New mare, in foal... Help
I acquired a new mare today, she was given to me by someone who can't afford to feed her anymore, and she was on a dead pasture and the hay she was being given didn't look to be very good quality. She is a 15 y/o Standardbred, Arabian cross, and I was told she is in foal, for the first time, for an April baby to either a Paint or a Quarter Horse. I fully intend to be her last owner and the foals only owner, and naturally, I am concerned for her health and the health of her unborn foal. Can anyone point me in the direction of some information to help me find the right feed for her and to make sure this pregnancy is as smooth as possible for her and her foal.
Any help would be greatly appreciated... I'm going to be making a call to my vet to get her checked out and see how far along she is Tuesday morning, but I don't want to pay a consult fee for everything I'm going to have questions about...
I asked her previous owner every question I could think of, but she couldn't even tell me which stallion caught her, let alone when she may have been bred, so I'm just going to watch her close. Fortunatly, I have a part time job and have lots of time to keep an eye on her so I can be by her side when the time comes to drop...
I got the impression that she's been bounced around from home to home, so I don't know if she's been around foals or not, and because of that there isn't much info on her and her history, but I've worked with cows all my life and know how to convince a cow to take a calf, so I'm hoping if need be I can coax her to take a foal... If not, I'm fully prepared to be able to bottle feed every couple hours...
Hopefully I'll get lucky, but the vet will be on standby, since I'm sure I won't...
Oh, and I'll pick up a copy of that book, thanks for the info...
Good on you for taking on this enormous task and I wish you all the best.
As a side note on rejection, a lot of maiden mares just need some help. When Zena came to us she had been severely abused and I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it, but she wouldn't let Zierra nurse when she was born. My grandpa said it was fairly common as the first nurse usually hurts them and they react to the pain.
After a few hours, it came down to nitty gritty because Zierra wasn't even trying anymore. We ended up twitching Zena and my grandpa crawled underneath her with Zierra and helped her nurse. After that she had zero problems.
The maternal instincts usually kick in and my best advice would be to give her a good amount of time with the foal before you start messing around. Imprinting can have it's benefits, but so often it's the direct cause of foal rejection because the dam doesn't have adequete time to be introduced to her foal naturally.
Best of luck!
I have every intention of just leaving them be when she foals, I'll watch and make sure everything goes ok then leave them be unless they need intervention. I have complete faith in mother nature...
That is great that you do have some experience with birthing. The avatar that I have is of Caddo at one day old. He is a great little horse so far. He was born on May 18, 2009. Also most foals are born between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am. If you have anymore questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Lol at birthing experience... When I was 11, my neighbor had me turn a calf that was breach because my hands were smaller then his, and when I was a senior in high school, my mom came home from work after a 12 hour night shift to find me cleaning off the first puppy in my dogs first litter, covered in amniotic fluid, and decided that she would take a paper into the school for me that was due instead of have me go to school and her have to deal with the terrifed dog... I think I'll be ok with a horse... I just don't know what to do with it once its on the ground....
Got to love learning experiences....
That is where this book will help you out. Some of the chapters are like The first 24 hours. The first weeks. One to three months. Four to six months. Weaning time farewell to mom. Weanling to yearling. So this book has helped me out a lot this year and I am already reading it again because Prancing timid a.k.a. PT is going to foal in Feb 15, 2010. She is a gray mare bred to my sorrel and white stallion. I am very excited about this foal as well. Take a lot of pics they change a lot in the first year. Caddo and Maggie are already getting their winter coats on. Keep us updated on the pregnancy and the foaling as well.
Thanks again for the advice, I'll be getting that book asap...
I'm pretty excited about the baby, I just hope he's put together a little better then his mother... She looks to be a little out of proportion, her head and neck seem to big for her, although I'm seeing her pregnant and with a shaggy winter coat... Regardless, all I want is a good trail horse, so looks are not important, I just want a healthy happy horse.
That foal in your avatar is gorgeous, I'm hoping my little one will be a paint, but again, as long as he/she is healthy, I couldn't care if its purple lol...
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