Newborn Foal Hooves: Why People Freak When They See Them
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There are countless beautiful animal species roaming the Earth, and among them is perhaps one of the most stunning of all: the horse. Its grace, strength, speed, and intelligence has long made this animal one of mankind’s more cherished four-legged friends.
The birth of a foal itself is a miracle to behold. And, given how much we all love horses, being able to witness this kind of event is truly something special.
However, you might change your tune if you look closely at a foal right after it’s born. It’s truly like something out of a science fiction story. When you see their hooves, you’ll probably agree.
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What Newborn Foal Hooves Look Like
When a foal is first born, its hooves look like something from one of the Alien movies. Just take a look at these gnarly things! Though these photos might look like top secret images taken during an otherworldly autopsy, the reality is something quite different—and actually, quite beautiful. What you’re actually looking at is a foal’s hoof just minutes after it’s been born.
The Deciduous Hoof Capsule
When horses are born, their hooves are covered in a rubbery layer called a deciduous hoof capsule. This capsule covers the sharp edges of the foal’s untried hooves, protecting both the foal and its mother from injury during birth. But why do they have to look so gross, you ask?
Foals need to be able to run from predators from the moment they come into the world, so naturally, they’re born with hooves. You have probably already seen videos of foals getting up and taking their first few steps right after they are born…
Newborn Foal’s Hooves: Their Purpose
Naturally, this protective capsule does not last long. It develops late into the mother’s pregnancy and only serves to make sure that there is no damage to the birth canal during delivery. The capsule itself quickly wears down to a level hoof as the baby takes its first steps.
People who have worked with horses describe the capsule as feeling soft and squishy to the touch. That’s so it is easier for the foal to shed it! Mother Nature has designed the horse and her foal to be able to quickly move along after giving birth.
There’s another reason for this kind of weird design: predators are actually attracted to the smell of the horse’s placenta. That means that, once the foal is born, the mother and child have only a limited amount of time to flee to safety.
Of course, regardless of their age, their size, or how weird and creepy-looking their hooves may be, horses are amazing, majestic animals who deserve as much love and respect as any other!
While a foal’s hooves might look a little strange when they are born, it’s really just Mother Nature at work!
Share this fascinating fact with your friends who love horses!