To preface, this is a hypothetical alien creature unrelated to Earth life.
I want my aliens to have a mechanism similar to some caecilians, where upon giving birth, the mother grows a layer of nutrient dense skin specifically designed to be eaten by her offspring. The only difference is I want this kind of skin to only be on the abdomen and chest, and the species must be as intelligent as dolphins at the very least (but human intelligence is ideal). I'm concerned that the layer(s) of skin that grow would not be able to satisfy the caloric demand of growing a large brain and/or body.
Details about the species:
- They give live birth
- They are horse sized on average
- They are facultative omnivores, but have a primarily herbivorous diet
- They are herding animals and the young must know how to walk within the first week of birth
- They occasionally practice communal parenting
- The adult female to adult male ratio in a herd is 5 females to 1 male
- A female will usually only birth one child, and the dominant male will try to impregnate any willing female in the herd (so you can end up with 1 male, 5 females, and 3 newborns in a herd, all with the same father)
Conditions for the question:
They can take a relatively long time to mature mentally (think about the inverse of human development; rapid body growth but slowed mental development). All that matters is they do reach intelligence at about the age a human would reach sexual maturity.
They can wean when what their mother can provide is not enough/when they have grown the teeth and gut biome needed to eat adult food (their planet has extremely defensive plant life, so plants are hard to break down), but what their mother provides should be enough to meet their developmental demands at first.
The males can nurse young if it is necessary for this scenario to be feasible.