A heartwarming example of how Mother Nature can produce wonders happened in May.
Emma, a mother horse delivered a miracle, defining all the odds. Her owner got a pleasant surprise when Emma laid down to deliver her foal. According to the UC Davis Center for Equine Health, “a number of factors can affect a mare’s ability to conceive, maintain a healthy pregnancy and produce a healthy foal, including proper nutrition, preventive medicine, a routine program of parasite control and exercise.”
According to the Center for Equine Health, although it is common for a high number of twin embryos to abort spontaneously within the first six weeks of pregnancy, approximately 80 percent of twin conceptions that are present after 40 days of pregnancy are aborted by the eighth month of pregnancy.
Horses usually give birth to one horse per conception.
It is not uncommon for them to conceive twins, but it is definitely extremely rare for both embryos to survive. What usually happens in this situation is that one of the two embryos takes over the other one during some point of the pregnancy, leading to the second embryo dying early. In other cases, the veterinarian will have to perform an abortion to remove the second foal in order for one of them to grow normally and healthy. According to the Center for Equine Health, late abortions can lead to significant complications, such as infection, trauma, reduced fertility during the next breeding, illness, and inflammation of the laminae.
Veterinary surgeon Nicolas Jarvis, who works at a UK horse sanctuary, said:
“Although mares quite often conceive twins, it is rare that both embryos survive. If you have two foals, they are vying for space and the chances of them coming out alive and well are slim.”
This basically means that usually, the foals fight inside the womb for the growing space, and one usually wins the fight.
To put things more into perspective, the survival rate of twin horses is a very low 10,000 to 1.
For humans, the percentage of live twin births per year is approximately 27 percent. This means that there are approximately 1 billion twins on this planet. It seems to be a lot, but considering that there are approximately 7.4 billion people in total, the number remains pretty low. Twins, in general, are an uncommon phenomenon. For horses, this number is even lower than for humans. Having foals that are twins is, therefore, an extremely rare occurrence, a wonder of nature as one can call it.
So, when Emma gave birth to twins, and both of them survived, both vets and the internet became amazed. It is the first set of documented twin foals since 2009, the last ones being Colby and Leo, a set of twin foals born in the UK. It had been almost 10 years since Mother Nature produced such a miracle.
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The twin foals are called Grace and Will, and they are in very good health.
Even better, they are both expected to live happy and long lives, making them miracles of nature. According to the Center of Equine Health, when two live foals are delivered, there is a very high risk of foaling problems for the mother, as well as a high chance at a loss of life for both foals during their first two weeks of life. The owner of Emma was (and is still) stunned by the event and didn’t even know that Emma was carrying twins this entire time.
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