: Triplets are almost unheard of at about 1 in 300,000.
Two foals

Photo Cred: Canva

Average Number of Offspring

The number of offspring varies greatly between mares and stallions.

  • Mares: Can have 0 to 20, with an average broodmare producing around 15 to 20 foals in her life.
  • Stallions: Most stallions are bred 30 to 50 times a year. If 40 of those attempts result in a live foal, a stallion could have 600 foals in his life.

World Record Number of Offspring

  • Mare: The highest recorded number is 26.
  • Stallion: AQHA horse Impressive sired 2,250 foals.

What is the most babies a horse has ever had?

At one time, the record appears to be 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is a horse pregnant for?

A mare is pregnant for 11 to 12 months.

Q: What is the lifespan of a horse?

A healthy horse can live for 25 to 30 years, with some horses reaching their 50’s (usually smaller breeds or minis).

Q: Can horses have identical twins?

Twin foals are possible, but unlikely.

Q: Can horses get triplets?

They can, but it’s exceptionally rare.

Q: Can horses have multiple babies?

A mare can have multiple foals in her lifetime, but typically just one at a time.

Q: How many horses can a horse give birth to at once?

A mare usually has one foal per pregnancy, but twins (or even triplets) are possible.

Mare and foal

Photo Cred: Canva

Parting Thoughts

While stallions can sire large amounts of foals in their lifetimes, how many foals come into the world depends more on the availability of healthy mares.

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About the author


Nancy loves retraining off the track Thoroughbreds and working with her dogs!