More Online Jigsaw Puzzles
When you're only a day old, standing up
on all 4 feet is a tricky feat to pull off. Enjoy
solving this beautiful jigsaw puzzle of a cute foal struggling
to his feet whilst being attentively watched by his mother and
another horse in his herd.
In common with all mammals, foals are dependent on their mother at the start of life. The most important food at the very beginning of the foal's life is called the colostrum or “first milk”. This contains vital materials for the metabolism and immune system. In addition, the composition of the colostrum provides for the first bowel movement of the foal.
The intestinal wall can only absorb the protective antibodies in the colostrum during the foal's first 36 hours of life. If no colostrum is consumed, there is a high risk of the foal succumbing to infections.
The foal consumes about 10 percent of its own body weight per day whilst nursing. Being steppe animal, the foal will quickly have good motor control and will ideally will make its way to pasture after a few days. There, it will begin learning by copying from its mother and other horses. It will soon begin nibbling at grass, which at these early days of its life, provides for the beginning of a normal digestive system and a well-balanced vitamin intake. In addition to this initial grazing, the foal will continue to take milk from its mother for quite some months. In the wild, foals are eventually weaned away from the mare's milk between the sixth and twelfth month of life.
Foals learn quickly to play with other
horses and to integrate with the herd. By playing they
also develop their condition, motor skills and strong
musculature and tendons. In nature they become
completely independent from their mother after one
year. In domesticated horse breeding, separation
often occurs as early as three months after birth.
The current opinion is that early separation of a foal from its mother can negatively affect the social behaviour of the young animal. There are differing opinions regarding the best type of separation from the mare. Some breeders prefer a sudden separation, others consider gradually separating the animals to be best. In the gradual method of separating, the foals return back to their mother after about 10-15 minutes to start off with. This period of time is continuously extended, so that the mare and foal can slowly get used to the separation.
A young male horse is called a colt. He becomes mature enough for mating at around 12 months old whereas it takes mares until the age of two years to become ready. However, it is recommended to wait until at least up to the 3rd year in order to avoid damage to the horse's backbone. To avoid an unintentional pregnancy of the young mares, therefore, it is important to bring up stallions (mature male horses) and mares separately.
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Thanks to Hunter-Desportes for the use of the dramatic picture of this cute one day old foal struggling to its feet, in this online jigsaw puzzle. The photo was taken at Blackberry Hill Farm in South Carolina, USA.
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