We are attaching some links, important tips, and also some help with ideas on
putting together a foaling kit. ALSO, there are several books people
find helpful - BLESSED ARE THE BROODMARES and BLESSED ARE THE FOALS are
two such books. You can find these and more on Amazon.com.
Feeding: Also, there are not a lot of supplements out there to
help for pregnant mares specifically but MARE PLUS is one that is most
recommended. GROW COLT is also recommended for young horses. But please
read the directions! Also, feeding a digestive aid is a good idea as you
never know what is going on in these horses' stomachs and intestines as
they have had such an unregulated diet- some simplified, some not
nutritional enough - while some have had great diets. A digestive aid is
always a good idea and it doesn't hurt anything. OVER SUPPLEMENTING will
hurt though so if you feed Mare Plus - you are probably getting all the
vitamins you need. Also, the last 2 months, the mare and foal need more
protein. OMALENE 300 is often a feed that is recommended. Some add a
little extra alfalfa to the hay mixture - you just have to gauge the
It is good to have a foaling kit on
hand. The reasons are obvious but also, when we tend to be prepared for
the worst, the worst doesn't happen. It is when we just assume
everything will go GREAT, when disaster strikes.
Here is a list of things that are a must and then we will list things
that are a good idea:
A Must: Iodine - not strong iodine - low percentage - 3-7% - Betadine
solution should be good enough. This is to rub on the foal's cord. Also,
scissors and a string/clamp in case you need to cut and clamp the cord.
You should have gloves, preferably the ones that go up to your elbows.
Halter and rope for the mare to get her up if she is straining and the
foal appears to need to re-position itself. A fleet enema - gentle kind
and you may use 75% of a dose for the foal to pass manure. Clean towels
to rub off the foal. First aid basics in case something happens.
Banamine to help the mare if she is in pain. This should be used after
consultation with your veterinarian. A charged up cell phone with the
veterinarian's number on speed dial. We think it smart especially if
this is your first foal to keep your vet in on the loop when things
start to happen. That way you know if he/she will be out of town soon or
out of range to get to you quick if something bad happens. Maybe the vet
can give you the number of an alternative vet to call in an emergency.
You may want to braid and wrap the mare's tail as well. Many
veterinarians and breeders today will worm the mare after foaling so to
pass on to the foal cleanly. Ask your vet the recommended time to do
this. But it is smart to just buy a safe wormer (like Ivemectrin) and
keep it in the kit. You will also want a trash bag for the placentia.
You will also want cotton or clothes to clean the mare with - a bucket
and gentle soap. You will also want to wash your hands periodically. You
may also want to keep a watch on hand. You also will want to have the
foal on straw and not shavings.
Camera, treats for the mare, a brush.... these things are not necessary
but easy to have on hand and can be nice to have and you may wish you
HAD had them....
BASIC SIGNS OF FOALING: (some of this info was borrowed from
other websites so if someone gets upset please, know this was done for
the good of rescue horses and we are not meaning to infringe on
Udder begins filling (3-4 weeks before foaling)
Softening of Croup area (around 2 weeks prior)
Waxing up (about 24-48 hours before)
Dripping milk (about 12 hours before)
Remember, all foalings vary!
BASIC TIMETABLE AT FOALING:
First water bag breaks
2 front feet and head presented (10 minutes)
Feet, head, chest, hips (30 minutes)
Foal standing (1 to 2 hours)
Fetal membranes passed (less than 3 hours)
Foal nursing (2 to 4 hours)
CALL YOUR VET IF:
1. Foaling process is interrupted or doesn't progress as above.
2. Fetal membranes are not passed by 5 hours.
3. Anything unusual occurs, ie. Depressed mare or foal, excessive
Foal - Make sure foal is breathing: dip navel in Iodine and Glycerine
Mixture (50/50); leave mare and foal alone and undisturbed as much as
possible; foal needs 20% body weight in colostrum (milk) within 18
hours, normal nursing will provide this if mare has not dripped
excessively; enema solution should be given; placenta and foal should be
examined for presence of disease and a blood test on the foal to insure
he nursed enough colostrum.
Mare- Fetal membranes should be passed within 3 hours; check to see that
they are complete and saved for examination. Check for tears in the
vulva tissue and persistent hemorrhage, check mare's udder for milk;
allow foal and mare to exercise each day.
Birth to 3 months: Nutrition for the mare is very important during this
time. Hay, salt, calcium phosphorous supplement, protein supplement ½ to
1½ lbs. Grain per 100 pounds of body weight as needed to maintain her
condition. For the foal daily turn out with a dry warm place to rest;
Immunizations needed are Sleeping Sickness, Tetanus, Influenza and
Rhinopneumonitis at 3 and 4 months, dewormed every month until the foal
6 months old then the foal can fit into the adult worming schedule.
Contact Anastasia Keyser (940) 368-2072 if there are any problems or