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Mare and Foal Jigsaw Puzzle Online


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Enjoy piecing together this lovely mare and foal jigsaw puzzle, pictured in the province of Cuenca in central Spain.  It's always fun to feed your mind whilst playing games, so here are some interesting facts about these cute baby animals.   

A horse's gestation period is usually between 315 to 340 days.  For expectant domesticated mares, particularly in horse breeding stables, a special horsebox is often prepared for the birth of a foal. Here, away from the excitement of the herd, she can live undisturbed and unstressed for a few weeks before she is due to give birth The box should be larger than normal, to allow enough space for her to give birth when the time comes.

Foals are usually born at night. The birth lasts about half an hour. The newborn foal weighs 30 to 60 kilogrammes and, depending on its breed, is between 75 and 145 centimetres in size. Shetland pony foals are often only 40 cm in size.

Immediately after the birth mare and foal will remain laid down on the ground for a few minutes. Meanwhile blood about the placenta will continue to transfer into the foal. Eventually the mare gets up to lick her newborn foal clean. The act of her rising tears the umbilical cord. After around 15 minutes the foal will rise to its feet to stand up on its wobbly legs for the first time. This must happen so fast, because wild horses need to be able to stand up quickly to enable them to flee predators if necessary. In addition, if the foal stays laid on the ground too long, it will loose its strength. It must get up quickly and drink mother's milk to obtain the energy it will need for the beginning of this, the first few hours of its life.

A few hours after the birth a domesticated mare and her foal should return again to their normal stable, in order to integrate them back into the herd as happens naturally in the wild.

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Thanks to United Diversity for the use of the lovely picture of the mare and foal in this online jigsaw puzzle.

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