The Design of Horse Milk

Reproduction systems in living things show incredible complexity and a level of design that defies chance explanation. Not only do the processes of reproduction show design characteristics, but frequently there are substances involved that have unique and very specific properties unique to the animal involved. The milk of the horse is an example of a unique substance.

The foal has a unique problem in its development. The makeup of the placenta is such that antibiotics cannot be passed from the mare to the foal during gestation. Without these antibodies the foal is very susceptible to harmful bacteria. The way the foal gets these necessary antibodies is from a substance known as colostrum which the foal receives from the mother's milk.

The mare's milk is an incredibly designed and almost magical substance. The milk has incredible nutritional value being high in energy, proteins, mineral, and vitamins. It also contains a laxative which helps the intestinal track of the horse get off to a good start. The most unique thing the foal gets from drinking the milk is colostrum, which contains all the antibodies the foal needs to take him to the time his own immune system has developed which is two to four months. The antibodies in the milk are immunoglobulins with the main antibody being immunoglobulin G. If the foal gets 500 cc of colostrum it will be protected, but there is a limited time to do that. Colostrum is available in the mare's udder for a maximum of three days. During the first hours of a foal's life colostrum will be concentrated at the end of the mare's teats so the foal is given a full compliment of antibodies as early as possible. Most foals get over 1000 cc of colostrum before the mare's milk contains just normal milk.

The horse is unique in this system. No other mammal has the colostrum system to protect their young. The uniqueness of each reproductive system argues against chance explanations based on evolutionary theories. We would suggest that design features and substances like colostrum are the result of planning by the Creator.

Data Sources: Western Horseman Magazine, March, 1996, pages 26-28.

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