When a Horse Is Born, Weird Newborn Fairy Fingers!

Horses are magnificent creatures that capture the hearts of animal lovers around the world. However, many people are unaware of a unique feature that newborn horses possess – what some have dubbed “weird newborn fairy fingers.”

Why do baby horses have weird hooves?

At birth, foals have a set of long and delicate fingers on the bottom of their hooves. These fingers, known as “chestnuts,” are a remnant of a horse’s evolutionary past and serve no practical purpose in modern-day horses.

Other names for the hoof capsule are fairy fingers, fairy slippers, or golden slippers. These nicknames make them sound a little more wonderful than weird!

The chestnuts are made up of hardened skin and hair and can vary in size and shape. Some are small and barely noticeable, while others can be large and distinct. They are located on the inside of the horse’s leg, just above the hoof.
While the chestnuts may seem strange, they are a fascinating reminder of the horse’s evolutionary history. At one point, horses had toes instead of hooves, and the chestnuts were a remnant of those toes.
Luckily, nature gives newborn horses a full set of soft, spongy, slippers!

In addition to the chestnuts, newborn foals also have soft and fluffy hair, giving them an almost magical appearance. The combination of the chestnuts and the soft hair has led some to compare newborn foals to fairies or unicorns.

How long does it take for foal hooves to harden?

Even though it might look gross to some people, this is very important for the foal to have so that during birth the foal’s hooves do not tear the mother’s birth canal. Hoof capsules are deciduous (meaning to shed away) so they will fall off shortly after he starts to walk and then start to harden into the hooves we are familiar with.
The chestnuts eventually fall off as the foal grows and develops, leaving behind a smooth and hardened surface on the horse’s leg. However, the chestnuts remain a fascinating and unique feature of the horse’s early life.
In conclusion, the chestnuts on the bottom of a newborn foal’s hooves may seem strange and almost otherworldly, but they are a fascinating reminder of the horse’s evolutionary past. These “weird newborn fairy fingers” are a unique feature that captures the attention and imagination of horse lovers around the world.

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