If the baby is due sooner than I was expecting, I would be very happy with that. It would allow him/her to get some growth on him before winter. I was kind of worried about that when I thought the baby was due in September.
So if the whole process speeds up quicker than I originally thought, so much the better. I am already thinking about getting more corral panels so I can separate the mare from the geldings. I can separate them currently, but it leaves the mare with less room than I would like. So if I can get another pen made, then the mare/foal can have my biggest area all to themselves.
I do worry a little about the mare foaling in my dirt floored pens, because I worry about the baby getting an infection through the navel. If I am present, I will get iodine on the navel as soon as it breaks, but if it is born overnight and I don't catch it happening, then it might be several hours before I get iodine on the navel. I can put down some straw when foaling looks imminent, but should I be doing anything else?
I could put Isabelle in the "new" pen I make, but then she wouldn't have any shelter, and she would still be peeing/pooping in the pen so it would be contaminated anyway. But not as "contaminated" as where they are currently kept. The current set-up allows them access to a 3-sided metal barn.
When I asked my vet, he actually told me it was good for the baby to be exposed to things right away, but I guess I worry that if I miss the birth I will miss putting iodine on the navel right away.
Do you guys worry about navel ill a lot? I can keep the pens somewhat dry/clean, but they still have had horses peeing and pooping in them for years, so it's not exactly sterile conditions if you know what I mean.
Thank you guys for all your thoughts!