Calcium testing of milk for foaling date? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-01-2009, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Calcium testing of milk for foaling date?

Okay so I know there are some tests out there where you can use a calcium test strip on the mare's milk and when the calcium level spikes, she will foal within 12 - 24h. It's supposedly really accurate, and I'm interested to learn more.

Here's a link: Mother Natures Mare Foaling Predictor Kit

However if the deal is that you are just looking for the spike in calcium before the mare foals, I've also heard that pool strips work fine and are about 1/3 of the price. Has anyone done this and how does it work?

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post #2 of 20 Old 05-01-2009, 09:42 PM
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I do the pool test strips and you can buy them at your local walmart or any where that sells the pool test strips. You want to get the ones that test levels of the PH you can get a 5 way testing strips wich I paid $12 dollars for and you use the first and third square on there. Then you want to get distilled water which is really cheap and will last you forever. With this method the ratio is 6:1 meaning 6cc's of distilled water to 1cc of milk, if you cant get a full cc and you can manage to get .5cc's then you mix in 3 cc's of water. You want to use something like maybe a shot glass to mix them with or something really clean that wont interfere with the testing. I just took a leftover little plastic Garlic Powder bottle washed it out and cut it down in size to use it as my milking cup. It is really verry accurate. This is how you would read it:

If the calcium level (which will be the first square) reads less that 100ppm you can wait two days before retesting unless she is showing other signs of foaling readiness. Above 100ppm, but less than 200 ppm, check daily, in the evening. Once you hit 200 ppm, you've got colostrum. 90 percent will foal within 24 to 48 hours. Over 500 ppm, do not leave her unattended. Chemetrics is similiar. Test once per day until calcium levels reach 125. After 124 test twice per day, preferably morning and evening. When the calcium level first reaches 200 ppm, about 50 percent of mares will foal within 24 hours. Birth usually is very near when the mare's calcium concentration reaches 300 to 500 ppm.

The pH (which is the third square on the strip) is another good indicator of foaling readiness. It will be relatively unchanged at 7.0 or higher the whole time, then drop below 7.0 within hours of birth. Do not leave her unattended from this point on. Chemetrics does not measure pH, so it is a good idea to use both methods to really narrow down the timing of partruition.

I am using this method now and my mare is at day 302 and it is working fine for me thus far it's showing I have a way to go yet.. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-01-2009, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks - and at day 302 you have milk??? My mare is maiden so I know this can be more normal but her bags are still hard - just an edema - and she also has a slight stomach edema. So no chance of trying this test yet, but I want to be prepared!

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-01-2009, 11:01 PM
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yup it's still at the clear watery stage so I only test her every 5-10 days and squeez a little bit out just to check the color daily.. And you are welcome ;)
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-02-2009, 06:20 AM
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I also use the pool strips. We have found the biggest indicator to be the PH. When it suddenly drops foaling is usually within hours!

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post #6 of 20 Old 05-02-2009, 07:07 AM
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I used the Predict A Foal kit for the first time last year ...

One mare was due to foal within SECONDS for 4 days straight ... ... according to the test strips so they did me absolutely "0" good with her. I didnt get any sleep for those 4 days, plus the 4 days before when she was supposedly 24 hours away from foaling ...

Second mare didnt even show up as being 24 hours out let alone imminent. I had her on the monitor and I knew her well enough that I knew something was up - whether the test strips agreed or not. She foaled and the test strips were "0" help with her as well

Would I use them again? Probably not ...

Would I RELY on them again? Never ...

Now I have heard another kit works better than the Predict A Foal does. Maybe I'll give it a try instead???
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 11:54 PM
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I have been using "Leisure Time" Spa & Hot Tub Test Strips on my mare.
My mare was bred end of May 2011.
And should be just about 335-340 days pregnant.

Mamma Bear getting close ^.^ I give her no more than 2 days.
And if shes right on time I guess a filly

As of today (5/03/2012).
Tested for last 2 weeks / every 2 days

8am test was 50- on Cal.
5pm test was 50- on Cal.
11pm test was 200+ on Cal.

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post #8 of 20 Old 05-04-2012, 12:35 AM
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I was told to do the ratio 3:1,and when I checked online that's what I read too..Anyone know for sure which is the correct/most accurate ratio?Does it matter between the two,or will you come up with the same results?
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-04-2012, 01:09 AM
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My sister got the testing strips to help her predict her maiden mare. For the longest time she couldn't get more than a tiny drop (too little to test). Finally she got enough to test at 327 days (milked in the evening), the calcium tested at 75 so she thought she would test in two days feeling "safe" for now. Well, her colt arrived about 36 hours after the first and only milk test. LOL!
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-04-2012, 01:33 AM
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I don't know about those strips but know alot of people seem to use them{watching to much mare stare}. I always have just watched my mares behavior,other foaling indicators{bag,belly,back end,waxing etc} I do milk them to check what milk looks like. I have predicted foaling within 24-48 hrs on most of them.Maybe just some mothers intuition or luck on my part.Have been there almost all their births. Seems the ones I missed where when I reluctanly agreed to go out for some social gathering.Knew they where close but never got home till they had just delivered{babies still wet}Had to tell hubby told you so
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