When is the Foal Coming?

 

When is the Foal Coming?

The pregnancy period for a mare is anywhere between 315 and 400 days long.

 
Lusitano-030When is the Foal Coming?   The pregnancy period for a mare is anywhere between 315 and 400 days long.   As the great day approaches the mare should be moved into a place where she can be alone and have enough room to lie down comfortably.   Clean hay should be put on the floor every few days as necessary to keep her clean and comfortable.   Here are a few things to watch for so you know it will soon be time.   You should be ready to make the final, necessary arrangements.
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Lusitano-038The first thing to watch for is liquid retention or edema in the lower abdomen area.   Her abdomen will look bloated. Her udder starts growing slowly at first and then accelerates in the two weeks prior to birth.   Even though it is growing it remains firm and hard but a few days before the big days it starts to soften and fills up with a watery liquid which turns yellow two or three days before the foal is due.   Mommy and Nature are ready for the foal to arrive; the yellow liquid is the life-giving colostrum.   Her pelvic ligaments start to soften and stretch and her belly seems to fall down.   If you look at her tail closely, it is not in the normal position either; it is a bit higher than usual.   The day before the foal is born the mare’s mammary glands start secreting (waxing) a wax-like, dripping substance.   You know the time has come when a few hours before; she starts to drip milk from her tits.
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Lusitano-058Once her abdomen starts to bloat, it is time to do some work around the place where the foal will be born.   Everything must be cleaned out, the walls disinfected and stripped of any equipment or unnecessary gear, and a new bed must be put in place making sure that it is made of clean hay so the newborn foal does not breathe any dust or pollen from it.   First timers should have been accustomed to having their udders handled and touched before the foal arrives. When the udder starts waxing, the mare should be given a complete bath and her udder, inner thighs and vulva washed and sterilized.   When she starts dripping milk, her tail must be braided and wrapped so it does not get in the way.
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Lusitano-002Your veterinarian should be advised of the eminent event in case he is needed.   You should also have a notebook, pencil and watch to keep track of the developments.   Clean towels will also be necessary to clean the foal and a large strong plastic bag to take care of the placenta.   Medically approved disinfectant must also be available so you can dip the navel into it.   If the mare needs your assistance in any way, you must wear sterile gloves to prevent infection and disease.   To complete the list, a bucket with warm soapy water to wash yourself up when the deed is done.
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