There are very few things that may compare to the excitement of having a new foal in the stable. We all like to watch them run around their mares, try out their wobbly legs or merely watch them take a nap in the sunlight. Yet, having a healthy foal takes more than breeding and waiting ELEVEN months. Babies need a large amount of preparation well ahead of their arrival.
Being prepared is the foundation of having a good foal. While you will not be able to prevent problems , you don’t want to be helpless if a complication pops up. At the very least you ought to have a phone, your vet’s number, medical equipment or foaling kit, any emergency numbers and a colleague to help you and your mare. Some owners will employ a foaling service with professional 24 hour supervision.
Colostrum, Colostrum and More Colostrum
If someone told you that you had to select only 1 crucial aspect of foaling to sear into your memory, you should select colostrum. Colostrum is the foal’s life force and it is extremely critical that your foal receives this important milk because the mare will only be ready to produce it for about twelve hours. Foals that do not receive enough colostrum in those vital first hours will start life at a large disadvantage. Mare owners can milk their mares or find frozen colostrum from banks. Colostrum is a necessity for a healthy foal and owners can’t afford to let their foals go without this special milk.
Now, your foal is here and it looks healthy so you are in the clear, right? Wrong! Your foal must stand inside an hour of birth and begin nursing inside two hours of birth. Your foal should have a bowel movement one or two hours after birth. If not you need to give your foal an enema. Owners should also make sure their foals are alert and do not appear drowsy. You must call the vet if your foal is not inside these guidelines.
The initial few hours of a foal’s life are crucial. The best thing you can do is be prepared in order to intervene right away when a situation arises. You’re the difference between life and death for your foal and fast thinking will permit you to enjoy your foal for years to come.
Ashley Kantter is a longtime independent writer and columnist focusing on subjects linked with horses and equestrian matters. Harthill Stud is a horse stud farm based in England. Focusing on breeding sport horses, it offers a selection of dressage stallions at stud in modern grounds.