What is exciting to see as a foal growing up in the belly of the mare’s and to pursue the birth after just one year – if it goes well. Our Mare ‘Naomi’, for example, needed no support at all. The foal was born in the early morning during the stroll through the stable . Other mares sometimes need obstetrics.
Mare’s duration of pregnancy
The duration of pregnancy varies and can last between 320 to 360 days. The indications that the mare is about to give birth are, for example, swelling of the udder (1-4 days before the birth). Sticky, dark drops can be found on the teats. Edema can occur in the area of the lower abdomen. The labia extend or enlarge and it relaxes the muscles of the Croup.
Medicines for pregnant mares
Please give the Mare only medicines prescribed by the veterinarian. If treat the Mare homoeopathically, inform your therapist regarding the pregnancy. There are so-called ‘harmless’ herbal that can cause the miscarriages and premature births.
Preparation of the Foaling box
The large foaling box (foaling box dimension should be twice as big as standard box) for the pregnant mare provided by the end of the 10th month of pregnancy is first cleaned and disinfected. The mare gets exclusively peaceful stable mate. At o this time, the mare must build appropriate antibodies form against any infectious agent and the mare has to get used to the pits and the neighboring horses. The antibodies produced are passed to the foal through the milk and thus contribute towards the protection of the foal.
A foaling box with only one friendly neighbor horse is ideal to keep the stress level low. The pregnant mare will be dewormed before and after the birth. The foaling box is lavishly arranged with straw. This generous straw accumulation will encourage the mare to give birth of the foal in the center of the box. This prevents the foal from being pressed against the stall wall at the ime of birth.
End of the birth
During the time of birth, most mares are anxious, restless, sweating and keep turn constantly. In this phase, the pregnant mare should not be disturbed as this could possibly stop the opening phase. During press pain phase, the foal should be expelled as quickly as possible, so that the oxygen supply of the foal does not decrease.
If the birth phase of the mare lasts longer than 20 minutes, immediately call the veterinarian for emergency treatment!
At the time of birth, the front legs will come out. Then come the nostrils, the head, the neck, the hull and finally the rear legs. If the hoof sole is facing upwards, then the foal is lying upside down and the veterinarian must be called immediately.
If the gestational sac should not tear by itself, it must be manually torn. The umbilical cord may be not be separated or tied, because the blood from the placenta is still passed into the foal.
The umbilical cord normally detaches itself due to the movements of the mare.
Now, the respiratory system of the foal is checked and if necessary, the mucus is removed with a clean towel. The subsequent placenta should detach by itself after 1-2 hours. If this takes longer, the veterinarian is needed. In no case, the afterbirth must be pulled out.
Then, the rear legs, the vagina, the anus and the udder of the mare must be cleaned with an alkaline SOAP solution and rinsed with water. Then the box is cleaned and the bloody litter is removed. After a few minutes, the foal raises his head and after approximately an hour, he stands on shaky legs. After another an hour, he starts to suck milk. After about a day, it can keep the balance quite well.
Finally, the afterbirth is lifted, because it is an important way for the diagnosis for possible faults.