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alright not sure if it belongs here or health and i also know nothing about equine prenatal care.

so if all breeders whether backyard or not please share the info you have

can be basic to as much info on prenatal care
a delivery kit
what type of bedding or stalling arrangements

etc

just share your info so others can see if they are on the right track or not when they are breeding.

thanks and enjoy. hope it helps comfort some people when its almost time for the baby :)
 

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I think this is a great thread idea. There is quite a bit involved in caring for broods and foaling.

I can share what I do with mine BUT any prenatal program should be discussed and done under veterinary supervision. Not only is having the vet involved safer for your mare(s) but also allows them to somewhat be 'on call' knowing when your mare(s) are due and the potential to expect an emergency call. Mine came out for my last one at 4 am, she was at the farm in 20 minutes. Turned out to be nothing but it could have been serious.

Exam prior to breeding to insure health and reproductive soundness.

Ultrasound - initial at day 16 - to confirm if mare is in foal and to check for twins. Then a follow up 2-3 weeks later. After that I will schedule if something doesn't look or feel right.

Vaccines
Tetanus/Flu/EEE/VEE/WEE - annual and at 10 months
Rhino - 3,5,7,9 months
Rotavirus - 10 months
West Nile - annual

De-worming every 8 weeks (making sure one of those falls in the 10th month) and then again the day after foaling. Broodmares are the only ones I have on a regular deworming schedule, the rest are decided with fecals every 3 months.

Delivery kit - towels, gloves, cotton balls & chlorhexadine (to treat naval stump), thermometer, stethoscope - notebook/pen to record temps/heart rate if needed, time of birth, passing meconium, nursing, standing up.

Our foaling stalls are 16 x 24. We use straw for bedding for foaling. With shavings or sawdust you run the risk of it sticking to naval & causing infection as well as the foal breathing it in and causing pneumonia or worse.

Then there is nutrition for both mare & resulting foal - another area of many choices and varying opinions. Mine get Purina Ultium Growth, free choice minerals and quality timothy/orchard hay.

Exercise is another important consideration. I ride mine through their pregnancy up until they get really big and grumpy :wink:

After Foaling
-Treat umbilical stump (for 3 days after or until it dries up)
-Foal should stand within an hour
-Foal should nurse within the first 2 hours (my call point is 3, some will wait longer)
-Check placenta for any tears or abnormalities
-Check mare for any tears

Follow up vet appt within 48 hours, mare & foal both get examined, foal will get an IgG test and a selenium/vit e injection.
 

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Kait and MH- very good thread..
Though I have had foals before, it's always a good idea to get others' experience when one is expecting new babies.. :)
It is fascinating to watch each new foal become "real" viewed during US.
I'm sure others have seen this, but it is a great primer for the expecting mare..
http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AnimalSciences/pubs/asc112.pdf
 

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That's a great link Dru, thanks for adding that! Nutrition definitely is complicated, UKY does a pretty good job with their publications. I like their judging/confo manual as well, I use it for my lesson kids that are on judging teams.

Thought of 2 kit items I forgot, tarp or empty feed sacks to spread the placenta out on to check and a flashlight - to check mare & placenta.
 

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That's a great link Dru, thanks for adding that! Nutrition definitely is complicated, UKY does a pretty good job with their publications. I like their judging/confo manual as well, I use it for my lesson kids that are on judging teams.

Thought of 2 kit items I forgot, tarp or empty feed sacks to spread the placenta out on to check and a flashlight - to check mare & placenta.
As an RN, I really spend much time teaching nutrition and its importance to my own patients, so it only make sense to me to stress that with pregnant mares. I really like how the UKY lays out the requirements and simplifies what is needed when. One of my mares just entered her seventh month, so she is receiving a bit more supplementation and seems to be doing very well with it. :)
Fortunately, our Vet lives 2 minutes away is a friend and stops by several times a week just to socialize, so we have quick back-up if we need it.
I also am exercising my mares through pregnancy. Just as with humans, a fit mother will aid an easier delivery.
Great idea re: the feed sacks! We have our kit ready and waiting..LOL
 

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Great idea re: the feed sacks! We have our kit ready and waiting..LOL
Feed sacks are my go to for that, tarp if I don't have empty bags laying around. With the sacks, it's convenient for disposal too!
 

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This is going to be my first foal with Caleigh. I'm breeding in 2012 and have handled and helped with expectant horses before however planning for your own is a bit scary. I'm excited though so hopefully she will take. I'm bookmarking this page though! I have books and books on everything and knowledgeable people to help me along the way as well. All the vets I've used in the past and will be using for the breeding are going to stick with me the whole way as well and I told them to prepare for a lot of questions and calls.

Thank you for making this thread!
 

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This is going to be my first foal with Caleigh. I'm breeding in 2012 and have handled and helped with expectant horses before however planning for your own is a bit scary. I'm excited though so hopefully she will take. I'm bookmarking this page though! I have books and books on everything and knowledgeable people to help me along the way as well. All the vets I've used in the past and will be using for the breeding are going to stick with me the whole way as well and I told them to prepare for a lot of questions and calls.

Thank you for making this thread!
It's always scary when it's your own..
Take your time...
 

