FOALING SEASON IS UPON US!
Are you ready to assist your broodmare when her time comes? Here are some tried and true guidelines to remember during foaling:
• Unless there’s an emergency, allow the foal time to break the fetal membranes. Once the foal breaks through, be sure it’s breathing.
• Generally, it’s not recommended to cut or break the umbilical cord. If it has not broken during delivery, it will usually break when the mare or foal gets up.
• Encourage the mare and foal to rest as long as possible. Give them an opportunity to bond undisturbed.
• Following birth of the foal, the mare and her newborn should be monitored for normal breathing, brightness and alertness. The mare should be non-aggressive, curious and accepting of the foal.
• The foal should stand and nurse within two hours of birth. If the foal has not nursed within three hours, call your veterinarian. The foal may be weak and in need of assistance or medical attention.
• Once the placenta has been expelled, examine it to make sure it is intact, particularly at the tips of the horns. The afterbirth will be Y-shaped and should have only the hole through which the foal emerged.
• A foal must receive colostrum (the mare’s first milk) within the first eight to 12 hours of life in order to absorb the antibodies. If a foal is too weak to nurse, it may be necessary to milk the mare and give the colostrum to the foal via a stomach tube.
Contact your veterinarian to learn more so you can be prepared to help the new mother and foal get off to a great start!
Additional information is also available on the AAEP website: