So, my mare is in foal...
First off, I would like to state that the pregnancy was unplanned, and also not known of until I suspected a fat belly and got a vet out to test!
In August 2012, we bought home a mare for my mum, she is an 11yo tb standing at 14.3hh, Bay with a star, she was an SPCA case, taken off the owners 6 months before she arrived at the place we got her from (long story, can tell if wanted).
She was originally bought, 1. Because we felt sorry for her in the state she was in and knew she would be better off with us, and 2. Because she proved to be a bombproof trekking horse for my mum at the time.
We got her home, rather skinny with bad hooves and a bit wormy but overall a very relaxed horse and easy to ride bareback in a halter or with a saddle and bridle. But after a while she seemed to be getting behavioural issues which we thought could be pain related, so we got everything checked out and she was given the all clear.
Fast forward a month or so when she had gained some weight, her crabby mare attitude was starting to concern me, as was the fact that she seemed to have developed a bigger belly than she should have.
I contacted the lady we got her off, who told me then that DJ had been paddocked with some young colts during the winter, because 1. the boys didn't know they were colts, and 2. Mares don't cycle during the winter..... I just about fell over with the suprise of being told these two things that were clearly not true.
I told my parents of my concerns (as I am still under their roof I can't do anything without their permission) and had to convince them to get a vet out, though there was nothing visibly wrong to them and the mare was just being a mare, my thoughts finally won out and we had a vet out to update everybody on vaccines, check teeth and check out DJ.
Vets diagnosis, we have a pregnant mare who is too far along to abort.. Oh crap.
We are also not experienced in the least in foaling horses.... Crap again.
It is also going to be a winter foal.... Crap.:?
ALSO, we have no exact idea of the service dates, so she could be anywhere from 7 months along, to due tomorrow... Crap yet again....
So now we(me) are in preparation mode, I am setting up a foaling paddock with fencing that will be more appropriate than 3-strand electric wire, but as I am modifying my parents property to do this, I still have to stay under their rules.. So my plan of now for the fencing is to do 6 strand NON barbed wire with battons evenly spaced throughout, and I will put a wooden rail along the bottom of the fence.
I am also organising to borrow a foaling alarm (since nobody normal plans to breed through the winter, there are several alarms that I know are going unused right now)
And I have several options of foal covers that I can borrow between the time the foal is born, and the time I can go out to buy his/her own covers, as I don't want to buy one now and then find that the foal is bigger than the cover is.
We have foal halters around, and I want to make a foaling kit so that if anything goes down, I have the option to help out between the time that anything happens, and the vet gets here as we are around 40minutes from the closest equine vet, and I am training to be a vet nurse this year so I may be able to give some vet guided assistance while help is on the way.
Sorry for the novel :lol: photo time..
When DJ first arrived (bad quality, sorry, but you can possibly note the sticky out hips and bad topline for starters
First cover we got her
^This was kind of what initially made me wonder, because her cover surcingles had to be loosened almost every other day for a while
Few weeks later
She also has a bit of an udder, but she is most likely maiden. I will get more updated pictures when I can get out there, but I am sick at the moment so it depends of when I can muster up my energy again to get off the couch and find a camera.
She is VERY touchy about her belly being touched, the further back you go the bigger death stare/leg lift/bite threat you get but I'm working on that. Udder is a no go zone at the moment, she would probably do me some serious damage if I try to touch that just yet, and she clamps her tail shut if I try to look under there, but all these things we are working on.
She is on grass and meadow hay 24/7 as much of it as she wants, though we are a bit low on grass right now because of the drought, so when I can I take her out onto the side of the road for a good pick. She is also on mitavite Breeda (Mitavite - Scientifically Balanced Feeds) <<Just in case anyone has any food/nutrition suggestions for me.
Mitchell my gelding is very food aggressive so I have to hold onto him while they are eating out of their own seperate buckets, because he will fight her out of both of them, but yet once he has had his fill and DJ has finished her breeda, he will quite happily share his Dunstan Coolfeed and Barley with her.