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One thing I do, and I don't read about it being done by others often, is to lay the foal down. I give mom and baby time to bond, nurse, and for the umbilical to break. I then Iodine the umbilical stump and while the foal is mad about being restrained anyhow, I just pick them up and lay them down on the straw and I hold them down until they quit struggling and let me handle everything, feet, ears, nose, mouth, tail, rub their tummy, cuddle, kiss and coo, whatever. Usually I do it on one side and then when they're nice and relaxed, I flip them over to the other side and do it over there and they'll generally fall asleep in my arms. Once they lay still or fall asleep, I start to stand and as long as they don't try to get up right away, I just step back out of their space and let them up. If they struggle at all when I'm getting up, I just hold them a little longer. The idea is to get them to totally submit to me while they are tiny and easy to handle. It saves me a lot of fights when they get bigger. I do it every day that I can for as long as I can pick them up and lay them down gently. Then when they get too big for that, I wait until they have a fit about something or I come in and they're just laying peacefully on the straw and do it again. I do this pretty much all through their lives, except of course, when they are full grown I no longer try to flip them over.
 

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Follow up vet appt within 48 hours, mare & foal both get examined, foal will get an IgG test and a selenium/vit e injection.
Just out of curiosity, as I know extremely little about pregnant mares or foals for that matter, but I do know a bit about immunology - Do you get an IgG test to ensure the complete development of the immune system? Or for the increase in it's presence to indicate an infection/issue? Or is there another reason you test for this in a foal?

Also, awesome thread! Learning so much I never knew about the foaling process, very interesting read! :)
 

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Just out of curiosity, as I know extremely little about pregnant mares or foals for that matter, but I do know a bit about immunology - Do you get an IgG test to ensure the complete development of the immune system? Or for the increase in it's presence to indicate an infection/issue? Or is there another reason you test for this in a foal?

Also, awesome thread! Learning so much I never knew about the foaling process, very interesting read! :)
Doing an IgG on a foal is to see if they got enough antibodies out of the mare's colostrum.

Here's an article about it
ARS - Equine - Article - IgG
 

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If the mare is leaking out of her teats during labor, be sure to save it in a cup or bucket to nurse the foal with it later, some mares leak all of their colostrum out before the foal arrives and most of the immunities are contained in the first secretions. It is also vital that the foal nurses as soon as possible (within 12 hours maximum) to ensure they receive colostrum before it is gone.

Remember the "1, 2, 3" Rule.
1 hour for the foal to stand
2 hours for the foal to nurse
3 hours for the mare to pass the placenta

You should call your vet when she begins first stage labor to alert him that you may need him to come out should any complications ensue. If the mare has not passed her placenta by two hours after birth, have your vet on the phone to alert him he may have to come out. He will most likely give her a shot of oxytocin to start uterine contractions to help the placenta get pushed out. This is vital to the health of the mare, since a placenta that has not passed by four hours is guaranteed laminitis/founder for the mare.

In my foal kit I would keep:
o Rubber gloves – box
o Iodine, small plastic cup
o 2 enemas
o dry cotton towels
o old pillowcase
o clean piece of bailing twine
o large plastic garbage bag
o baby bulb syringe
o scissors
o breeding books
o watch
o pen & notepad
o disposable camera
o Flashlight & Batteries
o Mild soap
o Bucket
o Frozen colostrum
o Vetrap
o Vasaline
o Twitch
o Halters, lead ropes with chains
o Clean bucket
o Phone

Also- do not cut the umbilical cord prematurely.. Some speculate that a good majority (up to 2/3s) of the foal's blood is still in the mare and being cycled back into the foal through the umbilical cord. A lot of people cut the umbilical cord before the foal even stands. The cord should break on its own when the foal stands, and if the foal is already weak and is taking awhile to stand then it can be assumed it may need that boost from its blood being returned through the umbilical cord. If the foal has stood and nursed and the cord is still attached by 3-4 hours, then I would say it is safe to cut it on your own.

First stage labor should start with waxing up of the teats, some even stream colostrum (be sure to catch it!), jelly like appearance of the muscles in the hindquarters, extremely relaxed and stretched vulva, sweating/obvious pain, pawing, pacing, standing/laying down/rolling, biting at flanks, behavioral changes (stop eating [some eat through all stages of labor], anti-social, anxious, eating more, too quiet), etc. Some mares do not show any symptoms. Some mares appear to be colicing.. be sure not to disturb the mare during this time, mares can shutdown first stage labor to wait until they feel secure (usually when no one is around). Stage 1 ends with the mare's water breaking and you should see the white amnion slightly appear the vulva which signifies the beginning of stage 2 labor.
Stage 2 labor is the active expulsion of the foal, which shouldn't last more than an hour... Most foals are born in 20-40 minutes. If the amnion appears red, call a vet immediately. You should see the foal being born in this order, 1 hoof followed by another hoof followed by the nose. Progress should be made with each contraction, followed by 2-4 minutes of rest. The mare may stand up and lay down several times during labor, which is fine. The mare may take a longer rest with the foal's hind legs still inside of her, this is fine. During this time, its appropriate to remove the amnion.
Stage 3 labor should be the passing of the afterbirth or the placenta. This should happen within an hour, if it hasn't happened within 2 you should be concerned. If it hasn't happened by 3 hours after birth, have your vet out immediately. Once the placenta has passed, you should collect all pieces of the birth sac to make sure everything is whole and no pieces are left in the mare. You should educate yourself on what it should look like, any abnormalities can indicate possible developing problems with the foal.

Not a breeding expert, but I did take a class (very educational class, at that) and am excited to eventually breed my own horse!
 

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I didn't see that anyone wrote what the placenta should look like (besides no tears).. We always made sure the placenta looked like a 'butterfly'.
That term was 10 years ago though. It may have changed now ;)
 
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