Is it true that first foals are always smaller....???

Spyda

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It seems to be widely believed that a mare's first foal will never reach the height (potentially, I guess) of the mare's subsequent foals.

Is this generally true and, if so, why?

Is it simply that a maiden mare is less efficient first time round so her foal gets less nutrients in those first 5-6 months? If so, could this not be counteracted by conscientious care and feeding?

I am particularly interested as one of my mares has just produced her first foal. Its a leggy foal with knees and hocks already a bit above that of the dam so I was surprised to be told that it is unlikely to mature much bigger than the mother simply because it is her first. I'd had my fingers crossed to breed something a couple of inches bigger and thought this foal looked like it had the potential.


My mare is a 15.1½hh TB (herself by 16.3hh TB ex 15.2hh TB) and was bred to a 16.2hh Polish WB.
 

vicijp

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It can be true, but not the rule.
We had a 16hh throw a 18hh as her first foal - much bigger than anything else she has had.
Its all in the stallion, some stallions are very good at putting size on a first foal. Alflora for one.
 

JACQSZOO

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A maiden has just had her foal at our yard - shes only a small mare - and the foal is huge. Bigger than any of the others!
 

amandaco2

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smaller birth weight/size yes.smaller final size no.
once shes had one foal and shes stretched the foal will be born larger generally as she has more room to grow.final size is genetic
 

dixie

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I hope not. Our 16hh mare produced a foal that is now 17hh as her first foal
 

helenandshadow

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Shadow was a first foal and is about 14.2hh, her full sister only made 14hh (dam is 15.2hh TB, sire is 14.2hh Welsh D) - so not always true.
 

Andelusional

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Simply......no it is nonsense.
My mares were 3 and 4 years at first foal and 15.3hh and 16.1hh. Stallion was 15.3hh Both produced 16.22hh! 15.3 mare has since had 15.1, 15.2, and 16.1 foals to various sires
 
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