Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Preparing for Spring Colts

This time of year there are some people already starting to watch for their mares to foal.  Others will have be having foals from now until July maybe even August.  It is crucial to know when your mare was exposed to a stallion so you can prepare yourself and mare for the foal.  The gestation period of a mare is roughly 340 days (about 11 months).  The mare can foal early if weather is warm.  This can be as early as 10-14 days.  If the weather is colder the mare may wait 10 days past expected foaling date.

Things to prepare for is contacting your vet and letting the office know when your mare is due.  This will help them with their own preparations.   Find out also from the vet if there is anything that you should have on hand for your mare or the vet.  Have a clean well bedded stall available for your mare or a dry paddock if a stall is not available.  There will be some signs when your mare is getting close to foaling.

1.  Udder becomes prominent and milk vein may be seen 2-6 weeks
2.   Hind quarters and tail area start to change and tail seems to stick up more 7-10 days
3.  Teats fill out and nipples are shining and tight  3-7 days
4.  Wax develops on the nipples  3-5 days
5.  Milk starts leaking from nipples  1 day

Most foaling will take place at night.  Bring your mare in every night or put in foaling pen.  The more your mare can do on her own the better.  Foaling should take about 1-3 hours.  If something seems not right consult with your vet.  A camera is typically installed so monitoring can be done without disturbing the mare.

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