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As Spring and March continue to sneak up on all of us, we find it is time to prepare for Ciska’s foal! For those of you who did not know, Ciska was bred to Meinte 490 last year and is due at the end of this month! In the past, we have foaled our mares on our farm, but since moving to Arizona, we have decided to try something different.
Our vet, whose facility is just down the road from the farm, offers foaling services. We are planning to transport Ciska to his facility in Mid-March for her to foal out there. Even though we are planning on the vet and his team to take care of this foaling, we still want to be prepared. Some mares will foal several weeks before their due date (just like humans!) and we want to be ready.
The first step to preparing is to pick a safe, dry place for your mare to foal. Straw is the ideal stall bedding for foaling, if available. Shavings can cause problems with the foal’s umbilical cord and should be avoided, if possible. You also want to make sure your stall is well ventilated and large enough for your mare to lay down and get up without any issues. Stall doors should go all the way to the ground to avoid any little legs (or big legs!) getting caught.
Lighting in the foaling area is critical as most of our mares like to foal at night when it is quieter. If the foaling area doesn’t have light already, consider setting up some temporary lighting to make it easier to see. A flashlight alone is not going to cut it, trust me!
The next step is to put together your foaling kit. Here are some of the absolute necessities for a foaling kit. You can purchase a complete foaling kit from most equine vendors, but I find most of these items are already in my equine first aid kit.
If you are making your kit, you need all of these tools to be clean and in an easy-to-grab container. You may have planned the location of the foaling, but your mare may have other ideas. Having your kit mobile will let you adjust if needed.
I’ve been around horses my entire life, but my Friesian journey started just over 20 years ago. Our horses have always been a part of our family. They have traveled with us as we relocated from Vermont to New York to Iowa and finally, to Arizona. I can’t wait to share our story with you!
Mar 4, 2021
LET'S BE FRIENDS ON INSTAGRAM