Green Chimneys Welcomes New Foal

Green Chimneys welcomed their newest member

to the family with the birth of a miniature filly named Cricket.

It’s a girl! After months of anticipation, Green Chimneys’ Miniature Horse Maya gave birth to Cricket, a filly (female), on May 15. The overnight event brought a beautiful surprise to early morning farm staff who found Maya and her baby doing well. New mama Maya is 8 years old and first arrived at the Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center this past fall.

Miniature horse foals are born weighing anywhere from 12-25 pounds, and standing 15-22 inches tall. Pregnancy for a miniature horse lasts about eleven months, which is the same as for full sized horses, so the wait was long for Green Chimneys students and staff, alike. In the months leading up to the birth, Green Chimneys students focused on Maya with biology discussions, hands-on animal care, and quiet visits with the mom-to be. They also participated in all the typical celebratory activities, such as a week-long baby shower and birth date and gender guessing games.

“Witnessing a foal’s first days and how tenderly the mare bonds with her baby can be a profound experience for us all,” explains Michael Kaufmann, Director of Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Director and Head of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute. “Watching a new life begin and seeing the foal’s connection to its mother…these experiences are not only priceless, they can also be therapeutic.”

Green Chimneys’ unique educational and therapeutic approach is founded in the belief that human-animal contact helps bring out a nurturing instinct, and learning to care for animals seems to develop a sense of responsibility and caring among children who may not have known that themselves. For students who may struggle with human relationships, communicating or regulating emotions, Maya and her foal join the farm family in providing ample opportunities for staff and children to draw parallels, open conversations, and ultimately, help to care for other living beings.