Baby horses are called foals, regardless of their gender. Foals are horses that are less than one year old. As they grow older, their names change based on their age and gender. Male foals are called colts, while female foals are called fillies. When a foal turns one year old, it is referred to as a yearling. It is important to note that these terms are specific to horses and may not apply to other equine species, such as donkeys or zebras.
A baby horse is called by a number of names through the years. A foal is a horse of either sex less than one year old. A horse between one and two years is called a yearling. A male horse under four years old is called a colt, a a female horse under four years old is called a filly.
Answered from Amazon Customer
A foal is the term we use for baby horses. Male foals are called colts and female foals are called fillies. When a mare (female adult horse) has her baby, we say she has foaled. When foals turn one year old, we no longer call them foals but instead we call them yearlings.
Answered from Tim
A baby horse is called a foal until they are one year old and regardless of gender.
Answered from Drew Hart
What's the Word for a Baby Horse?
Have you ever wondered what a baby horse is called? If you're new to the world of horses, you may be confused by the different terms used to describe young horses, like foal, colt, and filly. This guide will clarify exactly what these words mean and when each term is used.
What is a Baby Horse Called?
A baby horse is called a foal. This term refers to either a male or female horse under one year of age. The word foal comes from the Old English word fōla, meaning “young horse”.
Foal is the universal term used for both male and female horses from birth until they turn one.
Common Terms for Baby Horses
While all baby horses are foals, there are some more specific terms used to differentiate by sex:
- A male foal is called a colt
- A female foal is called a filly
So if someone says their horse just had a new colt or filly, you'll know they are referring to a newborn male or female foal.
When Does a Foal Become a Colt or Filly?
Foals are called colts or fillies from the moment they are born. The sex of the foal can usually be determined within the first few hours after birth.
So a male foal is called a colt from birth, and a female foal is called a filly from birth, but both are still considered foals as well.
What is the Difference Between a Colt and Filly?
The only difference between a colt and filly is their sex:
- Colt – a male horse under 4 years old
- Filly – a female horse under 4 years old
The terms colt and filly refer specifically to young male and female horses. They indicate that a horse is not yet fully grown or mature.
When Does a Colt or Filly Become a Stallion or Mare?
Around 4 years of age, a young male horse becomes known as a stallion and a young female horse becomes known as a mare.
However, some people may still refer to them as a colt or filly up until they are around 5 years old. But 4 is the age when they reach sexual maturity.
So the timeline looks like:
- Birth – 1 year: Foal
- 1 – 4 years: Colt (male) or Filly (female)
- 4+ years: Stallion (male) or Mare (female)
What Other Terms Are Used for Young Horses?
There are a couple other terms used to describe young horses:
- Weanling – A foal that has been weaned from its mother, usually between 4-6 months of age. Both males and females can be called weanlings.
- Yearling – A horse between 1 and 2 years old. This term is used for both colts and fillies after their first birthday when they are no longer considered foals.
Do Baby Horses Have Other Unique Names?
While foal, colt, and filly are the most common universal terms, some baby horses may get unique barn names from their owners, similar to nicknames. These barn names can reflect their lineage, personality or physical attributes.
For example, a palomino-colored colt could be named Sunny, or a leggy filly could be called Legs. Barn names are meant to be endearing for identification purposes.
What Should I Know About Caring for a Foal?
Here are some key facts if you are considering caring for a newborn foal:
- Foals require immunizations starting at 2 months old against infectious diseases like tetanus, rabies and encephalomyelitis.
- Nursing from the mare provides important antibodies, but foals should receive colostrum supplements just after birth as well.
- Parasite prevention is also key to protect vulnerable foals from intestinal damage. Consult your vet on proper deworming schedules.
- Make sure the foal is nursing properly and getting adequate nutrition from the mother several times a day.
- Foals should be monitored closely for any signs of illness which can progress rapidly – seek veterinary attention promptly.
Fun Facts About Foals
To wrap up, here are some interesting tidbits about foals:
- Newborn foals can stand on their own and nurse within just a few hours of birth. Most take their first steps within the first 30 minutes!
- Foals develop very quickly compared to human babies. They have the fastest growth rate of any mammal.
- When foals are born, their coats feature camouflaging stripes and spots to help them blend in with their surroundings as a defense mechanism. These begin fading around 4 months old.
- Foals communicate with their mothers through soft, high-pitched neighs called nickers.
- Wild foals can run alongside their mothers within just a few weeks after birth. Domestic foals are usually weaned between 4-6 months old.
Key Takeaways and Review
- The universal term for a baby horse under one year of age is a foal.
- Male foals are called colts while female foals are called fillies.
- Around 4 years old, colts become stallions and fillies become mares as they reach maturity.
- Other descriptive terms include weanling and yearling to indicate the age of transitioning young horses.
- While foal, colt, and filly have standard definitions, each horse may also get an endearing barn name from their owner.
- Foals require attentive health care and monitoring in their first months of life to thrive.
Understanding the terminology for baby horses helps horse lovers communicate clearly when referring to their development and care. Now you know exactly what people mean whether they say they have a new foal, colt or filly!