Care of the Newborn Foal

January 05, 2018

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Foal and Neonate Care

foaling mare What transpires in the first 24 to 48 hours of a foal’s life is critical to his health and well-being from early life and up through weaning. As a foaling attendant there are several “milestones” to keep in mind as you watch the behavior of both the baby and the mare post-foaling. In this article we discuss the milestones they both should make within the few hours after the foal’s arrival into his new world. The care delivered, attention to detail, and respect for the nature of the horse will help set up your foal up for a healthier adolescence.

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The Orphan Foal - How to Achieve a Positive Outcome

March 05, 2017

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

Managing and Feeding the Orphaned Foal - Shep Laying Down What will you do in the event you are left to manage an orphaned foal? No one wants to think about such a scenario but it's best to consider all possible outcomes so you are prepared if the unthinkable happens.  This includes knowing how to provide the orphaned foal with colostrum, locate a nurse mare, etc. 

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Grafting an Orphaned Foal onto a Lactation Induced Recipient Mare

April 28, 2016

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

Grafting an Orphan Foal onto a Lactation Induced Recipient Mare_foals nursing In our last newsletter we featured an article entitled Introducing a Nurse Mare to an Orphaned Foal. We discussed where you may look to find a nurse mare should you find yourself with an orphaned foal and how to go about introducing them to one another. However, there is an alternative option to a nurse mare which was not covered in this article, grafting a foal onto a recipient mare which has been induced into lactating. It just so happened that a week after our last newsletter was sent out we were faced with finding a nurse mare for two orphaned foals (pictured left with their new moms) which were admitted to our mare services division. We wish to highlight our recent success stories and share this alternative option with you.

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Introducing A Nurse Mare to an Orphaned Foal

March 31, 2016

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

Mare and FoalThe arrival of a foal is always an exciting time regardless of whether you have a large breeding farm or just one mare to foal out. What happens when an emergency arises and you find yourself with a very young orphan foal that needs milk? Problems that may arise include: the mare dies during or soon after foaling, the mare colics or has other health issues which require emergency intervention, the mare rejects the foal, and/or the mare does not produce enough milk or “dries up.” There is always the option of bottle feeding these foals but this is a very time consuming process and the foal could tend to be more socialized towards humans than horses. These unfortunate circumstances are the perfect time to consider a nurse mare who can be brought in to adopt and raise the orphaned foal.

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The Abnormal Foaling...What Can Go Wrong?

February 25, 2016

Posted by Dr. Richard Giacopuzzi in Foal and Neonate Care

foaling mare You bred your mare almost a year ago, 340 days to be exact, and have been waiting patiently. You have given her all of her pre-foaling vaccinations, adjusted her diet, and prepared a warm, well bedded stall. Everything is just right! So what can possibly go wrong? Well, most likely nothing. Mares foal uneventfully about 90% of the time, but when things do go south, they do so very quickly. So every mare owner needs to be prepared for the potential circumstance when things do go wrong.

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Preparing for Foaling Season

January 30, 2016

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

6666 Ranch_Mare and Foal It comes around the same time every year…Foaling Season! Nearly one year ago you bred your mare. Ever since the 14-day pregnancy check you have anxiously awaited the arrival of your new foal. Our library of news and blog articles can be a great resource for the new or experienced breeder, whether you have one mare or stallion, or manage the operations of a larger breeding farm. Here we will review our articles which encompass pregnant and foaling mares as well as foaling and foal care. We cover the topics of breeding mares and stallions as well as their nutritional considerations in Are You Ready for Breeding Season.

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Why Colostrum Transfer is Critical to a Foal's First Weeks of Life

March 29, 2015

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

Foaling season is officially upon us and right about now equine veterinarians have little else on the brain but colostrum. That’s how important colostrum is to a newborn foal; it can literally mean the difference between life and death.  In this article the members of FullBucket, a company providing veterinary strength supplements for horses and dogs, discuss the foal's immune system, why colostrum is such an important factor in the their first hours of life, and what you can do to ensure their life starts right.

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Product Review - Foaling Alarms and Mare Milk Test Kits

January 03, 2015

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

foaling mareThe weeks and days leading up to foaling can be exciting and stressful, filled with sleepless nights and middle of the night trips to the barn. Several technologies exist to assist in predicting when parturition is eminent. These devices, which include foaling monitors and milk test kits, may help take some of the anxiety out of the situation.

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Foal Diarrhea - Avoiding it Altogether

February 05, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Franklin in Foal and Neonate Care

Foal_newborn A newborn foal’s biggest adversary is infection from pathogens such as Rotavirus, E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. In fact, diarrhea or sepsis (generalized body infection) is the leading cause of neonatal intensive care in foals. The illness starts out as invasion by one of many viruses or bacteria. Rotavirus is highly contagious and happens when foals ingest focally contaminated material or lick surfaces contaminated with manure. One teaspoon of Rotavirus-infected feces from a foal can contain more than 10 million virus particles – enough to infect whole herds of foals. Unfortunately, too, the virus is so hardy that it can survive more than nine months at room temperature and over winter on farms.

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How to Prepare for Foaling Season

February 19, 2013

Posted by SBS in Foal and Neonate Care

foaling mareWhen your mare has made it to 320 days of pregnancy you are in the home stretch and soon will be the proud owner of a newborn foal. Are you ready? While labor and delivery are certainly a significant event, generally all will go off without a hitch and more likely than not, you will need only to be a quiet spectator. It is usually best to allow the mare’s natural instinct and abilities handle the delivery however, your presence is important in the event of trouble or an emergency; if it appears that your mare is in distress during her foaling, call your veterinarian for assistance. Being knowledgeable of normal labor and delivery will allow for quick action and recognition if abnormal events should occur. There are also a few things to keep in mind in the weeks leading up to her due date that will aid in making for a safe and memorable foaling for you and your equine companions. Here we review pre-foaling plans and provide a supply list for your foaling kit.

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Please Note - photos used in these news articles are available in the public domain, have been purchased through istockphoto or (when referencing breeders or horses) have been submitted to Select Breeders Services Inc. by the breeding farm or horse owner. Photo credit has been provided where applicable. If at anytime you see something that needs to be addressed please feel free to contact us directly.

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