Equine Guelph announces its new “Mare & Foal Care Tool” (www.equineguelph.ca/marefoaltool), a free and interactive online tool that will help users learn about reproduction in horses. The Mare & Foal Care Tool was designed and developed in partnership with PFERA, an equine reproductive biotechnology company, as a resource for horse owners and breeders.
This free online resource will take users through the complete cycle of reproduction in the horse, from preparing to breed a mare to caring for the newborn foal. Users can start with The Pregnancy Wheel, where they’ll see how their foal will develop through pregnancy and learn what care their mare will need. They can experience the Mare & Foal E-Learning Checklist, an interactive module that will take users through the needs of the mare and/or foal before, during, and after pregnancy. Finally, users can watch the Foaling Time Video and print the Foaling Checklist Poster so they’re ready when it’s time to meet their new little one!
“PFERA Inc is pleased to support Equine Guelph’s online educational resources, like the Pregnancy Wheel and the other features of the Mare & Foal Care tool,” says Lisa Schultes, CEO of PFERA Inc. and creator of breeding management software. “This tool will give new breeders valuable resources for learning the different aspects of breeding management and understanding fetal development. We hope that with increased awareness of broodmare and foaling management, it improves the health and wellbeing of breeding stock and the success of Canadian breeders.”
Tracey Chenier, equine reproductive specialist at the Ontario Veterinary College, provided her expertise in the development of the tool. In the Foaling Time Video, she covers the basics of predicting and monitoring foaling. Chenier highlights the importance of this information, saying, “Mare owners should know the signs that predict foaling is close, and what normal foaling looks like. That way you can be there when your mare is foaling to be sure everything is going well. It might make the difference in having a live foal!”
Some fun facts featured in the Mare & Foal Care Tool (www.equineguelph.ca/marefoaltool) include:
-Your foal begins practicing their coordination with head nods and limb movements by days 40 and 46 of pregnancy, respectively. That’s only a month and half into your mare’s 11-month pregnancy!
-Your foal is quite active by month 3, moving around in the allantoic sac and changing direction an average of 5 times/hour. Your foal is also practicing neck arching (think mini dressage horse!) and moving their limb to prepare themselves for movements they’ll need in life, like nursing and chewing.
-There are 3 distinct stages of labor in horses, and your foal will make their grand appearance into the world during the 2nd stage.
To learn more about reproduction in horses and to prepare if you’re planning to breed your mare and/or have a little one on the way, check out The Mare & Foal Care Tool (www.equineguelph.ca/marefoaltool).