Tips for foaling out your mare
Foaling is the process of giving birth to a foal and is a special time for any horse owner. Whether you are an experienced breeder or a first-time foaler, it is important to understand the process of foaling and how to provide the best care for your mare and her new foal.
Before Foaling: Preparation is Key
Before the mare is due to foal, there are several things you can do to prepare for the event:
Observe your mare: Pay attention to her physical signs and behaviors to determine when she is about to foal. Some signs of impending foaling include increased restlessness, changes in milk production, and tail-lifting.
Create a safe foaling area: Choose a clean, well-lit area for your mare to give birth. Make sure the area is free of hazards and has adequate space for the mare and foal.
Gather necessary supplies: Have on hand a foaling kit that includes a foaling halter, foal blanket, clean towels, and any other supplies you may need to assist with the foaling process if necessary.
During Foaling: Be Prepared to Assist
The foaling process can take anywhere from a few hours to several hours. It is important to stay close to your mare during this time and be prepared to assist if necessary.
Monitor the mare: Keep a close eye on the mare and pay attention to her physical signs, such as straining and sweating.
Be ready to assist: Be prepared to assist the mare if she is having difficulty giving birth or if the foal is presenting abnormally.
Keep the foaling area clean: Collect the placenta and save for your veterinarian to inspect.
After Foaling: Providing Care for the Mare and Foal
Bonding time: Allow the mare and foal to bond for as long as possible before attempting to handle the foal.
Make sure the foal is stable. Guidelines include 1 hour for foal to stand, 2 hours for foal to nurse, and 3 hours for the placenta to fully pass. Check for any abnormalities and contact your veterinarian if necessary.
Call you veterinarian to schedule a well visit approximately 24 hours after foaling. We will check the foal over for any congenital abnormalities, conformation, an IgG test to be sure passive transfer has occurred, and check the mare.
Provide adequate nutrition: Make sure the mare and foal have access to fresh water and a balanced diet.
Monitor the mare's health: Observe the mare for any signs of infection or other health issues and contact your veterinarian if necessary.
In conclusion, foaling is an exciting time for horse owners, but it is also important to be prepared and provide the best care for the mare and foal. By following these guidelines and paying attention to the mare's physical signs, you can ensure a successful and safe foaling experience.