If you have ever been involved in breeding mares, then you already know how much work, time and energy is put into ensuring that each broodmare births a healthy foal. The last few months leading up to foaling can be an intense time for your mare, as she moves into a breeding stall, adapts to increased feed requirements and deals with the stress associated with rapidly changing hormones. Therefore, optimize your breeding operation and protect both mare and foal in 5 easy steps.
- Maintain the recommended vaccination and deworming schedules.
– keep newborn foal up to date on vaccinations, Make a plan with vet.
– Additional mare vaccination one month prior to foaling.
– Deworm mare both prior and after to reduce risk of parasitic transmission.
- Prepare the foaling stall.
– Foaling stall should be minimum 14’x14’.
– Should be clean and protected from inclement weather
– Stall should be bedded with straw 1-02 days prior due date.
- Focus on nutrition
– Nutrient requirements increases in third trimester and highest during lactation.
-Slowly and safely increase feed during end of second trimester or beginning of third trimester, to ensure that mare receiving her required nutrients.
– Watch for any colic signs and consider supplementing research backed probiotics.
- Monitor the mare closely.
– Observe sign prior to foaling:
– Waxing of teats (1-2d before) | Udder area filling with milk | (2-4wks.before) | Relaxation of vulva and tailhead |Restlessness | Pacing | Laying and getting up often.
- Ensure that the newborn foal receives the proper colostrum levels.
– First 4hrs, crucial for foal health and wellness. It must receive life-saving antibodies from colostrum first 8- 12hrs, after birth.