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For further questions or advice on foaling please contact your veterinarian.
February is here and foaling season has begun. If you have never bred horses, we’ve compiled some basic information to educate you on the foaling process! Here are some interesting facts:
1. Normal gestation for mares is 305 to 395 days, with an average of 340 days. The factors that can influence the length of gestation include the age of the mare, the time of year, genetics of the foal, stress, infection and nutrition. Light breeds tend to have longer gestation periods than draft breeds.
2. A mare in early labor resembles a colicky horse as she may get up and down, sweat and paw. The difference is that she will grab bites to eat, whereas a colicky horse is generally not interested in food.
3. A mare in active labor should take a maximum of 30 minutes to deliver a foal after her water breaks.
4. After birth, the mare may lay on the ground for 10 to 20 minutes. This is nature’s way of making sure the foal gets its full blood supply. As much as 25 to 35 percent of the foal’s blood is in the placenta at birth.
5. The mare’s first milk (colostrum) contains ingredients crucial to the foal’s health and survival. A foal that nurses soon after birth is more lively and strong than one that delays nursing.
Schneiders has what you need to get ready for foaling season!