Foaling time is upon us and we all want to be ready. We’ve waited almost a year for this and now the time is near. Thirty to sixty days before your mare’s due date you want to be sure to give her a 4-way vaccine. This boosts her immune system as well as helps to protect the foal.
As time approaches you will want to inform your veterinarian and remind him or her of the due date so if you need them, they will be prepared.
Be sure your mare is in a safe environment, in a foaling stall or a pasture by herself. Avoid pipe corrals and small stalls as you want to give her room to work.
You will want to have Vetrap on hand to wrap her tail with as well as some towels. Betadine is being recommended over iodine to coat the foal’s navel as it doesn’t burn like iodine does. Allow the cord to break naturally and then spray or dip the remaining navel cord on the foal. This helps to prevent infections like Joint and Navel III. Tetanus Toxoid (available at most Grange Co-op retail stores) is the inoculation of choice for your youngster as well as a selenium shot. The selenium injection is only available through your veterinarian. Remember, in southern Oregon we live in a selenium deficient area and selenium is very important for our horse’s health. You may also supplement your mare’s diet with Equerry’s Vitamin E & Selenium.
The whole foaling process should take about 20 minutes and the foal should be up within an hour and nursing within two hours. Give mom and new baby some time to get acquainted. After all, she has waited a long time too. Be sure that the placenta has passed, inspect it to make sure none was left inside, bury it and be sure to clean your mare up after she’s rested a while. Now it is time to stand back and admire the wonder of nature. Watch as this long, spindly-legged creature takes its first unsure steps and see him grow into the mature dream horse you bred for.