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Quaker Hill Farm
A Baby Horse is Born
A story for children written by Quaker Anne
Photos by John Parsons Makela
This might be a good resource for young home schoolers - pass it on!
At Quaker Farm, we have horses. Our horses do a lot of work for us and they are our good friends. A female horse is called a mare and a male horse is either a stallion or a gelding.
On a working farm, horses are used for transportation, for hauling big timers, pulling wagons, and for cultivating fields. Our horses are very productive, we even milk them!
Candy is an Appaloosa mare. An Appaloosa is a horse that usually has very striking color. Candy is a beautiful speckle colored horse and she likes to go on trail rides. She is a very pretty horse. One Autumn, Candy was expecting a baby. A baby horse is called a foal. When a horse is giving birth to a baby, she is foaling.
When a horse has a baby at Quaker Farm, it is a very special time for us. When Candy started to give birth we quietly kept her company. Horses usually foal alone, they don't like human company and would rather be by themselves. But, Candy really loves her human family and always allows us to be with her when she foals. It is a great blessing to be able to watch a foal be born but we must be very calm and quiet.
When animals begin to give birth, it is called labor. It is called labor because birth is hard work. But, birth is not something to be afraid of. It is a normal part of life. God designed animals and humans to give birth and his design works very well and should be trusted.
Candy started her labor out in the field. She doesn't like to be indoors to give birth. She likes to walk around and peacefully graze while she is in labor. Her free movement allows the baby to move more easily through the birth canal.
Can you see what looks like a bubble comming out of Candy? That is called the amnionic sac, or bag of waters. A baby grows and develops in a bag of waters inside the mother - we humans do too. When you can see the bag of waters, there is sometimes a foot to be seen too. Do you see a foot?
Candy decided to lay down for a while. She worked hard and labored some more and then began to push.
After 2 pushes, the bag of water broke. Quaker Anne gently moved the sac away from the baby's nose so he could begin breathing. Birth is a great Godly miracle and a time of quiet prayer.
Candy stands back up and continues to labor. She walks a bit and pushes a little more. It is a very good thing to move around during labor. The mothers movement helps the baby move too.
As Candy continues to push, the infant foal emerges slowly. Careful, quiet assistance is offered to lower
the newborn onto the ground. (It is hunting season, an important time to dress in a safe color!)
The newborn foal is gently assisted to the ground where he begins the next stage of his life outside
of his mother. It takes a baby a few moments to understand the big change that has happened.
Up until now, the foal had been growing within his mother, he was snug and safe and warm inside of
her body where he listened to the comforting sound of her heart beat as he grew. Now
he must begin to learn about the bigger world outside of her. How grateful we are to God for
the miracle of birth which begins at the moment of conception!
Within a short time, the newborn foal stands and takes his first wobbly steps. It takes him only a few minutes to learn to walk. Candy looks at her baby with great joy and softly nickers to him that she loves him and she tells him that he is a very good and brave little boy. She surrounds him with her body so he knows she is near. The baby feels completely safe with his loving mother by his side.
After a while, we finally brought Candy and her baby into the barn to be safe. We waited to introduce ourselves because at first, it was important that baby and mother got to know each other and develop a close bond. The bond between a mother and a baby is very, very strong. No matter how many horses and foals might be in a field (even 100!), a mother always knows the exact sound of her baby's winnie and the baby always knows the exact sound of his mothers nicker. They never get confused by anyone elses voice because God made them just that way.
Once he played with us for a while, the baby foal got hungry and went to his mother to nurse.
We just know Candy's foal is one of the prettiest we have ever seen! We named him Francis, and
baby Francis really liked his new name.
New Words You Have Learned
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"The Lord bless thee and keep thee...."
- Numbers 6:24