FAQ Horse Care

Bundles of Joy: How Much Do Newborn Horses Weigh?

Newborn foal
mm
Written by Natalie Gasper

Average Foal Birth Stats

If you’ve ever wondered how much foals weigh, the answer largely depends (pun intended) on the size of the mare.

Mares are pregnant for an average of 11 to 12 months and give birth to one foal in a process that can take one to four hours. A male foal is a colt, and a female foal is a filly. On average, a newborn foal weighs around 100 lbs (or 45 kg). Foals grow quickly, easily tripling or quadrupling in size by their second month.

Breeding Basics

Maiden mares or older mares may take longer to get pregnant and may need more help with the birth.

Gestation Period

Mares are pregnant longer than humans, though not by much (11 to 12 months).

The Birth

Mares need a large, clean space to give birth (usually a stall padded with straw, but a field in nice weather is also OK). If it’s your mare’s first foal or if she is over 16, call your vet as soon as labor starts.

In the first stage, the mare’s uterus contracts. This can last for a few hours and signs include restlessness, laying down and standing up, and sweating.

In the second stage, the water breaks and the foal starts to move through the birth canal. Once the water breaks, the foal is usually delivered within 10 to 20 minutes. The foal’s knees and nose should come out first.

Paint mare and foal

Photo Cred: Canva

Terminology: Foals, Fillies, and Colts

  • Foal: A baby horse.
  • Filly: A female horse less than four years old.
  • Colt: An uncastrated male horse less than four years old.

Learn more in our horse gender guide!

Newborn Foal Weights

An average newborn foal weighs between 80 and 200 lbs. (Converted to kg, this would be 36 to 91 kg).

A good rule of thumb is that a foal will weigh about 10% of the mare’s weight.

Factors that Affect Birth Weight:

  • Breed
  • Sire and Dam sizes
  • Mare’s Health
  • Mare’s Age
Foal

Photo Cred: Canva

Fun Newborn Foal Facts

Foals are only called foals for the first year of life. Most foals are born in the dark when it’s easier for the mare to hide her newborn from predators.

At birth, a foal’s legs are 80-90% grown (they need the length to keep up with the adults and outrun predators).

Foals can stand within two hours of being born and quickly progress to nursing, walking, and even running.

Foal standing

Photo Cred: Canva

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a newborn horse called?

A newborn horse is called a foal (male = colt, female = filly).

Q: How big is a newborn baby horse?

The average foal is 27 to 29 inches tall and weighs around 100 pounds.

Q: How much does a 2-month-old horse weigh?

A two-month-old foal can weigh anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds (they gain about one pound per day).

Q: How much do foals weigh in kg?

Foal Weight (lbs) Foal Weight (kg)
80 lbs 36 kg
100 lbs 45 kg
120 lbs 54 kg

Parting Thoughts

Seeing a foal in person is a memorable and rewarding experience. They are cute, gangly, and full of life!

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About the author

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