Twin Foals: A Miraculous BirthPublished May 9, 2012
When it comes to raising horses, the birth of live twin foals is extremely rare.
Since it is so unusual, the odds of both foals and their mother surviving are astronomical. Figuring out those odds is almost impossible since obtaining accurate statistics are nearly impossible.
According to EquiNEWS, while it’s not unusual for double conception to occur in horses, the birth of healthy twin foals is. The Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Equine Hospital reports that just the chance of a mare and both of her twin foals surviving birth is around 1 in 10,000, with the two week survival rate for twin foals, to be around 1 in 15,000. The South Dakota Cowgirl’s “Ask me Anything” places the survival rate of twin foals as high as 1 in 100,000.
I was thrilled to read that healthy twin fillies were born at Oak View Farms in Gordonsville, Virginia on Tuesday, May 1, according to a news item on NBC29.com. This event must be very special to their owners because the twin’s sire, Champlain Rainmaker, “Max” sadly had to be euthanized in October due to a fatal case of Lyme disease.
On the day they visited his grave, in what must have been a bitter-sweet moment, they found out that Pale Moon, the twins’ mother, was pregnant.
Explaining the reason why this miraculous birth was such a welcome surprise, Nancy Burnett of Oak View Farms said that the farm had been concentrating on trying to keep Max alive during the fall, and weren't thinking about babies.
Describing the twin's birth, talking about the first foal to arrive, Burnett said, "We're drying her off with towels and getting her going, and I said she looks pretty big still. I was working overtime and I didn't know what I was doing, I was in such shock."
Even though the two little fillies don't look alike, they could still possibly be identical if they were conceived from one follicle egg that divided. Further testing would be necessary to ascertain if they are identical twins.
The second and smaller foal to be born needed a bit of Burnett’s assistance to start breathing. Burnett commented that she had to get a hold on the second foal's nose and breathe into her nostrils to get her going. The twins are alive and doing well, as of May 6.
But since the survival rates are so unusual, the Oak View Farms folks are being kept extremely busy constantly monitoring their progress.
The birth of these twins is indeed a joyous event, don’t you agree? Share your thoughts in a comment.