Help please! First EVER foal... and it's winter.... - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 11-14-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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We're expert fire-builders; don't worry. We had a donkey get weak last winter, so we did the same and never left her side all night long while the fire burned. We made it at the mouth of the shelter, and placed the litter at the back, so the warmth would get to her, but the smoke and sparks would not.

We never leave a fire unattended when near animals, and only make one of it's absolutely necessary.
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-14-2013, 10:35 PM
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Just put a blanket on instead.
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post #23 of 37 Old 11-14-2013, 11:58 PM
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Blessed Are The Brood Mares by M. Phyllis Lose is a great book to read to get ready for your first foaling.
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post #24 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 01:01 PM
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Just wanted to add that a fire (esp being "trapped" by a fire in a shelter) would be extremely stressful to pretty much any animal. Especially a newborn foal, and if there is one thing I know about newborns, they don't really stay where you want them too!
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post #25 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 01:41 PM
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Not only that Yogi, but get an errant spark and you have two trapped animals in a burning shelter... Not a good place, not a good idea.
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post #26 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 01:56 PM
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Well old timers around here will know that young Stewie the Moose was born on the last day of Feb, in temps WAY below 0, outside because Momma didn't do barns *roll eyes*

If the weather is dry, if mom and baby can get out of the wind, and have a dry bed to lie on, no reason why she can't foal outside OK. A fire sounds like a BAD idea, animals don't take comfort from fire as we do, they are scared of it.....
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post #27 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NdAppy View Post
Not only that Yogi, but get an errant spark and you have two trapped animals in a burning shelter... Not a good place, not a good idea.
Yeah I was avoiding that part since it seemed so obvious....
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post #28 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 03:54 PM
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@ Streamertail

Good on you for rescuing Star. She is a beautiful mare. And I am sure she is happy to be with you, it really sounds like you care for her and are trying to do what is best for her health and the health of the foal if one is about to appear.

Sometimes things that we don't expect happen to us and we aren't responsible for them yet people judge us and are quick to accuse us of fault. It sounds like you went through something really bad with your other horses injury.

Horses have been getting along ok since they were domesticated and a lot of time without a vet's help. Yes proper vet care is great but it is not always necessary nor realistic. People who live in the city don't always understand that getting a vet out to a rural area can be really difficult and expensive. It doesn't mean you are in anyway neglectful. Sometimes we have to make do with what we can and it may sound dangerous or stupid to someone else but it is what it is.

As far as your mare goes just watch her behavior. Look up the signs when a mare is about to go into labor. If you have a small enclosed space keep her and the foal in there. Dry the foal as soon as you can by rubbing hay on it or warm towels, it will be being wet that will chill it. There body heat should be enough to keep them warm enough, horses are tougher then you think. How cold does it get where you are? I agree with who ever said that keeping the foal dry is the most important through the winter.

Also horse blankets are really expensive and that is probably not a realistic option in this situation.

Good luck, keep us posted.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 03:55 PM
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I would say a big No to the fire idea - smoke and fire can be really alarming to some horses and no point adding more stress to the situation
I would also say No to the blanket - if you don't know when the mare is going to foal it could end up a real hazard if the foal gets caught up in it somehow during or after birth
Have the shelter ready and get her used to going in it well in advance so she's relaxed and feels safe in there - put her hay inside - but if the other horses are in there she almost certainly wont go in there to foal but will take herself off somewhere 'private'.
I don't know where you live but I did see a youtube video telling the story of a mare that foaled unexpectedly in the freezing winter weather - a rescue horse that the owner didn't expect to be in foal - and the poor little thing lost its ears to frostbite.
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 09:33 PM
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If you are in a situation where you do need a blanket-
There are plenty of cheap ones out there, you don't need to spend $200+ to get a decent one, anything that keeps them warm and dry will work. Imo you should have blankets even if you don't use them. All but 2 of our blankets we got for free and those two I got cheap and brand new (don't remember but $30 each?)
I've seen foals in old sweaters cut to fit. Before we had our blankets we had an old mare very suddenly get chilled. We grabbed an old blanket belted it up and put it on her. Used the same old blanket cut up to keep an old goat warm. If they are dry and the blanket is secure/you are right there anyways watching you can easily do something makeshift. I am in no way saying to spend several hundred dollars on a brand new blanket you will use once. What I am saying is there are a million ways to keep her warm without a fire!
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foaling , mare , winter

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