Wild Horse Growth Rates

You have probably read that wild horse herds grow at a rate of about 20% per year.

If you start with 100 horses, 20 foals will have to be born over the next year to bring the herd to 120, a 20% increase over the original 100.  That’s if none of the adults die.  A census would reveal that foals accounted for roughly 17% of the total.

If adults die at a rate of 5% per year, 25 foals would have to be born over the next year to bring the herd to 120.  A roundup would yield 95 adults and 25 youngsters, with foals accounting for approximately 21% of the total.

When you look at gather stats and see foals representing 13% of the total, that herd may not be growing at a rate of 20% per year.  Similarly, if you see foals accounting for 26% of the horses captured, that herd probably doesn’t conform to the 20% rate.

By how much can the death rate vary and not have an appreciable effect on birth rates?

2 thoughts on “Wild Horse Growth Rates

  1. Would you please cite your sources for the information on wild horse herd growth rates. Thank you for your assistance.

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