When their mare went into labor, these horse owners thought it would just be a normal birth, but then something happened that left everyone in the room stunned – she had twins.
Twin births for horses are very rare. Humans have twins around 34 times in every 1,000 births, but horses only have them once in every 10,000 births, and it’s even more rare for the babies to actually survive once they are born.
When these twin foals – Mocha and Cappuccino – were born in Corvallis, Oregon, there wasn’t much hope for their survival. The birth did not go completely smoothly and they were both at great risk for infection in the first 24 hours after their birth. To the surprise of everyone, though, these two managed to survive the odds and are now thriving, curiously taking in the world around them.
Because their birth and survival was so rare, the foals were gifted by their owners to nearby Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for the students to study. Dr. John Schlipf, one of the professors there, was completely floored by the twins and has made sure to let his students know that what they have been able to witness is not only rare, but what he would consider a miracle. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” he said, “and this is only the second set of live twins I’ve seen … A little miracle like that makes your day.”
The students know getting to study these foals is a special experience they will probably never have again. “It’s been pretty amazing seeing something that, basically, we were told in class we would never see, and seeing them survive and do well,” said student Carrie Casita.
We hope Mocha and Cappuccino both have long, healthy, and happy lives together.