When you think of foals – that is, baby horses – you probably think something along the lines of “aww, so adorable!” But I bet there’s something about these cute and majestic animals that you weren’t quite aware of.
If you’ve ever watched a foal being born, you’ve probably mostly thought of the miracle of life. But have you ever thought about looking closer at a foal’s hooves? Let me give you a visual…
Yes, that’s right, those little capsules that look like they’re straight out of a creepy sci-fi movie are on a foul’s hoof! Admittedly, they are more than a little gross to look at when you first take a look at them. But once you understand them, they’re not so bad!
When foals are first born, their hooves are encased with a cover called a deciduous hoof capsule. This is essentially a rubbery sort of cover that wraps around the untried hooves of the baby horse, which would be sharp and may cause injury to the mother – or even the foal itself – during birth.
These rubbery capsules don’t last for a very long time, though. This is because many fouls begin to walk almost immediately, and often need to take off and run away from predators within a few minutes after being born.