“This is a very rare & wonderful occasion, but I can’t help thinking that their mom either was too skinny before the birth (which makes it more of a miracle) or wasn’t getting enough food during the pregnancy. These are my own thoughts, I’ve never seen 2 Skewbald (brown & white) precious little foals!”
Lori Tucker’s horse delivered not one, but two fillies. An extremely rare occurrence for horses, and what’s even more astonishing is they’re both healthy.“YES, it’s very rare, & by looking at the picture of the mom further down, it’s even more surprising that both foals seem to be healthy “
Only about one in 10,000 horses have twins, and even fewer survive birth. But on Easter morning Lori Tucker was awaken by a phone call. “I really am surprised, yet very happy, that both foals appear normal & healthy!”
“My neighbour called and told me we had twins. I was actually asleep, and I was so shocked,” said Lori Tucker, Horse owner.
She jumped out of bed and ran outside in her pyjamas. Once outside, she couldn’t believe what she saw.
“To come out, the sun was up and they were running around and nursing with mama. And the neighbors were so excited…it was just…It was just the most amazing feeling, like I didn’t give birth, but I felt like they were mine,” Tucker said. “So was this premature, did this lady know the mare was pregnant? Because if my mare was near a due date, I would be sleeping in the barn with her when it got time to her due date!”
Tucker has read about twin horses online, and knows how rare they are. So she’s been keeping a close eye on the two, and is making sure Betty Girl, the mom, is taking to motherhood.”Which is why I can’t help but wonder, why was that mare so thin?”
“I don’t know if she’s got enough milk yet, but we’re gonna try to bucket feed them. But they’re nursing really good. She’s a great mama. She has really taken care of them. So I hope they just make it past these critical weeks,” said Tucker. “Well considering the skinny state of the mom, I would be suprised if she has enough milk for one never mind two!”
Tucker said the first few weeks are very important for the horses’ development. During our, visit the smaller horse Tucker calls “the baby,” took to bucket feeding for the first time, which is a good sign for the timid little one. “The foal has probably been butting moms udder…so taking so readily to the bucket could be a sign the baby is hungry, mom doesn’t have enough weight on her to produce milk to feed them both”!
Just a couple of days after the horses were born, Tucker said they already have different personalities.
“The older one, I could tell from birth when I came out was a little more curious than the other one. She was sniffing around, seeing who I was. The little miniature one, she was kind of shy. Standoff-ish,” she said.
Tucker says the twins were born only about 20-minutes apart. She hasn’t named the horses yet, but says she’s trying to come up with some good Easter names. In the meantime, the twins will have to get lots of rest as they continue to grow.
“Now the picture below show’s mom, why is she so skinny? I know babies can take a lot of nutrients from mom (which is why they should be fed properly) but she should be nice & fat so she has enough milk for them both! Does anyone know these people? Perhaps the mare was a rescue, but I would have thought that would have been said in the news story. As far as body scoring this mare, I would only give it a condition score of a 2 at most…I would certainly be worried for their health!”
Link to news post:-http://www.walb.com/story/21859812/twin-horses-born-on-easter-morning
“Read the following, then look at that mare. I am not having a go at the owner, there may be a reason why mom is thin…but there can be no excuse for not knowing your horse is pregnant & adding feed accordingly!”
There is actually more potential harm in bringing a mare into late pregnancy in thin condition. Thin mares have a higher incidence of embryonic death and lower foal birth rates. They also have no energy reserves for themselves or the birth process. They may have lower resistance to infection and therefore fewer antibodies to pass on to their foals.
Their milk production will be scanty, and their suckling foals will be hungrier. Conception rates for thinner mares at rebreeding are also lower. If a mare enters the last trimester of her pregnancy in thin condition, this is one time to pour on the grain to achieve a large weight gain before foaling.
Add to 1 pound of a grain mix fortified for pregnant mares to her total ration every fourth day, but do not let grain exceed 40 percent of her total daily ration.
Nursing makes the greatest nutritional demands on a mare in any phase in the reproductive cycle, and many mares are underfed while nursing. Lactating mares need as much or more energy in their diets as hard-working performance horses. However, compared to a performance horse whose energy needs increase gradually throughout his training regime, the lactating mare’s energy needs increase literally overnight.
For the first four months of their lives, foals gain between 3 and 5 pounds daily, and in the first two months, a foal depends on its dam for 100 percent of his nutrition. The mare’s energy needs are double what they were in her second trimester and three times what they were in the first. Her protein, vitamin and mineral needs are at least 25 percent higher, too. Without sufficient calories in her diet, a lactating mare’s hipbones and ribs sometime seem to appear overnight. When that happens, it means she is breaking down her own body reserves to produce milk. This not only hurts the mare, but it can also jeopardize any new fetus she may be carrying if she was rebred.
Give the lactating mare 3 percent of her body weight daily in feed. Since she can only eat a certain amount of hay daily, the best way to increase her calories is by increasing her grain intake.This is also the time to splurge on the best-quality grass hay or alfalfa you can find so that the mare gets maximum nutrition from her forage.
Because of their small digestive tracts, foals eat many small, frequent meals. It is normal for suckling foals to nurse for one to two minutes three to seven times an hour. Excessive bouts of nursing, a foal that is constantly butting the mare’s udder, a mare that is antagonistic because the foal is continually trying to nurse or below-normal weight gains all point to poor milk production.