Note: If I had have known in the early stages that there was even a remote possibility of her being pregnant, I would have had it aborted, but as it is too late to turn back now I am doing what I can, and any advice will be appreciated, though I do still have to respect what my parents will and won't do, so unfortunately I may not be able to go through with every suggestion, but I will try my best for this mare and foal.. And I plan to keep the foal as the market for selling anything right now is terrible, but I have experience with youngsters and have no problems asking for help when help is needed.
First off...Congratulations on getting the mare healthy. She looks wonderful in that last picture. She also is a decently put together mare, which is good.
Most mares start to bag up about 30 days prior to foaling. But with maidens, you just never. Know. My mare has had a bag since 290 days. Which was 7-8 weeks before her "due date" is supposed to be. Her hindend will loosen up and get vet jiggley. Her vulva will relax, swell up some and elongate but a few inches. Wax usually will appear on the nipples within 24-72 hours of foaling. Some mares never wax.
Also, their temperature will drop in the evening before a mare foals. Take her temp in the morning and evening so you can get averages of what is normal for her.
Do a lot of internet research! And when she is nursing, she is probably going to need a very large increase in food to maintain weight. Foals will suck the life out of them...literally.
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She's pretty. I have no advise to offer but wish you the best of luck. I'll be praying for a smooth delivery and health for both mother and baby for you.
Thankyou both, I am doing a lot of research while I am stuck on the couch right now.
CLaPorte; thankyou, she's not the first mare we have rescued from a sorry state so we're getting pretty good at putting condition back on them.
Cool, I can get close enough to look at her udder, but nowhere near enough to touch is, I'm not sure whether thats because she's sore and doesn't want it touched or if shes just being grouchy.
Oh that's good to know! Means I will have a use for the thermometer in my vet nursing kit haha!
Yeah I'm saving up money as I go along for the bigger food bill that is bound to happen when she does foal, would she just be likely to need larger amounts of breeda or would I have to put her onto another feed?
Wyndella; thankyou :) you and me will both be praying on that note then haha, but just in case, I have my vets number memorised and also written down in countless visible places
Also, here in NZ Rye grass staggers is very common and can cause death in extreme cases, so you can bet your life I'm watching out for any signs of that too, but I have my own ways to deal with it as there is actually no proven vet remedies for it as of yet Ryegrass staggers: the danger to horses - Health - Horsetalk.co.nz
This is the foaling thread to my maiden mare. She is 324 days today. Ive been updating with lots of pictures and any other changes that ive noticed her having. Maybe something in there will help you along your foaling journey as well!
I look for foaling threads from some of the frequent breeders on here. Seeing the pictures and changes a mare goes through has been very helpful to me. FGRanch and CCH have foaling threads right now and their mares are super close to foaling!
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Beautiful horse!! Congrats on the coming foal! Ill be watching and praying all goes well!!
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Oh CLaPorte I love your mare!! I really wish I knew atleast an estimate of when DJ was bred, but since I don't I will be bald with stress by the time this foal gets here.
You can't see her foal move, but if you can manage to touch her for long enough, you can feel it moving around in there.
HaHa, thank you. Chilly is a sweetheart. She was a rescue too way back in the day as a 7 month old.
She has always been an in your pocket type of girl. The past month or so, shes been very "flinchy"...touch her butt or sides and she will flinch but not move. Id imagine shes sore or tender? Shes not saying so its hard for me to understand. :-) But, she normally isnt..."touchy"...ever! So its completely normal for your mare to not want to be rubbed and loved on.
Chilly is at the point where if you stare at her belly, you can see the baby moving. Feeling the baby move is an awesome experience.
The best advice i can give is take wayyy too many pictures so you can compare and visibly see the changes she is going through. I take morning and night pictures and the changes in 10 hours is sometimes just silly!
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I will take heaps of photos where I can, the challenge in this household is finding the camera chargers... My dad LOVES anything techonolically based, so you can only imagine how many digital cameras and video cameras we have around here (like 9-10) but that means theres just as many chargers and they never seem to match up! But when I can sort out a match of charger and camera, and I have energy, I will be out there all the time
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